March 24, 2013

MOSER: Thai Food and Spring Break

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Being unfocused and unwilling to return to being a productive member of society (a term I use loosely), I don’t have one cohesive point to articulate in this column about TV or movies or comedy or Tina Fey. I could talk about how excited I am for Mad Men and Veep to return, rant about how much I hate Law and Order: SVU, although I still will watch it if it’s on, or write about how sad it is that I feel out of touch with the world when The Daily Show is on hiatus.

These are all things I could write an entire column about thanks to my honed skill of repeating the same thought over and over again in different words (a skill that got me through many a middle school English essay). Without you even being aware of it, I could waste several minutes of your life making you read 800 words of me basically just saying that I enjoy Jason Segel’s presence on this earth over and over again.

But I won’t do that to the three of you that regularly read my column (my mother, my sister and my sister’s boyfriend when he’s bored at work). Instead, I am going to just tell you about my spring break, why I believe that food is art and why bad comedies are so much better than bad dramas.

While many of you spent spring break, to reference Janis Ian, “having an awesome time, drinking awesome shooters, listening to awesome music and then just sitting around soaking up each other’s awesomeness,” I watched the fifth and sixth seasons of The West Wing in my dorm room alone and ate a lot of Taste of Thai. I also watched Mean Girls twice. It was actually pretty awesome.

I did, however, spend three days of break, not avoiding the cold by going south, but embracing it, and heading north to the frigid land of North American francophones: Quebec. Two friends and I ventured across the Canadian border for a weekend of gastronomic pleasure in the city of Montreal.

I went on this adventure with two friends I describe as “foodies.” One of them really hates that term and would prefer if I did not use it, and the other wants me to use it because he has decided to reclaim it from the obnoxious instagrammers who have commandeered it. In any case, these two gentlemen love everything about the preparation, presentation and, most importantly, the consumption of food. Needless to say, I let them do the ordering wherever we went while I obnoxiously instagrammed.

We had two very expensive and wonderful meals that will live in the memory of my taste buds and stomach forever. Not only was the food at Mezcla and Au Pied de Cochon phenomenal, but the atmosphere and the company and the wine (it was Canada, so it was legal, Mom and potential future employers) were equally extraordinary.

Herein lies my argument about why food is just as much art as is Tilda Swinton sleeping in a glass box at MoMA: Food is a combination of elements that come together to form an experience that isn’t just visual or auditory in the way that listening to a song or watching Tilda Swinton sleep in a glass box is. And I would argue too that it’s not just fine dining that should count as art, but also Taste of Thai, Wings Over Ithaca, etc. … They’re not as elevated as Starry Night, perhaps, but they’re still art. I would say Superbad is to Zero Dark Thirty what boneless garlic parmesan wings are to the maple glazed wings from Au Pied de Cochon.

That brings me nicely to the remainder of my vacation, which I spent eating wings and Thai food and watching a lot of movies that fall into the same category as Superbad. Although I can count the number of times I left my room those four days on one hand, I did make it as far as Regal Cinemas a couple of times. I decided to see The Incredible Burt Wonderstone, despite its less than glowing reviews, because Alan Arkin is the funniest person ever. When that man sneezes, I laugh.

And, despite its less than glowing reviews, I enjoyed it thoroughly. It didn’t pretend to be anything it wasn’t: It was a simple entertaining comedy with some sweet moments. I would rather see a movie like that, which is honest and showcases extremely talented individuals, than Jack the Giant Slayer any day (although I am a big fan of Nicholas Hoult’s face.)

The amount of time it took you to read this is about how long my break felt. I hope you’ve enjoyed the brief arts related life lessons I’ve brought you. Now let’s all get back to work. Hopefully something really angering will happen over the next two weeks so that my next column will have a little more passion. I’m counting on you, Donald Trump.

Original Author: Julia Moser