Thursday, January 31

Cookies, Balkan Music, Mysteries, Films

A few days ago I made these chocolate chip cookies from Smitten Kitchen. They were delicious, for chocolate chip cookies. A bit sugary and refined for my taste. Still, a triumph in that they were the first cookies I've ever made, baked on my new bakeware bought with the advice of Cook's Illustrated.


We're listening to a new cd that Gordan found, from Beirut. It's American musicians that are strongly influenced by Balkan music. Very enjoyable.

Once of their best songs is Elephant Gun, but I don't love the video. Here's a song that's not quite as magnificent, from their first album "Gulag Orkestar", but has a lovely video:

I've also been listening to the 20s radio network again during the day. A lot of the music is dance music, so it's humorous and lively.


I'm back to reading mysteries. Today I read The Circular Staircase by Mary Roberts Rinehart. I prefer mysteries from the detective's standpoint, so that I'm less invested in the characters, as they each in turn become suspects and potential new victims. I also prefer Simenon's Maigret books with their many deviations into food, drink, neighborhoods and mannerisms. This book was delightful, though, in its own periodity; it sounds as if it is placed not long after the Civil War, which is unusual. It is also satisfyingly detailed and complex.


We also recently watched The Party, a film in which Peter Sellers plays a clumsy Indian actor visiting LA, who accidentally ends up in a producer's party. It takes some time for some of the jokes to be fully built up, but the end result is hilarious. Also, Sellers does quite a good job at playing an Indian, although his makeup doesn't stand up to closeups. This is really worth watching, especially if you could use a laugh.

And of course Almost Famous is a great movie, but since everyone besides us had already seen it, it probably isn't necessary to recommend it.

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