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John Benditt in conversation with Nancy Pearl - University Bookstore Wednesday, February 25th, 7:00pm
Emma Komlos-Hrobsky (Assistant Editor, Tin House Magazine): It’s dark and wet and freezing in New York right now. I want to be in California. I also, evidently, want to be in an outlaw motorcycle gang. I have been marathoning old episodes of Sons of Anarchy, my vice-iest vice since I was addicted to Californication, probably for similar reasons. I’m three seasons and about 12 separate gang wars, 8 inside jobs, 70 incidents of unfortunate collateral damage, and a baby-napping in so far. I hear an Ashley Tisdale cameo as a prostitute is still to come. All this, plus the sunny hills of northern CA!
Heather Hartley (Paris Editor, Tin House): I’ve been tuning into Serge Gainsbourg these past weeks, songs that are bluesy and haunting and full of a particular swing. Celebrated and prolific singer, songwriter, poet, actor and director, Gainsbourg wrote the duet, “Je t’aime . . . moi non plus” in 1967 for his girlfriend, superstar Brigitte Bardot, but the version that became temendously famous was the one sung with the inimitable Jane Birkin, Gainsbourg’s companion and muse and paramour for many years in the 1970s. The video for “Je t’aime . . . moi non plus” is classic Parisian cool and the song is a swoon-inducing ballad that makes the winter day a little bit brighter, less bitter cold.
Thomas Ross (Editorial Assistant, Tin House): I’m hooked on Nic Pizzolato’s new HBO’s anthology show True Detective. The cinematography and direction make Louisiana look gorgeous and threatening (That burnt-out church, right? Right?), and the music is the scariest kind of blues. Matthew McConaughey’s dark, depressed, deeply cynical Rustin “Rust” Cohle lets monologues as dark and slow as tar pour out of his mouth, and although I always want to agree with him, I’m often glad that Woody Harrelson’s Marty Hart is there to call him on his bullshit. It manages to undercut the show’s pretentiousness, which is good, because it’s toeing that line in almost every scene. I’m still not convinced that it’s all going to come together, but it’s an anthology show, so it’s nice to at least know the season will be self-contained. Even if it ends up being half fluff, at least it’s pretty, and even if it was just the scenes of Matthew McConaughey drinking a sixer of Lone Star in a “Big Hug Mug” koozie, during a police interview for an hour every week, I’d watch it.
Jakob Vala (Graphic Designer, Tin House): I just got back from a family vacation where a sort of Iron Chef law was established (a theme ingredient was chosen for every dinner). Each night, I took my place behind the bar and concocted a cocktail to match. To complicate matters, I was also tasked with creating a virgin version for my pregnant cousin, for whom the following drink is named. It’s perfect paired with mango salsa and ahi (preferably seared).
3ish ounces Coconut Rum (2 ounces if you’re a lightweight)
2ish ounces Mango (puréed)
1 ounce Fresh Lime Juice (about 1 Lime)
Stir together Rum, Mango, and Lime Juice. Pour into a stemmed glass (I like snifters because of Rear Window). Top with Soda.
(For Virgins, combine 4 ounces Mango, 1 ounce Lime Juice, and 1 ounce Simple Syrup. Top with Soda.