Monday, December 24, 2007
Well, about a week ago I got promoted at work. So that's kind of nice. Although it gives me that icky feeling that I somehow have everyone fooled that I give 2 cents about finance, when really I could care less. And yet I've been promoted. Seeing the disconnect here? I guess it's just about the fact that even though I don't care, I still give it my all. How I manage to do that I'll never know. I'm still waiting for inspiration to strike. Where are you my perfect job??
I've been reading quite a bit lately. I just finished Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister by Gregory Maguire, also the author of the more widely read Wicked which I read last year. I really enjoyed Stepsister. As the back-story of Cinderella, it spins a dark, gritty reality that brings the fairy tale down to a relatable level. No longer is Cinderella a poor unfortunate child who was taken advantage of by her evil step-mother, but rather, a petulant self-centered child who let life take advantage of her, rather than ever attempting to chart the course of her own destiny. Her run in with the prince was constructed by one of her step-sisters in an attempt to save her from a life of ruin. I recommend it as a quick, entertaining read. Just before that I finished Life of Pi by Yann Martel, which IMHO deserves all the praise it's been getting. A fascinating examination of the implications of the food chain! :) I'm currently working on The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd, which has been on my 'to read' list for ages. It was a gift at last year's Hanukkah celebration. Speaking of Hanukkah, I'll have plenty to read when I'm finished with Bees. My brother gave me several new ones on my to read list last night at our family's much-belated Hanukkah celebration. I received Neuromancer, I am Legend, and The Woman Who Walked Into Doors, by William Gibson, Richard Matheson, and Roddy Doyle respectively. I'll admit a little ashamedly one of the reasons I'm so keen to read Doyle is that J.K. Rowling cites him as her favorite author. I'm eager to see if I find any stylistic similarities in their works.
So that's reading. Let's see. I also finally gave in about 2 weeks ago and downloaded I-Tunes. The Queen of all illegal internet downloading has thrown in the towel. Tired of switching sites every few weeks as they get shut down, tired of hoping I was getting the radio edit, but actually getting the Live edit, tired of poor sound quality. These were my reasons (plus a fully exhaustive list I'll spare you) for just deciding to make the switch. I was so pumped the first week, and gleefully downloaded 37 songs. Then I looked at my playlist and thought, "Gee, even though I like all these songs were they really worth $40?", then "I can't believe I just spend $40 on something completely intangible." then "Oh man, I miss free downloading." Although it is nice to hear songs completely free of pops and clicks and to not have to fill in tons of tag information for them on my own in order to get them to sort appropriately on my mp3 player. So I guess there are pros and cons to both legal and illegal downloading. My wallet regrets the choice, but in the end it'll probably be worth it. Some of the songs I am obsessed with right now: "Take You There" by Sean Kingston, "Piece of Me" by Britney Spears, "Don't Stop the Music" by Rhianna, and "Sexy Lady" by Yung Berg. I am in a HUGE pop swing right now. I go back and forth in wide swaths of genre. I just finished about 4 months of being stuck on Q104.3 (classic rock) and being nauseated by any other music station. Now, suddenly as a lighting strike, I have an insatiable appetite for pop. Funny, eh?
OH! I don't think I ever posted about this in October, but I bought a new car. I sold the Sentra to my brother, who's car was totaled by a driver who fell asleep and hit it on the street where it was parked. I bought a Nissan Versa. It looks basically just like this:
I LOVE IT! It's so cute and tiny, but still really spacious inside. And my insurance company (USAA) hooked me up with one of their preferred dealers who gave it to me at cost + $300. So it's got all these crazy features I never would have gotten if I actually had to pay for them but are REALLY nice to have. It's got built in bluetooth, so I don't have to talk on the phone any more or even use a headset. The calls come through over my car speakers. Which, by the way, include a BOSE subwoofer. If I turn the bass up all the way it's a bit deafening. My other favorite feature is "Intelligent Key." It's that sensor in your keys where your car can tell if the key is within 3 feet of the car and it will automatically unlock if you push a button on the door handle. It makes carrying the groceries out to the car SO MUCH EASIER. I no longer have to shift all 10 bags to one hand while digging around in my purse or my pocket to find the keys. Plus, were I ever alone in some dank parking garage being pursued by a kidnapper or rapist, I wouldn't have one of those 'movie' moments where the keys fall underneath the car and I'm blindly reaching around for them while the killer pulls me back out by my ankles. So it's all good. His name (my car) is Eugene Morris Jerome. After one of my favorite plays "Brighton Beach Memoirs." When I first got the car it screamed NWM (nerdy white male) to me, but at my brother Seth's urging I waited a few months before naming him. But Eugene just stuck!
