Roger Ebert has died. He was a movie critic, an advocate for disability rights, a recovering alcoholic, TV personality, producer, memoirist, novelist, and a regular contributor to the New Yorker’s cartoon caption contest.
He watched and read and wrote extremely broadly—most famously about movies but also about books and politics and religious life in America.
To some, he was known primarily for his comments that video games aren’t art. Ebert was wrong about that, as he was wrong about plenty of other things, too. But his was a broadly lived life of public intellectual engagement, something that we don’t see very often anymore, and something worth celebrating.
This weekend I was lucky enough to celebrate my birthday with a small group of friends, all of whom were wonderful. I blew out an honest to god birthday candle on top of a pile of vegan chocolate chip pancakes. During the day Sunday some American pals skyped me and sang happy birthday, which was just about the sweetest thing ever.
I’m at school right now. On Monday, it was my last session with one of my classes (since I only see them every two weeks and next week easter monday is school-less). They apparently convinced their teacher to organize a going-away party for me. They did not have any real ideas for said party beyond bringing in snacks and NOT having anything like a class. We ended up singing karaoke for an hour.
Yesterday in a road trip lesson some kids couldn’t decide where to go after Miami (every french person ever thinks of Miami as a destination on par with Los Angeles and New York, which I used to find confusing and now just accept. Of course you want to go there. It’s Miami!). They were between driving up the atlantic coast or driving west along the gulf. I told them “Think about it this way: up the Atlantic coast, that’s the land of barbeque. Best barbeque you’ll ever have. Along the gulf coast, they have cajun food. Follow your stomachs.” Then, not knowing how to explain cajun food, I did a google image search. Then every group wanted to know what food their region had. I googled philly cheese steak, various kinds of mexican food, deep fried cheese curds (what is a better regional specialty for the midwest? chicago deep dish?) pecan pie, etc etc etc.
Bread is really easy to make.
I also made tacos yesterday. Plenty of leftovers for tonight.
After my google food fest, one of the students cannily observed that none of this looked healthy.
yes, I said, but it all looks delicious, right?
this is my favorite response of all time: “mais, madame….why is there so much cheddar?”
apparently a french fast food place has used “cheddar” to refer to any melty orange substance they’d like you to believe was cheese.
so they know what it looks like.
Mais, madame….why is there so much cheddar?
because cheddar is awesome.
Jennifer Lawrence smoking a joint in Hawaii (Feb. 27 2013)
mostly i love that she buys the big bottles of wine. when was this?
- 1) 2400 beers means two binders of menus. get something on tap and settle yourself in to browse.
- you can apparently smoke absinthe
- speaking French in belgium is not as helpful as you think.
- Dutch is confusing. Very confusing.
- The hardest part of traveling is learning what books to take when your iphone dies two hours from an outlet
- The second hardest part is figuring out what to do with your hair that will look okay after you’ve slept on it pressed up against a window.
- amsterdam has a lot of bikes.
- young backpackers look like babies. and i do not like being out in a strange city at 5 am nearly as much as I used to.
- you can figure out your way around any major city by finding a bus stop and remembering a couple streets on your way there.
- take screenshots of googlemaps before you leave a wifi hot spot. tourist maps are useless on tiny streets, and those are the streets you wanna be on.
- Supermarkets. Come on. You get one nice meal and two late night snacks per city, but otherwise, supermarkets. save your money for doing things, rather than consuming things.
- it is not awkward to approach a group of backpackers in a public location given: you speak their language, you also look like a backpacker, and you have a good opening line. accidentally glommed onto a lovely group of americans in brussels and then perfected the technique with some irish and french folks along the way.
- I should’ve gotten a rail pass.