Eva sent me the link to the website for, The Garden, which won best documentary at SilverDocs this year. If you missed the movie at SilverDocs this year, you can catch it November 19th when it will be screened in DC as part of a fundraiser for the 7th Street Garden Project.

About the film:

The fourteen-acre community garden at 41st and Alameda in South Central Los Angeles is the largest of its kind in the United States. Started as a form of healing after the devastating L.A. riots in 1992, the South Central Farmers have since created a miracle in one of the country’s most blighted neighborhoods. Growing their own food. Feeding their families. Creating a community.

But now, bulldozers are poised to level their 14-acre oasis.

The Garden follows the plight of the farmers, from the tilled soil of this urban farm to the polished marble of City Hall. Mostly immigrants from Latin America, from countries where they feared for their lives if they were to speak out, we watch them organize, fight back, and demand answers:

Why was the land sold to a wealthy developer for millions less than fair-market value? Why was the transaction done in a closed-door session of the LA City Council? Why has it never been made public?

And the powers-that-be have the same response: “The garden is wonderful, but there is nothing more we can do.”

If everyone told you nothing more could be done, would you give up?

About the fundraiser (from the 7th Street Garden website):

Screening at the Goethe Theater (812 7th Street, NW).
Doors 6pm.
Film Starts 6:30pm.
Seasonal foods and drinks will be served.

Tickets $20 each (though more is appreciated). Available at the door OR online at America the Beautiful Fund’s web site. **If buying online you must write in the Comment box that you are purchasing tickets for The Garden movie.**

Sounds like great event, I hope to be there.

So far, Husband has missed every movie in the Halloween marathon. He was sad to miss the Frankenstein fest so I put on Son of Frankenstein so he could catch up – it’s his favorite of the post Bride-movies and all. (The things we do for love). While he watched, I looked up the annoying kid, Donnie Dunagan, to see if he ever worked again. Would you believe he was the voice of Bambi? After that – a lengthy career in the Marine Corps.

At one hour and 40 minutes, Son is, in Husband’s words, “a bit of a trial.” I wandered off for about 30 minutes and baked pumpkin cupcakes. I’m so tired I didn’t bother to make any frosting. They came out quite well, regardless. I didn’t pay attention to the cupcake liners I bought, I just grabbed the last package on the shelf. They seem to be comedy cupcake liners, they’re twice as tall as normal ones. When I first put them into the pan I thought I’d grabbed an extra-shallow pan from the cabinet. We have a lot of pans, and, like I said, I’m really tired.

After we ate cupcakes, we forged ahead to the mercifully shorter Ghost of Frankenstein. Bela returns as Ygor, who you only thought died at the end of Son. At the end of Son, the Monster had been thrown into the sulfur pits. At the beginning of Ghost, he’s accidentally freed. All that time encased in sulfur was good for the Monster’s wardrobe. In Son he shuffled around in some of sort of nasty fleece vest, but when he’s freed from the sulfur he’s wearing the ill-fitting jacket from the first two films.

Just don’t think too much about these things, they’ll make your brain hurt.

Our – if by “our” you mean “my” – goal tonight is to get through Frankenstein Meets the Wolfman, but I suspect we’ll be throwing in the towel after the first two. Besides, Ben Affleck is supposed to be playing Keith Olbermann tonight on Saturday Night Live and I’d like to catch that before I lose consciousness. We’ll see….

I don’t have much to say about our jaunt over to the hipster-infested Hamiltonian Gallery opening . It was a worthy outing, though we didn’t stay long. It was nice to go to an opening where we know maybe 10% of the crowd, 15% tops. The show was packed, which was great, but it was hard to see the art so I don’t have much to say about it right now. I’d really like to install Nao Matsumoto’s “8” but Husband won’t let me buy it. (Go here and click on the thumbnails of the big yellow and black insect heads in the sculpture section, you can’t miss them). We chatted briefly with the artist, who seemed like a nice guy. It was also nice to chat with an artist who didn’t use the conversation as an opportunity to tell me everything that’s wrong with the DC art scene and then stand there staring at me as though I could snap my fingers and fix it with my magic powers. OK, I could snap my fingers and fix it, I just choose not to. I think I’ll say that next time the opportunity arises.