Anyway, I'm sure there's lots more I could write about everything under the sun, but I'm trying to make a 1:15 showing of "Atonement" at my local theater so I must go. It's oscar season so that mad movie seeing pace has begun. Ta-ta for now!
Tuesday, December 4, 2007
I could really use one of these: http://www.amazon.com/OXO-Grips-32480-Salad-Spinner/dp/B00004OCKR/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=home-garden&qid=1196819526&sr=8-1,
and one of these: http://www.amazon.com/Nor-Stainless-Steel-Onion-Holder/dp/B00061N06E/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=home-garden&qid=1196819578&sr=8-1.
Now if you REALLY REALLY want to make my day I could use one of these: http://www.amazon.com/3-Panel-Flower-Design-Screen-Divider/dp/B000O31O80/ref=sr_1_6?ie=UTF8&s=home-garden&qid=1196819672&sr=1-6.
But hey, you can't have everything.
Monday, November 12, 2007
, Snow Crash, , Slaughterhouse Five, (in my mind more like fantasy but included anyway on many top 100 sci-fi lists), Cat's Cradle, Timequake, and several others. Some clearly screaming holes in my experience author-wise include Asimov ( being the only of his offering I have read), Heinlein (haven't read any), Bradbury (haven't read any), , and from the old school . Some other canon I clearly have to hit book-wise (and plan to soon) includes: Dune, Foundation, Neuromancer, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, The Martian Chronicles, Cryptonomicon, and Hyperion. Anyway, the point is, I'm working on it.
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
Sunday, September 16, 2007
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
Thursday, September 6, 2007
Venus Williams Serving:
Rafael Nadal serving:
Serena Williams serving:
It was a really fun day.
Sunday, September 2, 2007
Taking a cue from wonderturtle, this blog decides to (ironically or not) adopt one of its favorite character actors. We had a hard time choosing, and we think in the end our selection was biased based on all the episodes of West Wing we've been watching lately. Regardless, Run Bethie Run chooses John Larroquette. John Larroquette of a long stint on Night Court, a (so far) short stint on Boston Legal, 5 emmys, and various tv show guest appearances fame. My favorite of these guest appearances is when he threatens to kill John Spencer (a.k.a. Leo) with a cricket bat in an episode of West Wing. This fabulous moment is captured here. Apparently this is many other people's favorite John Larroquette moment, as when he's google searched, it's the third result! Also, he speaks loudly and carries a big stick, and you know you can never go wrong with that bit!!
I'm going to the US Open today with my family, which I'm totally pumped about. But hopefully I'll be back later, because I have a new movie review: Dial M for Murder.
Thursday, August 30, 2007
Linguine with Creamy Gorgonzola Sauce
- 12oz uncooked linguine
- 1 1/2 cup 1% milk
- 1/2 cup half and half
- 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
- 1/4 tsp table salt
- 1/8 tsp black pepper, or to taste
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (i like it spicy, you can use less)
- gorgonzola cheese, about 1/4 cup, crumbled
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 3-4 medium dried fig(s), coarsely chopped
- 1/4 cup fresh chives, minced
Cook the linguine according to package directions; drain and keep warm in a large bowl. (I don't do this now that I know how long the other part takes, I do them concurrently. But this is probably a good plan for your first time).
Meanwhile, with a wire whisk, combine the milk, half and half, and flour in a large skillet, blending unitl the flour is dissolved. Add the salt, pepper and cayenne; cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until the mixture is bubbling and thickened, about 5 minutes.
Add the Gorgonzola and Parmesan cheeses to the milk mixture; cook, stirring constantly, until the cheese melts. Stir in the figs and chives. Keep on heat 1 minute longer.
Pour the cheese mixture over the warm linguine; toss to combine.
on my wrist (please ignore how hairy it is!):
what do you think?
"I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be."
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
- Dust buster or small vacuum cleaner (I could REALLY use this!)
- step stool (this TOO!), preferably one that closes up (i.e. doesn’t have to stay open all the time) (THANKS MOM & DAD!)
