Archive for November 17th, 2010

Why I dislike pop music

While I’m not a hipster (unless they’re also scruffy, and wear pajamas most of the time), I definitely listen to hipster music, aka “Pitchfork mandates”.

2 years ago I was a normal middle-aged geek, listening mostly to pop (e.g. Rihanna), and adult alternative rock (e.g. The Killers). Amidst the copyright wars I decided to search online for legal free indie music, in addition to my iTunes purchases. What I found instead was a whole new world of sound. A different way of thinking and appreciating music. I resisted at first, discarding such music as unmelodious and not fun, but I came around, and “got it.”

Then, I started to think about what it is that makes pop hits feel so cheesy, old style, and kits. Formulaic, easily anticipated music constructs was one point, but there was something else too that I couldn’t pinpoint at first. A few days ago I finally realized what was it: it’s the forceful nature of pop singing.

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The Walking Dead

The TV cable channel AMC recently broadcasted “The Walking Dead”, a TV show about zombies. I personally dislike zombie stories, they’re just not my cup of coffee. However, I can’t say enough about how well-shot and well-scripted this show is. The show is both episodic and serialized, having an almost perfect balance between the two. And being on cable, it doesn’t have to pay respect to FCC’s censorship, something that makes networked shows feel so formulaic and silly. The quality of AMC’s work is such, that I continued watching all its three episodes so far, even if I have a genuine dislike for zombies. Highly recommended.

Papaya with Passion Fruit

We spent 10 beautiful days in Maui, Hawaii, last week. A local gave us a tip regarding how to eat papaya or passion fruit in a way that maximizes the taste of both fruits. See, papaya alone is pretty sweet but bland, while passion fruit alone is somewhat bitter. Combining the two it made for a perfect dessert.

Ingredients (for 2)
* One papaya (must be yellow and a bit soft outside)
* One passion fruit (must be all wrinkly outside)

Execution
1. Cut the papaya in two, lengthwise. Using a spoon, scrape to remove its seeds. Set the seeds aside (do not discard).
2. Cut the passion fruit in two using a teethy knife. Using the spoon, put half of the passion fruit’s seeds in the one half of the papaya, and the other half on the other half of the papaya.
3. Place the papayas in two seperate plates, and enjoy, scraping the papaya with a spoon and eating at the same time some of the passion fruit’s seeds too! Yummy!

4. [Optional] Wash the papaya seeds, place on a baking sheet, and leave out to dry in the sun for a day. You can then use an old pepper grinder to grind papaya seeds on your recipes. Papaya seeds are an excellent replacement for fresh black pepper.