So, instead of discussing the art I didn’t really see, I’ll mention something amusing that happened recently. Husband was gone for a week and, not an hour after I put him on the plane, I got the first phone call from one of our friends making sure I had things to eat in the house. I probably got two to three calls a day from people making sure I was eating. We have very nice friends. Polite ones, as well, ’cause lets be real – I’m not exactly going to waste away to nothing in a week. I’m apparently the human equivalent of Paris Hilton’s chihuahua. I just sit around looking adorable and waiting for food to appear before me. Most of the time, it works. Now if you’ll pardon me, dinner just appeared before me…

Husband has been reading the brilliant Jeffrey Steingarten’s It Must Have Been Something I Ate.

Steingarten has a labrador retriever named Sky King. When I learned this, I told Husband that I’ve always wanted a German Shepherd just so I could name him (or her) Sky King.

After more discussion, Husband explained to me that the original Sky King was a cowboy who flew an airplane. He was not a dog.

Lassie: dog.
Rin Tin Tin: dog.
Sky King: cowboy.

I have no idea why I always thought Sky King was a dog. Really, when you think about it, the name makes no sense whatsoever for a dog, since dogs don’t actually fly. Not without assistance, anyway.

Husband gently suggested that maybe it was common to mix up the concepts of, say, Rin Tin Tin and Sky King, sort of like how people in the 70s, having only heard their music, confused Diana Ross and Donna Summer. It was a nice try, but I doubt very much that anyone else had trouble distinguishing a cowboy action hero who flew a plane with…a dog.

I’d blame the drugs I’m on, but to be honest I’ve thought Sky King was a dog my entire life – or at least as far back as I can remember, so that excuse holds no water.

Speaking of drugs, I’m rather nauseated today so I’m going back to bed. Reviews of the many, many delightful documentaries I’ve been watching when I feel up to it.

In the mean time, um, keep watching the skies….

I’m allergic to shrimp. Nevertheless, I’ve been obsessed with Giant Shrimp Day ever since Karen brought a Long John Silver’s press release to my attention:

Long John Silver’s President Steve Davis sent a personal letter to NASA Administrator Sean O’Keefe, congratulating NASA on their discovery.

“We’ve been following the Mars Exploration project since the beginning,” Davis wrote, “and we’ve been anxiously awaiting word of evidence of an ocean on Mars. The rovers have been extremely busy since they arrived on Mars – they’ve had ‘plenty of things on their plate.’ Now, with the discovery of ocean water, America can add one more thing to its plate – free Giant Shrimp.”

Davis ended the letter by writing, “This is one small step for man, and one giant leap for Giant Shrimp.” He also again expressed interest in Long John Silver’s becoming the first seafood restaurant on Mars.

Are the actual restaurants as surreal and creepy as the website? I refer you to the Pirate Fun page as evidence.

My hands are killing me today, so that’s all you get. I’ve been working on some pretty amazing stuff though, so keep checking back for details. You won’t want to miss it!

From BABES (the bay area bug eating society) to the food insects newsletter, there’s more interest than ever in eating insects. A recent wired article noted:

Crickets do not taste like chicken.

But saute them with a little olive oil and some spices and they are surprisingly edible, with a nice crunch and a subtle nut flavor. Their little legs do tend to get stuck between your teeth, though.

[read the rest of “The Scorpions Taste Kinda Fishy” at wired.com]

With Cicada Brood X soon to descend, er, ascend on DC you just know that this site is going to be extra buggy for a while.

Hey, even I get bored with the snakehead sometimes.

I have got to get the archives fixed soon, this would have been a perfect post to link back to the Sugar-Fried Crickets post.

Amidst all the hooha about curry being good for your brain, many articles, even in allegedly reputable sources such as webMD misidentified Curcuma Longa as “cumin” or “curry” rather than

I mention this because the rest of you are able to glance at such things and move on with your life. I live with a Food Anthropologist and this is the kind of thing that makes him INSANE.