- splatter guards for frying pans
- gift cards to any of the following supermarkets: trader joes, shoprite, a&p
- gift cards to any of the following craft stores: joann’s, Michaels, ac moore
- gift cards to any of the following home goods stores: target, bed bath & beyond, linens n things, kohls
- vegetable harvest by patricia wells
- canyon ranch cooks: more than 200 delicious, innovative recipes from america’s leading health resort by barry correia and scott uehlein
- the golden door cooks light and easy by michel stroot
other books: (used or new)
- the woman who walked into doors by roddy doyle
- the children of men by p.d. james
- life of pi by yann martel (THANKS, MOM AND DAD!)
- now discover your strengths by marcus Buckingham
- wild swans: three daughters of china by jung chang
- from the mixed up files of mrs. basil e. frankweiler by e.l. konigsburg (THANKS, MOM AND DAD!)
- storm front (the Dresden files book 1) by jim butcher
- Walden two by b.f. skinner
- Never eat alone by keith ferrazzi and tahl raz
- America, the Book: A citizen’s guide to democracy inaction by Jon Stewart et al
- The complete book of sewing (new edition) by DK publishing (THANKS, SETH!)
- The Subtle Knife by Phillip Pullman
- Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card
- The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley
- I am Legend by Richard Matheson
- The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury
- A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving
- Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
- The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
- Neuromancer by William Gibson
- The Guns of August by Barbara Tuchman
- the devil wears prada
- any animated Disney movies of my childhood (except Cinderella, lion king, and beauty and the beast, which I already have, and Dumbo, which I hated) (some favorites include Aladdin, mulan, sword in the stone, fantasia, robin hood) (THANKS KEITH AND MOM&DAD!)
- seasons of buffy the vampire slayer (not season 1 or 2, just 3 thru 7)
- my big fat greek wedding
- monsters inc
- mary poppins
- seasons of animaniacs or pinky and the brain
- extended editions of LOTR: two towers or return of the king (already have fellowship)
- the brave little toaster
cds: (bought or burned, no difference to me)
- b’day by beyonce
- a fever you can’t sweat out by panic at the disco
- liz phair by liz phair
- melankton by kate havnevik
- lafcadio by as tall as lions
- eyes open by snow patrol
- the white album by the beatles (THANKS AARON!!!)
- futuresex/lovesounds by Justin timberlake
- breakaway by Kelly Clarkson
- the kink khronicles by the kinks
- something real by meg & dia
- princesses nubiennes by les nubians
- surrealistic pillow by Jefferson airplane
- the high lonesome sound by roscoe holcomb
- film soundtracks: lost highway, cool world, natural born killers
- settlers of catan
- balderdash (THANKS RACHEL!!!!!)
- stratego (THANKS RACHEL!!!!)
- jenga (THANKS KEITH!!)
- apples to apples
Card games: munchkin, chrononauts, fluxx, uno
- lego star wars (for Nintendo gamecube)
- new super Mario brothers (for Nintendo DS)
- cooking mama (for Nintendo DS)
- elektroplankton (for Nintendo DS)
- beyond good and evil (for Nintendo gamecube)
- karaoke revolution party bundle (for gamecube) – this is considerably cheaper than anywhere else when bought from amazon.com (THANKS KEITH!!!!)
- brain age (Nintendo ds)
- “sid meier’s pirates!” by 2K games
- “zeus expansion: Poseidon” by Vivendi Universal (this is REALLY hard to find, and is more a ‘dream’ than anything else)
Saturday, May 5, 2007
Tuesday, May 1, 2007
Life is going to be insanely busy in the next few weeks. I am participating in 3 swaps for craftster, and organizing a 4th. I will be making all of the Morris Knolls GSA t-shirts for AIDS walk on May 20th. I'm having a dinner party on Friday for my fellow analysts from work. My family celebrates mother's day and 2 birthdays in the month of May. Craziness!
Wednesday, April 18, 2007
Let's see, first off - Storey you can definitely yell at me this weekend. You are totally right. I suck. I just didn't know the rules with business vs. socializing when away on the company dime, plus I was super busy. We would have been diner-ing it at 2 in the morning or something (which would have been fine, which is why I suck). :-( So sorry!!!
Ummm, cooking! I have made a bunch of new recipes lately, including Chicken Tetrazzini, soy-honey-ginger steak, honey roasted asparagus, and more. But I won't bore you with those now, but (theoretically) post them at some later date (haha).
