Saturday, February 17

Aamer Rahman: Culture War Click for more info

It's been a whopping ten years since I last saw Aamer live on stage, and the various more casual interactions in the meantime have firmly made him more of a "human I happen to have met" than a minor celebrity that lives in a completely different world.

So I'm kind of lucky that a spare ticket turned up for a show he was performing that I had otherwise decided to skip as tonight's set was quite excellent, and I suspect I enjoyed it even more than The Truth Hurts a decade ago.

Not much has changed. Aamer is still precisely (and wonderfully) mocking the obvious topics of racism and privilege, but now he's doing it with the more powerful contexts of wars in the Middle East and more personally, becoming a father.

As before the insight isn't necessarily novel - you may have cracked the same jokes and made the same observations yourself in whichever generic brown social media group with a level of intelligence you happen to be in. But with the platform and the ease and confidence and charm in which Aamer delivers, the message is compounded to a sublime level.

There was lots of laughter, pride, hope and assurances tonight, in an hour that flew by way too quickly.

Food: Buna Click for more info

Faced with the ever static choice of eating Turkish vs Peri Chicken, a friend and I decided to roll the dice on something different and grab dinner at an Ethiopian place in Islington. Now although I've had Ethiopian food before it had been so long that it might have well been my first time... and Buna was a pretty decent way to revisit the cuisine.

Of course the first thing is the novelty. Based on Injera, our platter came on a metal tray lined with the flat bread with the various vegetable and meat dishes that came as a part of the special dish we ordered. Next is the communal eating as we both tucked into the food, getting in each other's way in the process.

Getting past that though the meal was a good one, with the food itself resembling that you would find in a home cooked South Asian meal. The special itself cost us £34 and was too much for the two of us (but probably not enough for three). Unless you have a specific distaste for Injera, Buna comes recommended not just for Ethiopian food but for a hearty meal out overall.

Saturday, February 3

Book: The Vital Abyss, James S. A. Corey Click for more info

I think I've concluded that the short stories from The Expanse (all handily contained in Memory's Legion) aren't that great. It's not that I mind filler - especially at these lengths - but it really does seem like most of this stuff is what would have been found on the cutting room floor.

Take The Vital Abyss for instance. It's written well but oh so boring, and in some ways very experimental. I just hope that I'm gathering some depth to the universe by osmosis that will allow me to enjoy the main lore more than I would have otherwise.