He wandered around the house muttering under his breath about the yuckiness of so-called curry powder and could periodically be heard saying things like, “They want curry for their brains? I’ve got curry for their brains! I have recipes for brain curry! Lots of them!”

He’s promised to blog about it in great detail in the near future – the actual composition of various curries, not how to cook brains. I hope. You never know. Husband is a strange, strange boy.

Yeah, so, as you can see, the excitement here is non-stop.

Tune in Tomorrow, when I will babble about the 1st season of Lost in Space on DVD and the mysteries of the Debby the Monkey character.

I don’t even know why this was buried in my subconscious, but yesterday I was with some friends and the memory of a failed McDonald’s campaign popped into my head. Remember the whole Arch Deluxe/McLean fiasco? This was where they tried to rebrand Ronald as a cool grownup and ended up portraying him like a creepy uncle you wouldn’t want to leave the kids with. That’s not the troubling memory that popped into my head, though.

No, I was remembering that they also tried to engineer a dance craze. I really hoped it was my imagination playing tricks on me. At first, anyway. Then it occurred to me that this was a bizarre thing to imagine. You can imagine my combined relief and dismay when I discovered it was real.

According to a September 26, 1996 press release:

New McDonald’s Product Roll-Out

McDonald’s is rolling out 3 new products on Sept 26 at noon Pacific time, 9am EST. It is not clear how extensive this hoopla is, but it appears to be another nationwide event, at least in major cities, with a live satellite feed from Chicago headquarters being sent to the local sites. To find out if there is an event in your area, call a local McD. The local paper paper may have gotten a press release about it if they remember it. What follows is a surreal promotional letter that was sent to newspapers in the San Diego USA area by a regional McD office.

McDonald’s Corporation
4370 La Jolla Village Dr SW 800
San Diego CA 92122
Dear (Newspaper editor):

On Sept 26, McDonald’s will make an important announcement that just may have adults across America singing and dancing and we would like you to be among the first to know why.

What, you ask, could McDonald’s say that will make you sing and dance? The answer is the nationwide simultaneous launch of 3 new “Deluxe” sandwiches – all of which, along with the recently introduced Arch Deluxe – comprise McDonald’s new Deluxe Menu.

Imagine larger, tastier, deluxe versions of McDonald’s flagship products – the McChicken, Grilled Chicken, and Fillet-o-Fish sandwiches.

Not singing and dancing yet? You will. Be the first to see the hot, new dance craze soon to hit the streets, clubs and parties of America – the Deluxe Line Dance.

It’s not the Macarena or the Electric Slide. It’s McDonald’s own contemporary fandango, created by world renowned coreographer Debbie Allen (from the movie Fame), to get people grooving to the new Deluxe line Menu at McDonald’s.

The Deluxe Line Dance will be performed by a chorus of San Diego Charger Girls, Mesa College Dancers, and of course Ronald McDonald to a new “living” jingle as memorable as the famed “Two all beef patties, special…” I bet you can finish the rest (Don’t look now but you’re probably singing)

Please accept our invitation.

* Be our guest for an elegant, gourmet mcDonald’s lunch that you’ll have to dee and taste to believe.
* Be the first to see The Deluxe Line Dance and hear mcDonald’s new jingle.
* Watch the stellite feed of McDonald’s national launch event in Chicago including a performance by the Village People on the IU-Jumbotron screen.
* Talk with McDonald’s owner/operators about McDonald’s continued commitment to adult taste preferences and serving delicious, quality food.
The event will take place Thursday Sept 26 from noon to 1:15pm at the Incredible Universe located at 98 Stonecrest Blbd at I-15 and Aero Drive San Diego, Please RSVP to Laura Janikas at 296-0605 by 5 pm Thursday Sept 20


Miguel Mendez’s Dance Academy of Salsa notes that n September, 1996, Miguel was contracted by McDonald’s Hispanic advertising and promotional agency to learn, teach, and perform, the McDonald’s Arch Deluxe line dance, to promote the new line of McDonalds Deluxe sandwiches.