Saturday, June 28, 2008

Food Glorious Food (Originally from Oliver!, redone for the movie "Ice Age")

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I am periodically accused of being a beer or wine snob. And when this happens I give my standard answer - it's not worth the calories if it's low quality and sucks. I truly believe that. I'm also self-aware enough to know that I am a food snob. Not that I don't enjoy french fries or a pizza - but they have to be GOOD french fries (you know, real potatoes, a little crunchy but not overcooked, not too thick, etc) or pizza. I admit it. I am a pain in the ass on a road trip.

The other day I picked up a book I love given to me by my friend Allison Wolff - The Intellectual Devotional - and I opened it to a random page, as I often do. Lately the random pages have seemed to be less random. Regardless, that day's page was on Epicureanism. I've of course heard this word and used the awesome Epicurious website to find new recipes many many times. But I didn't know much about the origin of the term. Here's what I learned:

Epicurus (341-271 BC) was a greek philosopher.

Epicurus was fundamentally concerned with ways to be happy. Not just shopping, eating and drinking. He gave us three basic rules for happiness:

1. Have good friends and spend lots of time with them. Live with them if possible.
2. Be free. Loosen as many ties to business and politics as possible. Be self-sufficient.
3. Reflect. A well-lived life is one that is thought about, reflected on, and lived thoughtfully.

As much as the notion of "epicureanism" has an elitist tinge to it, Epicurus himself was a proponent of egalitarianism...even let slaves (yes, darker skinned people) and women (egads!) into his classes. Crazy dude.

The Epicurean crowd divided pleasures into those that were static and those that were kinetic. They believed that sating static pleasures (e.g. having a philosophical conversation) doesn't diminish your desire - it typically makes you want to do more. A kinetic desire, on the other hand (e.g. the desire for food), is satisfied and then you experience the lack of that desire. They warned against these kinetic pleasures because they, in today's vernacular, can lead to addiction. As a result they believed we should live relatively austere and simple lives, with only an occasional luxury.

So I was thinking - I guess when I get called a beer snob, or whatever kind of eating and drinking snob, I could just say, "no, I'm an Epicurean," but then I read one more piece of the story. These guys "lived communally and abstained from political activity." Oh well. Bring on the Bud Light and Dominos.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Only for A Little While (Sugarbeat) and Same Ole River (Sam Bush)

Didn't make it to Telluride this year but I listened to a lot via took some time to find/scan old photos, and made this little show.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Umbrella - Originally Rihanna w/Jay-Z, covered by Marie Digby


When the sun shines, we’ll shine together
Told you I'll be here forever
Said I'll always be a friend
Took an oath I'ma stick it out till the end
Now that it's raining more than ever
Know that we'll still have each other
You can stand under my umbrella
You can stand under my umbrella