Saturday, November 19, 2011

American Fried Rice: Burma

This week, I missed two days of school to judge an English competition, where adorable 10 year olds retold such stories as "The 3 little pigs" and then drew inspiring morals from them. Wednesday, we had a, well, I can call it a big celebration at school of foreign languages, where the kids baked Chinese and American food, and has the foreigners try some to test the authenticity. One of those dishes was "American Fried Rice." I was not quite sure how to judge a dish I'd never had and behold, there's a history; a teacher's sister, who runs a Thai restaurant in Canada, said it was invented in Thailand to feed American soldiers during the Vietnam war. Who would have thought?
Thursday I taught, and on Friday I took a long journey to Ranong to cross into Burma to get my visa renewed (so I taught 1/5 days this week, which is not atypical). I was told not to take pictures soon after the boat ride, but I got a few good ones in
(Also I tried to clean my camera lens and just made things worse, darn):

Books: Reading Capital slowly, started A Feast for Crows, been a long time since I picked up the series but after I refresh on the characters I just know I'll be burning through it again.

Music: So Chika and Mike D. recently made excellent recommendations, Chika The Weeknd and Mike The Microphones. The Weeknd is R+B so hedonistic it borders on evil; one reviewer said of "Loft Music" that it makes you feel unclean just to put it on. Yeah. And The Microphones: Wow. The Glow Pt. 2 is elegant gentle, and a little heartbreaking, words I don't normally associate with lo-fi, somewhere between virtuosic folk and rock; there a name for the genre? Elliot Smith music, Bon Iver on Skinny Love, Radiohead on No Surprises. Also listening to Bjork's Homogenic, which is pleasantly orchestral and a good running album, and Clipse's Hell Hath No Fury; If I'm going to like Southern cocaine rap, it's going to be this album. Joints like Ride Around Shining are so NOT trying to be a pleasant, easy-listen, which is a lot of what I don't like about gangsta rap: the abrasive lyrics against music no more difficult than George Michael. It makes the whole thing seem unreal, like a childish fantasy (I'm thinking of Rick Ross, 50 Cent, Jay-Z, the Kanye crew who fashion themselves street, which Kanye is self-aware enough not to). Clipse, by contrast, make genuinely menacing and unglorified music, even if the lyrics are aggressive and rude in their own way. I suppose I should clarify that I'm really praising the Neptunes, who do what they do every bit as well as the RZA in his 36 chambers-Supreme Clientele peak.

So two beautiful albums, and two evil. I try to keep a nice balance. Also, Madvillian, Good lord is that talent. I honestly have trouble believing the density of some of Doom's rhymes.

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