Dirt: Weekend Edition 🦌
Recommendations? For Spring? Groundbreaking.
Like a lot of people, I first heard of Jensen McRae when she went viral for lyrics in the key of Phoebe Bridgers. Now, she has her own album Are You Happy Now? A standout track is the alluringly named My Ego Dies At The End: “I have the dream again, I have the dream again / My ego dies at the end, it's ego death.” — Daisy
Tokyo Vice (HBO)
Step into the world of the Japanese yakuza as filtered through the eyes of an oft-arrogant American journalist. Perfect for fans of Giri/Haji. — Daisy
Friend of Dirt Raihan Anwar has created Eau de Pho for Biite: “Seduce the room with the bold scent of Thai basil, lemongrass, star anise, and a hint of spice.” No need to tell us twice! — Daisy
u m a m i (YouTube)
Check out the YouTube stylings of Montreal artist u m a m i. From Magritte to McDonald’s, the surreal range of pop culture references set to hypnotic music will put you in a late capitalist trance. — Daisy
Experience Proust’s AIM notification… and dusty Nintendo cartridge… and Nokia jingle. Get them all going at once if you’re a real freak! — Daisy
The Twitter account that makes it abundantly clear: if it isn’t a crazy ass moment, is it really American politics? I look forward to the ascendance of a competing “mundane moments in American politics” account, which will consist solely of
C-SPAN screenshots. — Daisy
Quinta Brunson’s hit sitcom/mockumentary about an underfunded Philly elementary school has a nearly perfect Rotten Tomatoes score…and for good reason. Brunson stars as a Leslie Knope-ish teacher navigating the internal politics and hilarious social dynamics of the faculty and students. No show about a school would be complete without the “janitor as oracle” trope, Brunson puts her own spin on it. If you liked American Vandal, this is the PG version. — Daisy
Make Chicken-Mushroom Rice in a Rice Cooker
This is from a cooking video I saw on a TikTok once and then tried to make for myself. It’s kind of hard to find an official recipe for it, probably because the amounts don’t really matter — it would be like a recipe for instant macaroni and cheese. But it’s entirely possible to make a full meal in your rice cooker (at least the smart Zojirushi kind).
Basically it’s a replica of clay-pot rice, but infinitely easier. Here are the steps:
— Slice a bunch of chicken thighs into bite-size pieces
— Slice a bunch of mushrooms and carrots into similar pieces
— Cut up green onion, ginger, garlic
— Stir fry all of the above in a wok or separate pan not til they’re fully cooked, just browned, so only a few minutes
— Throw in some soy sauce / vinegar / chili paste / hoisin for flavor
— Fill your rice cooker with the normal amount of rice and water, then take out a few tablespoons of water
— Dump all stir-fried ingredients on top of the rice and water
— Close the rice cooker and start as normal (I used quick cooking setting and it was fine)
— 15 minutes in to cooking the rice, open the cooker and mix everything around, and add tablespoons of soy, vinegar, hoisin, whatever for added rice flavor
— Close the rice cooker and finish cooking
That’s it! It’s way simpler than it sounds and results in a very satisfying meal with maybe 15 minutes of work. You can play around with adding softer ingredients like carrots or onions later in the process, or bigger or smaller chicken chunks. Also try adding bacon or Chinese sausage. — Kyle
Run Bambi Run (Apple Podcasts)
This podcast has everything! Vanessa Grigoriadis revisits the story of Laurie Bembenek (aka Bambi), a Playboy Club bunny and Wisconsin police officer accused of murder who escaped from prison and went on the lam, cheered on by the American public. “Love her or hate her, Bambi always swore she was innocent,” is an early quote, things escalate from there. — Daisy
A perfect capsule of a book. Imagine one Rachel Cusk airport anecdote, but the anecdote lasts for the whole novel! Plus, an appropriate amount of suspense. Read it in an airport if you’re feeling extra meta. — Daisy
There is a long line of shows attempting to replace Anthony Bourdain. David Chang’s Ugly Delicious had a few good episodes, getting into the nuts and bolts of food politics while touring picturesque locations. Samin Nosrat is a star — when more seasons?? Stanley Tucci’s Searching for Italy is a great, albeit bloodless, take on the genre. I’m coming to it late, of course, but watching an already famous guy eat already famous food is a hypnotic formula.
Tucci’s aura of status is something that came to Bourdain’s show only late, when its host was internationally famous and presumably much wealthier than he was at the beginning. The actor tells viewers which restaurants he has already been to repeatedly and which Italian destinations are his chosen vacation spots. Aspirational! But his enjoyment of the various regional cuisines is authentic, and there’s probably a 30% to 70% balance of education to food porn. (Chang is 40/60, Nosrat is 70/30, and Bourdain was an ideal 50/50.) It’s fun to watch Tucci cook on camera — he seems very good at it, as in one episode throwing together a cheesy handmade buckwheat noodle dish.
I was hoping CNN+ would be more of this kind of stuff: upper-middlebrow cultural documentary, walk and talk, information with a spoonful of honey. But we’ll never know! — Kyle
D i r t R a d i o?
Yeah, that’s right. We asked Matt Perpetua to curate a list of ambient sounds, like taking a sunset cruise on the blockchain.
It’s warm, it’s smooth, it’s just for you. 🌇