Sacre Bleu: A Comedy d'Art is heavy on the blue and the art, but light on the comedy.
The book is set in the art scene of 19th century Paris, a fascin...moreSacre Bleu: A Comedy d'Art is heavy on the blue and the art, but light on the comedy.
The book is set in the art scene of 19th century Paris, a fascinating time for the art world. Every artist of this era makes an appearance in Sacre Bleu, Mr. Moore did a ton of impressive research for this book.
The book begins with the end of Vincent Van Gogh’s troubled life, an apparent suicide by gunshot. But somehow Vincent gets himself to his doctor before his death for treatment, where he raves about the color blue. Lucien Lessard (fictional) a baker and aspiring painter and Henri Toulouse-Lautrec (real artist, fictionalized) become detectives into Van Gogh’s death, because it is odd that he tried to save himself right after trying to off himself, no matter how crazy he’d become.
It turns out there is a pattern. They find that almost all of their fellow artists have at one point been obsessed with a model, or muse, to the point that they have lost time and paintings. This includes Lucien who’s obsession is Juliette and for Henri it’s a beautiful laundress with red hair, whom you will see in Henri Touluse-Lautrec’s actual paintings. These muses are more than just beautiful people, they are one supernatural being called Blue. Blue and The Colorman, a troll like creature, make ultra marine blue (sacred blue) through a ritual that involves an artists painting, love, pain and sacrifice. This can leave the artist mad, or even dead like Vincent.
Here are a couple of passages I loved.
“An artist cannot let madness stop him from making art; he simply has to channel it.”
“They are not whores as they would be if they took a step outside, or as they will be when they are called down stairs by the madam, but they are nothing else either. They are between. Not what they used to be and not what they’ve become.”
I feel “between” all the time.
A thought I had as I read this. I make my living as an artist (I am not even close to the level as the artists portrayed in this book) and I draw people from life on a daily basis. One of the comments I get all the time is “this (talent) must be a gift from God.” This is always said in the spirit of good will, and is meant only in the most complementary way, but it has always bugged the crap out of me. What I do has nothing to do with some magical being in the sky sticking his finger into my brain and flipping some switch. It’s genetic and hard work, not magic. Shoot, I’d rather be really good at something more lucrative, truth be told.
But this book makes art into magic, the magic of the color blue. I wonder if Christopher Moore was playing with the idea that most people (who can only draw stick figures) look upon those with talent as if they have some magic, or does he himself feel that way.
I am pleased he wrote this book about these artists, the impressionists, that's rare to find. (less)
Kayso, like, after three books in a row that kinda sorta made me angry, I wanted to, like, read something totally funny and ridiculous. And I was like...moreKayso, like, after three books in a row that kinda sorta made me angry, I wanted to, like, read something totally funny and ridiculous. And I was like "Beauty Queens" a book about teen beauty queens on a plain, that like OMG, crashes on a desert island and they have to survive and stuff, wouldn't make me, like, have to think and stuff....none of that politicy stuff either....yuk.
But I was wrong. Yes this is a story about 50 beauty contestants for a pageant called Miss Teen Dream, and how the 12 survivors survive. And yes it is funny and ridiculous, but it also has Lady Bird Hope, which is Sarah Palin (if you have any doubt, listen to the audio version). Mo Mo, Dear Leader, Kim Jong-Il. Black Water, too big to fail The corporation that is in control of everything. The LBGT community is represented. Objectification and exploitation of women is addressed. Being comfortable with your sexuality and not being ashamed of it is in there too. Of course the biggest lesson of all, you do not mess with Texas, especially Miss Texas.
I thouroghly enjoyed this book...I listened to the audio version, read by the author. Now this can go either way. Neil Gaiman, David Sedaris, and Stephen King, do a very good job reading their books. But this guy,Todd Burpo reads his terrible book Heaven is for Real.....I just don't want to think about it. Libba Bray did a very good job reading Beauty Queens. In the beginning I was a bit unsure, she sounded a bit snarky, but as the book moved along it got better. Her Sarah Palin is really good, Her Kim Jong-il sounded like Steve Martin's character "Wild and Crazy Guy" from SNL...which made me laugh, even though not quite correct.
**spoiler alert** Poor Andy. He dies in a car crash and wakes up a zombie.
In this world this is apparently common place. When you do wake up a zombie...more**spoiler alert** Poor Andy. He dies in a car crash and wakes up a zombie.
In this world this is apparently common place. When you do wake up a zombie, (where everything about you is the same, except for the fact you're kind of decaying) everyone who really loved you right before your death, suddenly hates your guts....if you still have them that is. Zombies are persecuted, harassed and are given no rights at all. This bothered me a little bit, it didn't ring true.
Yes, this is a book about zombies, not really based in reality. It has recipes for "breather", (which is how zombies refer to the living) for Pete's sake. Left over mom loaf.....hilarious. But still that little "hate your dead loved ones" kept gnawing at me (pun intended).
Andy and his zombie friends did not start out eating breather right away. They were given breather, unbeknownst to them, by a fellow zombie who passed it off a venison. It was fantastic, everything was tasteless up till then, so they wanted more. Soon, after having more "venison", they found themselves healing and becoming more like they were when they where alive. When they discover that it was breather they were eating, well.....that's when the recipes started to flow.
I have lost loved ones. Anyone who has had loved ones pass would agree that they would do anything to get that person back. So, if I had my loved one back as a nasty smelling zombie, and found out breather would make the whole again...well....I would get some breather for them, right quick. Over population is a problem, and we have a few nut jobs currently trying to destroy the country/world, how about killing two birds with one stone?......
