Cloister Commentary, Day 274: Leeks, Parsnips, Cannellini Beans

We took a walk in the morning, which turned out to be somewhat abortive, as the neighbor’s cat enthusiastically joined us for half of it, then–because someone had her dog unleashed–freaked out, so we picked her up and walked back home. At least we got out of the house.

Nicole created a new crockpot dish, a vegetable stew with lots of good stuff including leeks and parsnips, that was fan-damn-tastic! The inspiration was via Betty Crocker, but she improvised, then added some cannellini beans for good measure after we ate to cook in for an hour or so. She also made a low-salt, high-garlic hummus that we pretty much finished off. As Bob Dylan once sang, “I can’t help it / If I’m lucky!”

In the afternoon, we spun a couple great records: the Beasties’ Paul’s Boutique and Clifton Chenier and His Red Hot Louisiana Band. That’s some good sh*t right there.

Evening (Son of Movie Night): Surprisingly strong Ian Dury biopic (Sex & Drugs & Rock and Roll), final, unsurprisingly powerful and moving installment of Small Axe (“Education”)–do yourself a favor and watch that, ok?

Streaming for Strivers:

Man vs. self musical conflict?

Cloister Commentary, Day 36: Im-ma-TOOR

Nicole and I felt a bit exhilarated yesterday. We had behaved very dutifully during the week while enduring some considerable neighborhood (and personal) stress, and we knew the payoff was going to be Mexican food, margaritas…and BEASTIE BOYS SHOW on Apple TV +! So we stayed focused ’til 4 pm (grocery run, disinfecting, school work, reading, and projects), when we broke out the margaritas and participated in a Zoom happy hour with some of Nicole‘s comrades. The exhilaration may have caused me to engage too frequently and too loosely, and for that I apologize–I’m rusty in the society of more than two.

So how was BEASTIE BOYS SHOW? Weird. Rather than being a documentary, it’s more of a two-man performance in front of a documentary. We’d read the very fun BEASTIE BOYS BOOK, to which the movie is a companion, so we didn’t really need the nutshelling Mike D and Ad Rock were doing, which felt strained anyway, especially when they were having to explain the more complicated aspects of their career. We did need the vintage photos and footage from their rise that were projected on the venue’s massive screen, but ultimately we just wanted to see that.

Halfway through, we were inspired to break out our old VHS of Licensed to Ill-era videos, which we enjoyed much more BUT which hasn’t ever been issued in another form, for pretty obvious reasons arising from the backstage (and occasionally onstage) footage. Suffice it to say it is laced with often-inspired–and often-neglible–“im-ma-TOOR-ity.” “Boys will be boys” falls short.

VHS Cover

We returned to the movie just as the Check Your Head process had begun (we saw them live on the first show of that tour), but couldn’t quite stick with it to the end. Partially that was due to the leeching out of excitement that is the bane of so many career stories when they hit the subject’s “ma-TOOR” period; partially it was us getting up at 4, failing to get a nap in, and…oh yes…the margaritas. I’d give the thing a B / B+, but we haven’t quite finished it, and I think folks who haven’t read the book might like it much more than we have. It did beat Ozark.

Streaming for Shut-Ins:

The model. Also, great motivating music for folks struggling in this mess.