Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Food and Clothing and More Sex

raclette 3
Originally uploaded by mygothlaundry
That in the picture right there is a nifty thing called a raclette. My friends Jen and Kyle discovered them in Europe and promptly bought one when they got back to Asheville. Then they threw a raclette party to which I was happily invited. The raclette, of which I had never previously heard, is wonderful. The stone piece heats up on both sides; what you cannot really see in this picture are the little slots for little pans under the stone. You put bread and cheese in the pans and then top them with the grilled veggies, or, well, go wild with pickles and potatos and all manner of other lovely bits and pieces of good things to eat. It was extremely fun and very delicious and if I ever need to buy another wedding present, this is going to be it.

That's the food part; for the clothing part, I must report that I think I want my entire wardrobe to be made of corduroy. I have somehow acquired several pairs of corduroy pants and a couple corduroy skirts as well as the screamingly eighties giant corduroy shirt I have had for many years and I think I need more, like, full on corduroy! Corduroy dress! Corduroy underwear! It's comfortable and great looking and if you're really really bored you can run your hands surreptitiously over your corduroy clad legs and space out on the strange serrated texture. Conversely, you can pick small threads out of it ad nauseam while the teacher drones on and on about Latin verbs or something. Yes, the last time I wore this much corduroy was seventh grade; how did you guess? I have also long been partial to men in corduroy sport coats. I know they're supposed to be some kind of fashion faux pas but I think they are awesome if just for the aforementioned strokability factor. So, corduroy: yes.

Sex! I've been thinking about my post from yesterday and the whole nature of celebrity in our culture and crushes on celebrities and just how it is that everyone, even my ex-husband, who was so tuned out of popular culture that I referred to him more than once as the Iceman, has at least one celebrity crush. (Chrissie Hynde.) Often these begin in adolescence and never quite go away (my love for Nicolas Cage began with Valley Girl and has somehow managed to survive Ghost Rider (eeeeyaaargh!) and those unbelievably terrible National Treasure movies.) I theorize that the whole idea of the crush began with the romantics - didn't everyone in 1830 have a tremendous crush on Byron? - but I wonder idly if maybe they are even older and then I wonder what need it is that they fulfill.

And then I think it must be awkward to be the recipient of a crush - I have actually myself been this and it is kind of awkward. Flattering, but awkward, because you just sort of never know what to do. Does Johnny Depp feel weird about all the women in the world - me included - who dream about him? I remember once running into Richard Butler from the Psychedelic Furs at a bar in NYC with my old boyfriend. He was beside himself with one of those heterosexual man crushes: he really liked the Furs. "I just want to say one thing to him," he said to me, "Do you know how many times I've had sex to the sound of your voice?"

It's kind of a strange commentary on our brains, I think, that we create these perfect people in our heads, based on how they look in (heavily edited) photos and on our TV screens and then fix on them as if they were really our friends or lovers. They're just people but somehow, in our celebrity obsessed culture, they seem like more. Maybe we are god deprived and need Olympians to gawk at. Maybe we just like to gawk. Gods know I do and I know and care less about celebrities than anyone I know - except my ex-husband.

Kurt Vonnegut wrote in some book or another - I am heavily paraphrasing from memory, here, being too lazy to look any of it up - that the problem with the world was that people had moved beyond living in small villages. People need storytellers, he said, and painters and poets and musicians and, I will add, photographers and film makers and, oh I don't know, theremin players. Enough of each of these people are born to fulfill the needs of a village, but unfortunately, we all want the same ones, and, like the Highlander, only one can survive and make it to the top. Well, by one I mean thousands, given the population of the planet, but it's still far less than the one to twenty or so ratio that Kurt was suggesting. He felt that this made the village artist types who never got to the top exactly unhappy and I think he's right. We look beyond the local for our fantasies when instead perhaps we should look around the neighborhood and to reality. Or not. I have no idea where I'm going with this, by the way, is that apparent yet?

Therefore, I leave you with this summing up: Raclettes, yes! Corduroy, yes! Johnny Depp, yes! Recent Nic Cage movies, no!

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