April 07, 2007

This Week's Line

This Week's Vegas Moment: Chris Cornell plays Fremont Street
The vocals could've been mixed up higher, but Chris still put on a pretty good show. Fremont Street must be a great place to play--even if you're displeased with your audience (like those dipshits who were waiting for Big & Rich, as the evening’s bill took a turn for the incongruous), you can always play to the luminous multicolored cascades of neon right at your eye level. Fade into hazy fantasies of Diamonds Are Forever and next thing you know, you're halfway through the set. Of course, another reason I found this enjoyable is that it gladdens me to gaze upon Chris Cornell. He's up there all tall and lanky and sideburned and cheekboned and moody and causin' drama and he's just my type. Although, while it was nice to see him projected supersize on the Fremont Street videoroof, it did remind me of Hunter S. Thompson's 200-foot tall gibbering drunkard. Then again part of what was good and what was bad about all of this was that my car died the day before, so I had to take the bus and, due to the Las Vegas Grand Prix, several square blocks of Downtown were a Habitrail of chainlink fences and traffic barriers, causing a mere turn from Fremont north onto Third required two blocks' advance planning. I could also stop in here to let forth with a vicious, jibbering tirade about what they've done to the Binion's Sportsbook that would appall both Janice Dickinson and Dick Cheney, but I'll leave that for another day...

Runner-Up Vegas Moment: Viva Las Vegas
Not only was it Grand Prix Weekend, but it was Viva Las Vegas weekend, packing the bars and tables of the Gold Coast with pompadours of all kinds (although it's too bad they can't do this at the Cannery). Unfortunately, I was too broke to shop, but that was probably a good thing, as I found far too many parasols and cigarette cases and $200 dresses I would’ve been tempted to waste money and closet space on. Still, Viva is always a lot of fun, although it does remind oen of how disturbingly identical the rockabilly crowd is—if you were ever being sought by the police, all you’d have to do is dress up as Ricky Nelson and you could hide out here all weekend.

This Week's Link to Brilliance: Well, you'll just have to click and find out. I assure you, you will not be disappointed. Especially if you like David Lee Roth. Or cocaine.

This Week's Netflix: Blood and Black Lace
Stylistically, Blood and Black Lace has it all--as any movie where a mad killer cuts a swath of gore and fabulousness through an Italian fashion house should. There's mod-glam fashions, slick interiors, Jiffy-Pop hairdos and doe-eyeliner worthy of Valley of the Dolls—and, if you watch it with the from-Italian dubbing, the dialogue is just as stilted ands the acting just as awkward. Of course, that would also involve Neely, Anne and Jennifer meeting bloody death at the hands of a mysterious slasher with costume and maquillage still intact. (Wait--considering that Jennifer was played by Sharon Tate, I guess that happened after all….) Still, from Blood and Black Lace's fabulous opening, introducing each of the stars in a glamorous vignette posing to the uber-hip Carlo Rusticelli soundtrack, you know you’re in for a very aesthetically pleasing ride. Many of my friends, whose taste in horror tends to run more toward Saw or at least Friday the 13th, don’t get my fondness for giallo flicks, but I’ll take a quick throat-slit while flying through the Italian countryside in a Porsche, the blood splashing across Barbara Bouchet’s cream leather pantsuit over the disemboweling of a skanky reality-TV star.

This Week's Quote: Bette Davis
"It has been my experience that one cannot, in any shape or form, depend on human relations for lasting reward. It is only work that truly satisfies."--Bette, 1962

This Week's Taste Sensation: Ben & Jerry's Creme Brulee ice cream
Creme brulee is probably my favorite of all deserts. But, if i can't have that, I'll have ice cream, preferably Ben & Jerry's. Thus, creme brulee ice cream was something i had to try. And it is awesome. Described on the cover as "sweet custard ice cream with a caramelized sugar swirl," it is all that and so much more. The ice cream itself is like a creamier vanilla, with a touch of caramel and maybe butter pecan without the pecans; the "swirl" is some kind of butterscotch-caramel joy... really, the only possible improvement would be a crust that one could crack open, just like on a real brulee. No surprise, then, that i ate the whole pint before i could stop myself and felt vaguely sick afterward. But happy. For the first time in about two weeks, if not a lifetime, truly, truly satisfied and happy.

This Week's $1.99 Film: The Torture Chamber of Dr. Sadism
What a title: The Torture Chamber of Dr. Sadism! (Although it is also known as Castle of the Walking Demon, The Snake Pit and The Blood Demon, among others.) Basically, a fake Hammer film, right down to Christopher Lee. But, given that I love the Hammer studios—or at least their 60s-70s output--more than nearly any other, save perhaps MGM or Twentieth, I’ll take it. While the credits list it as based on “Edgar Allen Poe’s The Pit and the Pendulum,” the more obvious crib is from Dracula—except it’s Count Regula, not Count Dracula and, even though he does say, “the blood is the life,” he needs to bathe in the plasma of Victorian maidens, not drink it. Prologue with cursing, drawing n' quartering and a blatant Black Sunday ripoff, carriage ride through the mountains, superstitious locals, heaving corseted bosoms, tavern with pewter mugs, ancient castle, sinister servants, blah blah blah. The one cool sequence involves a forest of corpse-hung trees, rather like that wood where Morgan hung all her used knights in Excalibur. Instead of Peter Cushing, however, Christopher Lee is battling former Tarzan Lex Barker, who flounces around with his monotone and his jabot and his Kirk Douglas chin. Me, I keep remembering that Barker molested Lana Turner’s daughter when she was but a wee stepchild and, thusly, find myself really hoping that he won’t get out from under that giant swinging axe blade. Lower it slow, Mr. Lee, lower it slow.

This Week’s Recipe: The Ball of Shame
1 c. golden raisins
1 c. currants or dried cranberries
small amount of warm water
1 pkg./8 oz. cream cheese, softened
6 oz./1 1/3 c. shredded cheddar cheese
4 oz. crumbled blue cheese
2 tbsp. brown mustard (pref. the grainy kind)
2 tbsp. chopped fresh chives
1 small clove of garlic, minced
black pepper and/or paprika to taste
chopped pecans
Let all cheeses come to room temperature. while waiting to achieve softened perfection, cover fruity bits with water in a bowl. Let soak 30 minutes to plump, drain and chop into small pieces. In mixing bowl, combine cheeses, mustard, chives, garlic, anything else you want to throw in and mix well (with a hand mixer, not a spoon). Stir in chopped raisins and currants, mix well (with a spoon, not a hand mixer). Serve in a bowl (a different bowl, you want to lick the first bowl) right now as a spread. Or, refrigerate covered for an hour, then shape into roundish form (wrapping it in Saran first helps) and roll in chopped pecans. Eat at least half on Ritz crackers in one sitting and contemplate your enslavement to the ball of shame.

Posted by lissa at April 7, 2007 03:38 AM