Archives for posts with tag: seinfeld

Seinfeld is one of the few things in life that stays as funny as it was. I told some people at a dinner party the other night (they’re Martians, never watched) about the Costco episode, where Kramer buys thirty-five 10 lb. cans of Beef-a-reeno and then has to figure out what to do with it in his tiny New York City apartment. Not to make spoilers, even at this late date, but he feeds some to one of New York City’s long-suffering Central Park carriage horses. Hijinx ensue. I’m a sucker for a good fart joke and so was everybody at the dinner table. Such a good guest am I!

My Beef-a-reeno story isn’t half as funny. Absolutely gobsmacked on the price for a five pound bag of spinach, on one of my early, innocent and unguarded tours of Costco, I paid like a dollar for it and considered myself slick. Got it home and realized it would make three gigantic spinach lasagnas, the cost of cheese and other groceries for which approached $100, and which took me like three days including shopping at the other stores, schlepping, parking, chopping, making bechamel, etc.etc. etc.. It was a Trojan horse bargain, like one of those Martha Stewart peasant food recipes — the minestrone from scratch — which cost $100. First catch your cow, and butcher off the shanks….

Strategies for the successful negotiation of Costco include having cleared a place to store the 24-roll whopper-een-o pack of toilet paper. When I lived in an efficiency apartment, I stacked them in a decorative pyramid in a cute galvanized window box in the bathroom. As I had an under-the-counter refrigerator, the three frozen spinach lasagnas would not have fit. Clearing off a shelf in my walk-in closet made space for the one-gallon size of organic dish detergent, and I pretty much still avoid the five-pound bags of carb. What no human can do without from Costco, however, is the jalapeno popper and Amy’s bite-sized quiche hors d’oeuvres. People love them and don’t know you didn’t make them. I tell them I got them at Costco, along with the toilet paper pyramid.

I went to Costco the other day and successfully resisted a mouthwatering five-pound bag of pita chips, a half gallon of cashews, three pounds of Brussels sprouts, two quarts of blueberries and so on. I was proud of myself. I cleared space for, and achieved the bargains I needed — extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, organic canned tomatoes and scored some nummies too — not least half a dozen Comice pears, nowhere else in Macondo to be found, and  a side of wild caught, not farmed, salmon, for $8.99 a pound, as compared to $12 or $13 frozen at Albertson’s. But I had to buy a huge slab, nearly three pounds worth, and I decided it would be my meat for the month. How to put it up?

Comice pear, the juiciest and most delicious of all, third from right.

I made fish sticks. I love fish sticks. I want to see how well they freeze.

Here’s the recipe I used. Typically for a Costco recipe, I had to go to the hippie-dippie grocery store for cage free eggs to make them; already had panko crumbs from the Asian market.

I’m going to have my salmon goujon-a-reenos with that five-pound bag of Costco spinach — ready for it, this time — creamed with an elegant veloute sauce of evaporated milk and chicken bouillion cubes, well-nutmegged, with rice with currants and almonds. The leftovers will be huge and Ima freeze ’em.

Watched Girls last night.

It reminded me of nothing so much as Larry David. The ultimately repellent characters of Seinfeld and the entirely repellent character of Curb Your Enthusiasm.

As I am very easily entertained, I thought I’d dash my response in here and then Google it. I was chuffed to find George Packer, for example, a straight-arrow reporter of apocalypse, backing me up on the creepy frivolity of Mad Men, if not the very nearly pornographic use of anachronism. I think the falling man credits approach obscenity. Aaaaaaaaaaaanyway, let’s see who thinks Lena Dunham is Larry David.

Watch this space.

Apparently there’s a Conan ep with David and Dunham. Let’s see if they acknowledge one another.

Nope, David is as repellent as ever, touting a neo-Three Stooges movie — Stooges a landmark abyss between the sexes, men loving them and women finding them disgusting. Go, Lare.

Dunham appears at about 30.12, can’t get it to stream for me yet.

The recent face-off in New York magazine of the best TV shows of the last 25 years had the Sopranos and Mad Men and The Wire coming down to the wire, hehehe, and serious scholars of TV writing about it. (The fans had their own massively gendered version of the playoffs, which, like the fans’ list of the best 100 non-fiction books of the last 25 years was deeply wack. The fans drama derby had Breaking Bad vs. Buffy as finalists, and Breaking Bad won.)

Buffy is the only non-criminal among them. Sort of. And while the Sopranos, of which I’m resuming my study after a three-year hiatus, has something deeply frivolous about it, interspersed with excellent writing on character development, pissing corpses and closeups of septic wounds, Mad Men is even more frivolous and also pernicious. When I finally grokked the whole falling man thing, I fell out, and will have to think about this some more. All of them, except Don Draper, are vigilantes of the subway vigilante Bernard Goetz ilk — the libertarians’ wet dream. Make my day!

But the repellent hero — from the Larry David/Seinfeld character, through Tony Soprano, Don Draper, Walter White, and now Lena Dunham (she directs! she creates! she writes! she stars! she takes her clothes off! she grifts her parents! she sleeps with nasty men!) — has held sway now for 25 years. Was it Puck on MTV’s Real World who led the way, through Punk’d and Jackass to Don Draper and the lads? Or was it Maj. Nelson and all of the characters ever played by Larry Hagman?

I have to think about the persistence other repellent heroes in American life: Ishmael, Hester Prynne, Nick Caraway et al., back to the Aristotelian value that the devil has all the good lines.

But for this cluster of amazingly violent television shows, I’m blaming Gen X, their Prozac, their nihilism, their ironies.

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