Sports! I am SO EXCITED FOR THE RANGERS!!! I have watched every minute of every playoff game so far, and am feeling like something of a Rangers expert these days. My new favorite is the youngin Ryan Callahan. Just a solid workhorse, it seems to me. And has made a few really clutch plays at unexpected moments. Though much must also be said of [relative] newcomer Avery - we really really needed someone to be the "hey-you're-not-going-to-push-us-around" guy, and he is just that. I'm actually writing this in between periods 1 and 2 of game 4 tonight. I'm sort of glad it's not turning out to be the same sort of slaughter as last night. I think the sweep will be even sweeter if we have to work for it! Btw, I love the "Bobby Granger" rangers commercials - they're hilarious!
Work has really been picking up in pace lately and it's been a bit stressful, but I'd rather be busy than bored (as I think I've said before). Getting ready to start thinking about what I'll do with myself when my analyst program is up in July. I feel like I barely have enough room in my head to even start though, let alone devote a substantial amount of meditation (which is what I really should do.) Moving on.
I've seen some pretty good movies since I last posted. Supersize Me (long overdue) was as important as people said, but not quite as 'shocking' as I was expecting from the hype. Stepford Wives premise was a little far-fetched for me (the woman turns into an ATM, and then is A-OK to become herself again, just like that?) but was still cute overall with some fun performances (especially from Bette Middler.) The Notebook - I LOVED this movie. It was sad, but also so beautiful and meaningful. The lead actor, Ryan Gosling (who when bearded is a Christian Bale clone, btw) was not so good, but I thought Rachel McAdams performance was quite feeling. The cinematography was top notch, and the early romantic scenes were much enhanced by it. All around goodness. I should read the book by Nicholas Sparks now. I also saw Big Night, which my parents have said for years is one of their favorites, but I wasn't so impressed.
Oh, news! My mom was published! Well, sort of. Indirectly. Her friend Gail Brenner wrote a book called "Women's Rites of Passage" for which my mom wrote a story about her midwife birth of my brother. Gail ended up not using the whole story verbatim, but rather, pieces of it. But she gives my mom's name in the book. So that's pretty cool for my mom. She's actually an excellent writer (clearly I missed out on that gene!) and I wish she would write more often!
I took a faboo vacation to Chicago with Keith. We went for a long weekend, Thursday to Sunday. We wanted to go to Miami (for Winter Music Conference) but it's too expensive in April (spring break and all) so we got super cheap tickets & hotel reservations for Chicago (where we had talked about going awhile ago). It was lots of fun. The museums weren't too busy (except for the Science & Industry Museum, where we missed out on tickets to go on the U-5 submarine.) There were literally maybe 20 people in the impressionist wing of the Art Institute (which has some of the best paintings of that movement.) We even got to take a Ferris Bueller esque photo by the statue of that guy with his arms crossed. We had an awesome dinner at Smith & Wollensky, though we missed out on a few jazz opportunities because of closed clubs, long lines and rain, and other things. But that was okay. We walked everywhere, and we really just loved the city so much. I think I'd like living there if it wasn't so damned cold in the winter. Just too much snow. But it was a great trip. 4 days was too short, and we'll have to go back again.
I have been devouring my latest issue of Ms. magazine (an awesome unexpected gift last birthday from my sister) and have paragraphs upon paragraphs to write about what I've read there, but I think I'll save that for the next entry too. The game is coming back on!
Saturday, March 24, 2007
Was in San Francisco for most of this past week on my first work-sponsored business trip. It was really fun. Even though I really saw very little of the city, being someplace warm was nice, and I got a real thrill from representing my company at such a high class event. Can't say much more about the content than that, unfortunately, without risking venturing too far into work-content-land. Don't want another bit o trouble. Had a very lovely dinner with coworkers the first night I was there at a swanky restaurant called Boulevard. As I understand it, this place is up for the James Beard award this year for best restaurant in SF. For my app I had a caesar salad, which instead of utilizing the typical heavy creamy type caesar dressing, actually boasted a lovely tart caesar vinagrette. For my entree, I had wood oven roasted halibut, encrusted with a combination of walnuts and minced porcini mushrooms. It was served over a bed of asparagus and potato puree, with a sauce called (on the menu) a "green garlic beurre fondue." I'm still working on googling all these terms to find out what they mean, but it was tasty as heck. And I'm not normally a huge halibut fan. For desert I went with a classic pick - vanilla ice cream. Nice and simple. Great meal, good company.
