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Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Who Produces Producers?

I just watched the intro to a new series on HBO. At the end of the credits I had to rewind to be sure of what I had just seen. They list a co-producer, then another, then “produced by” some other asshole, then a consulting producer, then a co-executive producer, then three executive producers were listed together, and finally seven other executive producers each had their own screen for their personal glory. That’s 15 of these jerk-offs if you’re counting. My question is this: why do I as a viewer give a shit who the producers are? Answer: I don’t. So why would any sane person want to watch the intro to a series? At least with Gilligan’s Island they gave you a catchy tune.

In Spanish there is a lovely expression for when someone toots their own horn. They say that the person “no tiene abuela,” he doesn’t have a grandmother, because grannies are supposed to toot your horn for you. Obviously, Hollywood producers don’t have grandmothers.

If you want to be famous, be an actor.

Acabo de ver la introducción a una nueva serie en HBO. Al final de los créditos tuve que rebobinar para estar seguro de lo que acababa de ver. Enumeran un coproductor, luego otro, luego "producido por" otro gilipollas, luego un productor consultor, luego un productor co-ejecutivo, luego tres productores ejecutivos se enumeran juntos, y finalmente otros siete productores ejecutivos tienen cada uno su propia pantalla para su gloria personal Eso es 15 de estos idiotas si estás contando. Mi pregunta es esta: ¿por qué a un espectador le importa un comino quiénes son los productores? Respuesta: Nos importa una mierda. Entonces, ¿por qué una persona con cerebro querría ver la introducción a una serie? Al menos con Gilligan's Island te dieron una melodía pegadiza.

En español hay una expresión encantadora para cuando alguien se jacta de si mismo. Dicen que la persona "no tiene abuela" no tiene una abuela, porque se supone que las abuelas se jactan de ellos. Obviamente, los productores de Hollywood no tienen abuelas.

Friday, July 06, 2018

Musician's Notebook

A famous musician once said, “If I miss practicing one day, I know it; if I miss two days, my band knows it; and if I miss three days, my audience knows it.” Maybe I don’t have a band or an audience, and I wouldn’t even consider myself a musician, but I understand what the dude is saying.

Franz Liszt supposedly coined this but I heard it attributed to Sonny Rollins—it just sounds cooler coming from a jazz hipster. I don't even remember Liszt being in a band.

Tuesday, July 03, 2018

Musician's Notebook

Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos are over-played in every coffee shop and bookstore to the point that many people take them completely for granted, like some advertising jingle for a product they don’t buy. To keep yourself from being jaded by their ubiquity you only need to watch these performed to appreciate them for what they are: absolute genius.

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

New Bike in My Stable

I’ve had my eye on one of these bikes since I lived in Seattle where all of the bike messengers rode them. Seattle was way too hilly for a single-speed bike, but Valencia is as flat as a pancake and the perfect cityscape for this bike.

My old city bike broke apart from abuse over a year ago and I’ve been making due with just my mountain bike and the city bike-share system. I’ve been looking desperately but used bikes are hard to come by here, or at least at anything resembling a reasonable price. The first requirement for my new city bike was that it had to fit in my elevator, something that excluded about ninety percent of the bikes designed for city use.

This thing fits comfortably in my elevator and it is a total blast to ride. It’s so light and fast that it feels like I’m piloting a glider. I think that reason that I’ve never been interested in learning to fly a plane is that I’ve always found biking to be such a thrill.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Thanks for Nothing?

A friend gave me a huge bag of cherries fresh off the tree in their village. A nice gift, right? You’re not looking at a bowl of cherries, but a bowl of cherries that I have painstakingly pitted. I’m not sure how long it took, exactly, but in dog years the family pet wouldn’t have made it to the end. It was more work than assembling a piece of furniture from IKEA, which should be the measure of all labor on the planet.

For years I have been trying to imitate a dish I used to order in a Seattle restaurant. As far as I can remember, it was chicken with cherries, vinegar, and rye seeds. I don’t think that I have ever really pulled it off in the many times I’ve tried to conjure up this dish in my kitchen. I’m too far removed from that restaurant in the Belltown neighborhood of Seattle to be able to pull off a counterfeit, but I did make a pretty tasty dish last night.

The red wine vinegar is crucial in this dish. I don’t really know why, but if I had to venture a guess it would be to counteract the sweetness of the cherries. I also cooked this with a full head of cabbage, a couple of onions, and a cup of red wine.

I first began by roasting the back side of a whole chicken in the over. On the stove top I sautéed the onions in a bit of oil then added the cabbage and cherries with the wine and cooked this down. I added the vinegar to taste towards the end. When the bottom side of the chicken was cooked I took it out and placed it on top of the vegetable mixture and put it back in the oven to cook the top side.