Sunday, December 4, 2011

Matthew Barney meets AvP

On Friday, Andy and I went to see a dance performance by Shen Wei's dance company. It was mind-blowing. Since the Park Avenue Armory's arts performances are pretty much obligated to include something amusingly high-concept, the third piece allowed audience members to walk among the dancers (who were mostly naked, so don't bring the kids unless you deem them mature enough to appreciate topless male and female dancers rolling around in paint*) and appreciate the union of technology and humanity** that is going to be driving Shen Wei's next artistic phase, or so the program says. In any case, the second piece, Folding, was by far my favorite. Like I said, mind-blowing. You can watch several YouTube performances, like this one. However, the most amazing piece also included what I found to be the performance's only perceptible-to-a-non-dancer-or-dance-aficionado flaw: very silly headgear. Andy likened the head coverings to squash; I imagined them as what would happen if Matthew Barney remade Alien versus Predator. They were downright distracting from the ridiculous choreography.

Other note (and skip this one if you have a weak stomach): I accompanied three of my classmates this morning in shadowing an autopsy at the medical examiner's office. Aside from experiencing fresh organs, substantial amounts of blood, and a man whose long bones had been harvested for grafts***, I noted that of the cadavers we encountered, nobody was older than 46, and nobody's BMI was anywhere near normal. This stands in stark contrast to the quite elderly, usually practically cachectic cadavers in the anatomy lab. Hmm.

Now, food! Two days' worth to blog about today:

Brown sushi rice with seared tempeh and a marinated Asian vegetable salad****.

Farmhouse vegetable soup from Cook's Illustrated, with whole-wheat bread.

In deference to Cook's Illustrated, I'm not going to post the recipe. They do ridiculous things like use forty-five pounds of ground meat to find the absolute perfect meatloaf recipe. For this recipe, the tester made at least ten varieties of vegetable soup to find the perfect balance of umami and nuttiness and fatty deliciousness (lemon-thyme butter to finish is the secret!). For that, I'll pay for a subscription.

One note, though: the recipe calls for cabbage and parsley. I forgot to buy both, so I used kale. It's a cabbage relative, and it's got that fresh tang of parsley. Other than that: totally faithful to the brilliance that is this soup.

*It's artistic, not voyeuristic, I swear to you.
**Including projected T1-weighted cranial MRIs!
***Have you ever bent someone's boneless arm? No? Never thought I would, either.
****I found a massive daikon for a dollar. And layed the smackdown on a woman about my age who tried to insist that the watermelon radish I was teaching Andy about was not, in fact, a radish. Score.

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