Saw two movies in the last week, and just short reviews for both. Talented Mr. Ripley - can I just say - weird?? What a strange movie. 50 First Dates was the other and it was adorable.
Well, gotta dash for now.
Thursday, March 15, 2007
Saw a few movies last week. Keith and I watched the Island which was a bit long, but overall enjoyable. Kind of exactly what I predicted when I first heard about it: The Matrix meets Brave New World meets Shirley Jackson's "The Lottery." An interesting flick. Also saw with Keith 13 Conversations about One Thing which hot on the heels of Little Miss Sunshine I wanted to see in order to get more Alan Arkin. We really enjoyed this film. There was one line spoken by John Turturro which particularly affected me. I'll have to look it up before I quote it though, because I don't want to bastardize it. But it certainly was a movie that gave you a lot to think about. Which I always enjoy in movies, especially when it's not coupled with continual utterly depressing moments. There were a few sad parts, but by no means overwhelming. On my own I watched two more, both older flicks. First, Network which I have to say was a very odd movie. It was neat to finally understand where that "I'm as mad as hell and I'm not gonna take it anymore" cut scene shown at Rangers games (and every oscar montage) comes from, but the rest of the movie was so so weird. They couldn't decide whose story they really wanted to focus on (i.e. Faye Dunaway vs. Peter Finch vs. William Holden). Plus I came into it thinking the movie was about the shift in network news from the positive to the depressing/grotesque/shocking. That is NOT what the movie was about. It was about a newscaster who went wacko and started preaching on television. Not his "prediction" that news would get darker, as the video's description advertised. Over all, I wouldn't recommend it. Too long, too all over the place. Though interestingly, filled with great talent and HUNDREDS of "that guy"s. Also saw Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, a movie which has been on my list forever. I can't say enough good things about how awesome this movie is, and I won't do it justice unless I do, so I'll just say "If you haven't seen it - see it!" B/c it rules. I repeat the fact that I love love love Michelle Yeoh.
Tried a new recipe too this week which I quite liked. It follows below. I haven't been able to get my act together with weight watchers lately and I can't figure out why. I'm trapped in the horrible cycle of "Feel bad - eat - feel bad - gain - feel bad". But I can't seem to find the motivation to launch myself out of it. It sucks. I put on about 6 pounds between Thanksgiving and New Years, and while I've at times taken parts of it off, they've come right back on the next week for the most part. I guess there's just so many things in my life right now which are unstable and throwing me off balance overall as well as in weight loss. I'm going to be traveling a lot for work in the next 2 months so I think that's contributing to my feeling of intimidation about going back on program. Anyway, enough about that depressing stuff, here's the recipe:
Farfalle with Asparagus in Cream Sauce
- 4 cup cooked pasta
- 1 cup asparagus
- 1/2 large vidalia onion(s)
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 1/3 cup half-and-half cream
- 1/4 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1/8 tsp table salt
- 1/8 tsp black pepper
- 4 tsp grated Parmesan cheese
2. Cook the farfalle.
3. While pasta is on, heat olive oil in pan on medium heat. Add onion (finely chopped). Cook till onion is softened, 2-3 minutes.
