Monday, July 23, 2007

The 8

Self-tagged, I submit:

In some ways, I am the blandest of bland foodfellows. Witness: for me, the definitive test for good TexMex is, simply, the cheese enchilada. There must be no meat in the gravy and those onions should be cooked on the inside. Ice cream, the test is, naturally, vanilla. Haagen-Dazs vanilla is just fine, as is Blue Bell’s Homemade (?) version. Always room for Amy’s Mexican Vanilla. (No onions in or out, please.)

Not that Austin’s Las Manitas enchiladas michoacan aren’t pure heaven, as were those diabolically scrumptious cousins at Santa Fe’s Shed. And the defining flavor certainly did not keep me from going back for seconds on Java Chip at Sabrina’s in Sedona.


I am a vegetarian who loves meat: the (remembered) taste of it, the smell of it, stories about it, PBS cooking shows about it. I do not miss steaks in the least: I miss the lesser gods, the downright menial gods: bacon, sausage, New Orleans debris, all manner of oysters, those gorgeous dishes at Mosca’s way out in who the hell knows where. (We ALL knew where the hell, believe me.)


I love all manner of fancy-pants, avant-garde, worldly music, but let’s face it: my favorite band at the age of fourteen was The Association, followed not far behind by the Cryan Shames, who just died too soon. Dig deep enough in my pantheon of favorites through the years, it’s all still pretty sappy music appreciation. Guilty pleasures, those you’re not supposed to admit to liking? Major goo: embarrassedly, I admit to Streisand/Gibbs’ “Guilty” (naturally); Patrice Rushen’s “Forget Me Nots” is just too damn sweet and gooey not to admit to.


Back in the 1970s, my favorite actresses were Julie Christie, Sarah Miles, and Susannah York. Sublime Ms. Christie of “McCabe and Mrs. Miller,” “Far From the Madding Crowd,” and “Heaven Can Wait”; ever-quivering lipped Ms. Miles of “Ryan’s Daughter” and the long lost “Lady Caroline Lamb”; Ms. York, I think I just mistook for Ms. Miles.


Apropos of number 4, Richard Rodney Bennett wrote some gorgeous lush soundtracks back in those blonde daze.


If my writers pantheon of Padgett Powell and Barry Hannah is not known, then it is now. Mr. Pynchon’s jersey, after Against the Day, is permanently hung in the rafters.


My middle name—Murat—comes from Joachim Murat: husband of Caroline Bonaparte, brother-in-law of the little tyrant, later named King of Naples by said intruder. Decidedly vain man, as any portrait shows: at his execution, he called for the firing squad to “mind the face!”


My favorite Michael Ondaatje novel is Coming Through Slaughter.

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Blogger Lee said...

Wow, Murat! Once again I'm finding myself undereducated in social/cultural experiences. Despite what I don't recognize, I'm thrilled to learn more about someone I think of as a friend. Do you ever see people as jigsaw puzzles to be solved in order to understand them? I did understand the Napoleon reference. (g)

Was surfing from my news page and found this link. I see it as spiritual and educational. You may want to set aside some time for takes a while to experience it fully.

Do you like Sinead O'Conner? Enya? Sarah McLaughlin?


8:24 AM  
Blogger jsd said...

Oh my, I now need to go get me some carry out tex-mex, rent some Julie Christie and top it off with ice cream :)

9:06 AM  
Blogger murat11 said...

Lee: I'll definitely check out the web site. Never a big fan of Sinead in her heyday, even though I always thought she had one of the purest voices around: however, "You Made Me the Thief of Your Heart" is easily one of the twenty songs on my Top Five list. Went through an Enya phase with Shepherd Moon: liked her sister Maire Brennan, too, with and without Clannad. Sarah M., not so much.

jsd: Easy to find JC and vanilla: I'm not sure there are any true cheese enchiladas to be found in SA. Heresy, I know.


5:42 PM  
Blogger Lee said...

Thanks Murat. I'm not as up on Sinead as I'd like to be. I just got her "I do not want what I have not got" CD and bought it specifically for the song "Nothing Compares 2 U." Which album is "You Made Me the Thief of Your Heart" on? Other recent additions to my music collection are Sarah McLaughlin's Surfacing and Afterglow CDs. I first met her through her Fumbling Towards Ecstasy. I tend towards music that sets moods for me. Thus I have a lot of soothing New Age stuff, instrumentals and many singers that do slow emotion filled numbers. I also have the "need for energy" group that kicks my adrenalin up and makes me feel like moving and helps me get things done. I wake to Santana's Supernatural, dance to N'Sync and pray to Amy Grant. I work on school assignments to Obsidian Butterfly.

Hope & Joy!

10:24 AM  
Blogger murat11 said...

Lee: "You Made Me the Thief" is on Sinead's extravagantly named farewell album "She Who Dwells in the Secret Place of the Most High Shall Abide Under the Shadow of the Almighty," but I first heard it over the closing credits of the film In the Name of the Father, which is one glorious powderkeg of a movie, with Daniel Day-Lewis, Emma Thompson, and Pete Postlethwaite. One of the writers of "You Made Me" was Bono, I believe. A haunting song, sung with Sinead's stunningly haunting / wrenching and remarkably phrased voice.

11:02 AM  

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