Wednesday, April 07, 2004

adjectives gone astray 

Where our preferred reviewer tries hard, way too hard. She is like that guy playing hoops at the playground: dribbles a lot and a lot, then makes a no-look behind the back pass that sails out of bounds. Poking fun at Meredith Brody is like clubbing baby seals: too easy. She does everything she can to facilitate my job. Last week, I was like, duh, Meredith, verdant green peas is a pleonasm. So this week, she comes up with gnocci colored a verdant green and with bright green salsa verde. This last 'verde' at least is in Spanish, but if the writer assumes you know what verdant means, maybe you can guess which color is verde as well.

For the wine list, she ran out of imagination: it is mentioned as "ever-evolving" and "ever-expanding". She went there twice, to a somewhat new restaurant, so change has to be expected. See, the menu is not the same, for instance. So it is obvious that the wine list is "ever-"whatever-ing. But we won't know what is on it! There is a wine list. With more bottles the second time. Does this make you want to have a glass, or what? Oh, yes, the glasses: they are "different shaped" and "varyingly shaped". But what's in it? You want to grab her by the neck and tell her to spit it out: what's on the list? what's in the glasses? can't you just make a simple two handed pass that leads to an easy bucket?

Everybody has made fun of her heavy (pedantic) writing and her self-centeredness. To make the point in a concise manner, she combines the two in the alliteration of the week: meaning, mainly, me. She stopped herself, and crossed out the original: meaning, mostly, mainly, masterly, me, myself, moi, the womanly mesmerizing Meredith.

She writes 'beef bourguignonne' when it should be 'beef bourguignon'. Some literature gone astray again when she states: "Michael inhales his wide, house-made pappardelle". I know the 5 senses should be involved while eating, but that sentence reminded me too much of the 'News of the World' headline: "Man eats his spaghetti through his nose" (followed by "pro tennis player sprays coke on court lines, dives and snorts them when needing of a boost").

"My family is regarding me fondly," she writes later. It follows the cheese description, and in the non-seguitur, we feel her need for someone, any one, to regard her with fondness. But also the bravado of the outcast, who has to convince not only us, but herself.

Her friend sent her an email describing the place: he wrote I liked the thin, varyingly shaped wineglasses. ... I experimented by ordering the cheapest red wine on the wine list -- it was so good we ordered a second bottle. My bullshit-o-meter went off, of course. If you have two bottles of the same wine, you'll only have one set of glasses. Plus, the first sentence has Meredith's name written all over it ("I like little boxes! I like to add adjectives like beads on a string!") Despite "editing" her friends email (she also picked and chose sentences like a Hollywood exec going through his movie's reviews), it is much better as a review than hers. One is left to wonder: what if she did not edit it? Maybe we could have had, eventually, a good column.

She writes 'beef bourguignonne' when it should be 'beef bourguignon'.

either's acceptable though, isn't it delia?


sorry, meant to ask - did she take your old job or something? perhaps they wanted someone less bitter. or with a life.



no, bourguignonne is wrong. She is translating "Boeuf bourguignon". "Beef à la bourguignonne" could be correct, if convoluted.

As to your second remark: I have no personal rancor against Meredith. She is taking the job of someone qualified, for sure. I have no grudge against her personally, only against her awful writing.
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