3. Reduce heat and add broth and half and half. Stir constantly until sauce is reduced by about half, around 10 minutes.
4. Drain pasta, place asparagus on top, and pour sauce over. Toss to cover and top with parmesan cheese.
Thursday, February 22, 2007
Also arriving next week will be ...(drumroll, please)... my new computer! (Boy am I going to have a painful credit card bill this month!) I have owned my current laptop for almost four years (it will be four this April) which as most of you know is around the usual lifespan of a PC. It has started to get very unreliable when playing DVDs or burning CDs, which is a pain, but bearable. Couple this, however, with its shaky security history (2 crashes, once with an unbelievable 156 pieces of spyware) and you can see why my mind has been leaning towards upgrading. Another factor that influenced my decision was that my laptop was never quite capable of the gaming I wanted to get out of it. I purchased CounterStrike: Source and Half Life 2 my senior year of college for I think around $80 and was never able to even open Half Life and had CounterStrike crash on me all the time. I am eager to get back to them both, as well as to finally purchase the copy of "The Sims: 2" that Keith has had on hold for me for ages at GameStop. I might finally get a clue about what had Lydia glued to the computer our freshman year of college. And with my new system (specs forthcoming) other games I've always wanted to play also become feasible: Civ 4, Age of Empires 3, Age of Mythology, and maybe I could even try to play DOTA with the boys now and again! Or at least go on and talk to them. So, without further ado, the specs:
- Operating System: Windows XP Media Center 05 (fuck that Vista shit…for now at least)
- Memory: 1 GB DDR2 SD RAM 667MHz
- Hard Drive: 250 GB (7200 RPM)
- Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo E6300 (1.8 GHz)
- Video Card: 256MB Nvidia GeForce 6800 Graphics Card (I'm told this is pretty good)
- Drives: 48X CDRW/DVD Combo Drive and 16X DVD +/- RW Drive
- Bluetooth Keyboard and Optical Mouse
- 17 inch flat panel LCD monitor
It's nice, yeah? What I found amazing was that it is already (pretty much) impossible to buy a new PC that has XP not Vista. So I decided to go refurbished. I had been thinking about refurbished already anyway because of the price, but it's my first time so I was a bit nervous. Hopefully it should be fine. I had some help from Randolph in picking out my machine. In the end it cost me a grand for everything. Which I think is pretty good for what I ended up with. A little more than I wanted to spend, but the price I paid for avoiding Vista. The new PCs actually cost less in some situations, because there are all these Vista promos out right now. Although most of those computers don't have a graphics card as good as mine. Anyway according to Mrand it should be a "beast of a machine" once it's all nice and cleaned up. As for speakers and a printer, I'm going to use the ones I already had to go with my laptop, since the PC didn't come with and I don't want any more costs right now. So it's been an exciting week of spending, and hopefully now I'm done for awhile.
Tuesday, February 20, 2007
Monday, February 19, 2007
On another note, watched "Quiz Show" on Friday nite, and loved it. The ending made me a little sad, I have to say, but what an entertaining movie! I've never been a huge fan of Ralph Fiennes, but I liked him in this. I've never seen "The English Patient" (it's in the queue) which seems to be one of his most loved roles. Though Lord Voldemort might win out by the time the HP movies are finished. The most memorable other things I remember seeing him in were "Red Dragon" which I absolutely hated, and "Schindler's List," which I mean, c'mon, who sits down to watch that on a regular basis? Great movie, but not something you have a strong desire to watch again. Apparently he's in "The Constant Gardener" which is also in my queue. So maybe I'll have to reform my opinion once I see two more with old Ralph. But anyway, back to "Quiz Show." Now there's a movie that's rife with "that-guys." You know, the one's you point at during the movie and go "HEY it's THAT guy!!" For example, Timothy Busfield, totally a that guy. I don't think he even has any lines in "Quiz Show" - maybe one. Same goes for William Fichtner, the Kevin Bacon look-alike who's always turning up in random movies (i.e. Armageddon, Contact, etc.) Actually I'm pretty sure he didn't actually have any lines in this movie, he was just in the background of a lot of shots at NBC. Also, Paul Guilfoyle, who I know mostly from CSI, it was totally random to see him. He played one of the legislative oversight guys, but again, hardly any lines. Anyway, I'm off the point. Crazy full cast, really cool story, very good film.
Friday, February 16, 2007
Monday, February 12, 2007
Haha, if you thought I was late on the last one, you'll see I'm really late on this one. Actually, I guess I don't intend to really review this movie, since it's so old. But I did want to go on record as saying I'd finally seen it, and that I quite enjoyed it. There was one thing, though, that I thought was weird. It may be due to the era we live in and that we're so used to scenes of war, or that I've seen quite a few Vietnam movies besides this one (Platoon, Apocalypse Now, Forrest Gump), but I felt like this movie did not really portray the horrific magnitude that said war had. I know that that wasn't really the main focus of the movie. The character of Adrian Chronaur was the main focus, but he was also being used as a metaphor for what was wrong with the whole way we approached the war (I think that was the intent, anyway.) And so if you're going to do that, you have to show something a little more real. I feel like I saw the same 2 cut scenes a hundred times; it was either the one of marines boating through a tributary or the one of marines laying on their Jeeps in the sun listening to the radio. I mean c'mon. The bloodiest the film ever got was the explosion at Jimmy Waa's. Not a real good portrayal of the war. But overall that's my only real complaint. Otherwise, a funny yet poignant movie.
Sunday, February 11, 2007
Tried this recipe tonight, and loved it! These little suckers are really filling, and full of healthy but tasty ingredients!
