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Good Stuff (from Mildred Pierce #3)

May 2, 2012

I submitted this list for publication in the zine Mildred Pierce on May 29th 2008. The release party was on May 31. It was a last minute thing. I do not know why these particular items came to mind as good stuff. I do know that this list has changed lives, particularly in the deodorizing and orgasm-watching departments.

Put one of Shakespeare’s weakest, most ridiculous plays together with the often vulgar theatricality of director Julie Taymor and the mincing acting of Anthony Hopkins and you get something magnificent — a movie of endless gusto and spectacular invention, as well as quite a few amputation gags.

Perfumes: The Guide by Luca Turin and Tania Sanchez
Luca Turin describes perfume as “the most portable form of intelligence” — a phrase that could also apply to these short, stylish, brilliantly written reviews. This book opens up a whole world of aesthetics and experience that most of us have never given thought to. You should also read The Emperor of Scent, which gives the story of Turin, a biophysicist as well as a connoisseur, and his quest to understand the science of smells.

Goatwalking by Jim Corbett
A real-life Don Quixote with goats philosophizes, helps Mexicans.

La Düsseldorf
No one has ever explored the beauty of the word “Düsseldorf” more deeply than krautrockers La Düsseldorf on their self-titled first album.  Put this on your car stereo, crank it up, and fly into the sun.

Deodorant Rocks
These are just chunks of some kind of rock salt that you rub wet against your deodesirable parts.  No residue, no odor, very powerful, and one rock will last you for years — I really don’t know why anyone would use anything else.

Giacinto Scelsi: The Works for Double Bass
Scelsi was an eccentric Italian aristocrat and composer whose musical breakthrough came, it is said, in an insane asylum where he would spend endless hours playing just one key on a piano.  I imagine the guys in Sunn O))) might sit around listening to this; it is kind of doom classical, with a final song of heartbreaking loveliness.  Play it very loud.

Chef Boyardee Mini Ravioli
Will there ever be a mass-market canned pasta product to compare to Boyardee’s masterpiece?  Avoid the regular-sized raviolis, which are grotesque in their boorish floppy bigness.

The Anatomy of Melancholy by Robert Burton
My favorite books are the ones I haven’t read yet.  This tops the list.

50 Chilling Classics DVD Box Set
A lot of movies for dirt cheap and some of them just might blow your mind.  But I won’t tell you which.

Cooking With David Lynch
This is just a hope and a dream.  On the Inland Empire DVD there is an extra called “Quinoa,” which is just David Lynch showing us how to make quinoa with broccoli (I make this myself all the time now — it’s simple, cheap, tasty, nutritious, and visionary) and then telling a weird story while it cooks.  It is vitally important that this concept is expanded into a series.  Possible problem: maybe quinoa with broccoli is the only thing Lynch cooks.  Solution: he could make it every episode but tell different stories.  Or the same dish, the same story, over and over, but somehow different, and then it isn’t David Lynch anymore, somehow it’s Laura Dern, on a train, and she doesn’t like broccoli.
Pornography raised to the sublime.  Just the faces and the sounds of anonymous contributors as they bring themselves to orgasm.  Unfortunately this is a subscription site, and not as generous with free samples as it used to be.

Nutella ‘N Nibs
My own invention.  Just sprinkle cacao nibs into your nutella.  Why not?

Deep Survival: Who Lives, Who Dies, and Why by Laurence Gonzales
Don’t you want to know who lives, who dies, and why?  This is mostly about wilderness and adventure type of survival. Very entertaining, very informative, might make you painfully aware that you are one of the ones who die.

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