I am confident that you, gentle readers, are the perfect restaurant guests for whom every staff hopes.
But perchance you know someone who might benefit from a subtle refresher course (maybe you could leave this column where they will see it). I’ll be addressing this column to you, but we all know that I really mean “them.”
With shiny new MFA degrees from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in hand, nine graduates have mounted their final exhibition. The nine -- Ben Alper, Michael Bramwell, Isabel Cuenca, Minjin Kang, Cody Platt, Meg Stein, Lile Stephens, Antoine Williams and Connie Zamorano -- have each mastered one or more of the techniques of painting, sculpture, print making, photography or video and have chosen to use their medium of choice in innovative and unusual ways. They were putting the finishing touches on their work when I visited the gallery.
Q. I have a family history of high cholesterol, and my internist prescribed Lipitor many years ago. It was a miracle drug that kept my cholesterol at a normal level.
After taking the medicine for eight years, I developed peripheral neuropathy in my fingers and toes. The loss of feeling got progressively worse during the next six months, until I couldn't determine if a tomato was hard or soft, and I had no feeling when holding a pencil or opening a bobby pin.
Well, it’s official. The Kid is a bona fide adult. Our little chef has an awesome job in the area, cooking at an amazing restaurant, for an incredible executive chef.
And two weeks ago, my baby moved into a bright, shiny, new apartment.
We would have been overjoyed to have our own grown-up nerd living in the basement forever. But for some reason, living in a dirt-floored, spidery crawl space with expansive 4-foot ceilings didn’t appeal.
Q. I frequently see medical personnel in their scrubs with their stethoscopes around their necks in the hospital cafeteria or even nearby restaurants. I wonder how often they sanitize those stethoscopes. They seem oblivious to the possibility that they might be spreading germs.
There are a lot of people who love Durham and North Carolina, but no group is more enamored of our area than photographers, and the Will Grossman competition has been organized to encourage that love. This year’s theme was “People, Places and Things in North Carolina.” All photographs must be made in the state. Beyond that rule, the artists could interpret those guidelines any way they wanted.
When I was in high school, there was a story about one of the coaches, Coach P. Another coach took a honey bun off his desk and ate it.
When Coach P found out what had happened, he picked up the thief by his shirt, held him against the wall of the office, and growled a warning.
A single coupon did more than just save me money, it opened my eyes.
Looking at that $1 coupon for Earth Balance Organic Coconut Spread I couldn't help but recall the days when I deemed coconut oil as the poster child for bad fats.
There is an image of Mickey Mouse, with a skeletal body and his gloved hand poised like a gun. There is a Sun-Maid raisin box, labeled “Sun Mad” with the image of the girl on the box changed to a ghastly skeleton. There is a portrait of Cesar Chavez with the Nike swoosh emblazoned on his cap. And there is a sweet 15-year-old dressed in her coming-of-age finery. These are just some of the images by the 44 artists in the exhibition “Estampas de la Raza.”
In some places it’s called speculoos, which kind of sounds like a medieval medical/torture device.
It’s also known as biscoff. That reminds me of a wrestling move. “Holy Moses! He’s giving him the old biscoff maneuver! That’s gonna hurt!”
But to me, the very best name for it is cookie butter.
It is becoming a habit, working the art scene in downtown Durham. This past week I was back at it and Cynthia Aldrich’s exhibition of still lifes in three dimensions started me thinking about the genre and some of its history; it also sent me on a still life search in other galleries. A still life is usually a picture of inanimate objects; they are still. Sometimes a dead animal or cut flowers are included; the animal no longer moves and the cut flowers will quickly die.
Q. Doctors rarely if ever tell patients about sexual side effects of medication. A case in point is the prostate-shrinking medication finasteride.
While perusing the contents of my pantry, a friend came across an older box of Hamburger Helper and asked "how can you have that in your pantry when you write about such healthy foods?"
I explained that my fondness for Hamburger Helper bloomed at a time when I didn't closely read product ingredient lists and sometimes still get the taste for it.
My friend then rattled off the ingredient list: "Enriched macaroni, cornstarch, salt ..."
What if I told you that you could cook a dish better than a world-famous chef?
And what if I told you it’s a one-pot meal, that’s both cheap and easy?
The chef is Chef Boyardee, and the dish is beefaroni (wait … stay with me, I’m going someplace with this).
Art is not simply paintings or sculpture worked in traditional media or even photographs done in the most complicated digital imaging available; art is all of those things plus beautifully crafted wood boxes that hold landscapes made of layers of paper, pieces of machinery that rotate by sensor, filament that falls in space like controlled fire or a documentary about modern-day Afrikaners who see themselves in post-South Africa apartheid as victims.
The Contemporary Art Museum of Raleigh is hosting the 15 winners of the 2013 N.C. Arts Council Artists Fellowships and the work is strong, creative, new and smart.