Brined Boehner in orange sauce (Boehner's are self brineing, easy peasy)
1 whole Boehner (fyi when two vowels go walking the first on does the talking) 2 medium to large yellow onions, unpeeled and cut into eighths 2 medium carrots, unpeeled and cut into 1-inch chunks 2 medium ribs celery, cut into 1-inch chunks 1 pint bitters No oranges needed
Directions 1. Clean your Boehner thoughly, I can't stress this enough. Boehners are covered with chemicals to acheive the orange cheeto glow.
2. Remove the innards from the Boehner, cut off the tail, if attached, and reserve them for making the rich Boehner broth. Sprinkle the bitters all over it, starting on the back side, then the cavity, and finally the breast. Put the Boehner on a wire rack set over a rimmed pan or platter and refrigerate uncovered overnight.
3. Remove the Boehner from the refrigerator and let stand at room temperature. Fifteen to 20 minutes before roasting, position a rack in the lowest part of the oven and heat the oven to 400 degrees F. Put half of the onions, carrots, and celery in the Boehner cavity. Tie the legs together with kitchen twine. Tuck the arms behind the neck and under the Boehner. Scatter the remaining onions, carrots, and celery in a large flameproof heavy-duty roasting pan fitted with a large V rack. Set the Boehner, breast side down, on the V rack.
3. Roast for 30 minutes. Pour 1 cup of bitters into the roasting pan and roast for another 30 minutes. Remove the Boehner from the oven and close the oven door. With two wads of paper towels, carefully turn the Boehner over so that it's breast side up. Add another 1/2 cup bitters to the roasting pan. Return the Boehner to the oven and continue to roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thigh registers 170 degrees F, about another 10 hours for a Boehner in the 190-pound range. (Keep a close eye on the vegetables and pan drippings throughout the cooking process. They should be kept dry enough to brown and produce the rich brown drippings to make gravy, but moist enough to keep from burning, so add water as needed throughout.) Transfer the Boehner to a carving board or platter, tent with foil, and let rest for at least 45 minutes and up to 1 hour before carving and serving. Meanwhile, make the silky pan gravy from the drippings.
Alaskan Pulled-Palin Sandwiches
Ingredients 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil (yes even if you're using Bristol) 2 medium yellow onions, diced 2 tablespoons chili powder 1 tablespoon ground cumin 2 teaspoons paprika 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper 12 ounces beer, preferably lager (1 1/2 cups) 3/4 cup ketchup 3/4 cup cider vinegar 1/2 cup whole-grain mustard 2 tablespoons tomato paste 1 canned chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, minced, plus 1 tablespoon adobo sauce 1 10-pound bone-in Palin butt, (see Shopping Tip)
Directions 1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-low heat. Add onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned and very soft, about 20 minutes.
2. Increase heat to high; add chili powder, cumin, paprika and cayenne and cook, stirring, until fragrant, 1 minute. Add beer, ketchup, vinegar, mustard, tomato paste, chipotle pepper and adobo sauce; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is slightly thickened, 10 minutes. Meanwhile, trim all visible fat from the Palin butt.
3. Remove the pan from the heat and add the Palin, spooning sauce over it. Cover the pan, transfer to the oven and bake for 1 1/2 hours. Turn the Palin over, cover, and bake for 1 1/2 hours more. Uncover and bake until a fork inserted into the Palin butt turns easily, 1 to 2 hours more.
4. Transfer the Palin to a large bowl and cover with foil. Pour the sauce into a large measuring cup or glass bowl and refrigerate until the fat and sauce begin to separate, 15 minutes. Skim off the fat. Return the sauce to the pan and heat over medium-high until hot, about 4 minutes.
5. Remove the bone and any remaining pieces of fat from the Palin meat. The bone should easily slip away from the tender meat. Pull the Palin apart into long shreds using two forks. Add the hot sauce to the meat; stir to combine. Serve hot....and also to, don't cha know...you betcha!
Shopping tip....Palins are best when shot fresh from a helicopter.
Of course these recipes are a joke. I do not in anyway advocate killing and eating Republicans. Everybody knows their not good eat'n, to tough and gristly. Democrats are much more tender and juicy.
Way back in the day, when I was new to drawing peoples faces for a living I ran across a couple of people that still pop up in my memory. This book jo...moreWay back in the day, when I was new to drawing peoples faces for a living I ran across a couple of people that still pop up in my memory. This book jogged it to the front of my brain once again.
Picture a rather large Italian American man, think Chris Christie, think Tony Soprano. Now picture this mans child of the approximate age of 7. Listen...hear the heavy New Jersey accents......and....
Tony: So, uhh, d'ya tink yous can draw my kid?
Me: Um, sure. ?
Kid: Awe c'mon dad! I wanna ride some coasters!
Tony: Shut the F@&k up! Don't yous see I'm talking to the lady here? Where's your F#&kn' manners! (slap to the back of the head).
Kid: F$#k dad! Dat hurt!!
Tony: Shut the F#@k up....I mean it! Sit down, the nice lady is gonna draw you. Does he have to sit still miss?
Me: (gulp) It helps.
Tony: Sit down, shut up and don't you F&*kn' move or I will slap your F&*kn' head off! You hear me?
Kid: Yeah dad I F&*kn' hear you, I won't F&*kn' move....promise.
It went on like this through the entire sketch. It was all I could do not to burst with laughter. I really wasn't ready to die yet. Did I mention the kid was seven?
I find it HILARIOUS when little kids drop the F bomb. I know it would not be funny if all of them did it, but it is just so funny when it happens....that such a innocent little angelic face can produce this word makes me giggle.
I think Tony would have no issue reading this book to hid children. In fact I don't think he would realize it was a joke.