Spinach, Tomato and Feta Pizza
4 large wheat pita(s) - I use Thomas' Sahara Wheat Pitas
1 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
10 oz chopped frozen spinach, thawed and drained of excess water
1 can of petite diced tomatoes, drained - I use Hunts
1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled
dried oregano, to taste
garlic powder, to taste
Preheat oven to 400ºF.
Throw pitas in oven while it's preheating (for about 10 minutes, so they crisp up a bit before we put the ingredients on.)
While this is going, I prefer to use fresh spinach instead of frozen, so I cook the spinach during this time. First I wash it (a 10 oz bag) and then, with just the water that clings to it, cook it in a medium saucepan, stirring occasionally until all the leaves are wilted. Then I roughly chop it up a bit.
Take pitas out and place on a baking sheet. Spoon ricotta over pitas, to within 1/2" of the edges. Top with spinach, tomato and feta; sprinkle with oregano and garlic powder.
Bake until edges of pitas are golden, about 12 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature. Delicious!!!
The movie theater in my town, btw, is really cute. It's only 6 theaters, but they tend to play decent stuff (a mix of popular and art-house), and pretty comfy seats. Small theaters too, but with big screens, making for an up close and personal (but not too close) movie-watching experience. Plus there's a starbucks less than a block away, where Keith and I happily went for a coffee afterwards. Then I made us a yummy dinner, which will be a separate post, because I want to share the recipe!
Oh, also, final note: Keith and I checked out VeryFunnyAds.com today, and holy shit there are some great ones. I highly recommend "Tea Partay" and "Condoms." We were rolling on the floor.
Saturday, February 10, 2007
Had my parents over for dinner last night - grand old time. They really enjoyed seeing the apartment, and I enjoyed having some company! It was especially nice to have someone to eat with. Also nice for them to see that I really am living in a nice place. Hopefully it made them feel good to see that I am living comfortably and enjoying myself. And that it hasn't been a struggle to make it happen. I tried out a new recipe, and give it two thumbs way up!
Crusted Honey Mustard Chicken
2/3 cup lite honey mustard dressing
1/8 tsp table salt
1/8 tsp black pepper
2 tsp dill, freshly chopped
1 medium scallion(s), finely sliced
1 cup cornflake crumbs
1 pound uncooked boneless, skinless chicken breast, four 4 oz pieces
1. Preheat oven to 425°F.
2. In a small bowl, combine honey mustard dressing, salt, pepper, dill and scallions.
3. Place corn flake crumbs in a shallow bowl. Dip chicken breasts into dressing mixture, then corn flake crumbs. Place into shallow baking pan well coated with cooking spray.
4. Drizzle any remaining dressing mixture over chicken breasts.
5. Bake until chicken is golden and no longer pink, about 15 minutes.
I served this with twice baked feta-cheese potatoes, and some steamed broccoli with garlic.
Thursday, February 8, 2007
Friday, February 2, 2007
Wednesday, January 31, 2007
Also, as a random side note, I had a weird, scary dream last night where I killed a bunch of cows by cutting their Achilles tendons. And then a bunch of people that I work with got sad about the dead cows, and started jumping out the windows of my building. I decided to leave the building then, but it only made the people at work more antagonized, so then they started trying to jump on to me when they jumped out the windows. It was freaky. Aiiight, peace.
Tuesday, January 30, 2007
Saturday, January 27, 2007
Let me start at the beginning. First of all, the NJSO has a great student program with regard to ticketing. Keith and I were able to purchase what's known as a "Class Pass." Costing $32 per person, a class pass is 4 vouchers to future concerts that can be redeemed as tickets are available. So Keith and I redeemed our first set of tickets to this past Saturday's concert - "Russia's Mighty Five." We were seated (for our $8 each) in row T of the orchestra section. Now most people would probably be impressed with the quality of seating given to student ticket holders, but true aficionados of the symphony know the best acoustics are actually in the balcony. In row T we had a wall just 2 rows behind us, off of which the percussion section's sound was bouncing all night, causing an abundance of beat for Keith and I. But that was okay because we knew it was the fault of the acoustics and not the orchestra.
The lineup of the concert was based on a group of composers credited with developing what we think of as "Russian sound," and known as "Russia's Mighty Five" or "The Big Five." These composers are (in decreasing order of fame, to most): Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, Modest Mussorgsky, Mili Balakirev, Alexander Borodin, and Cesar Cui. A lot of pieces with which I'm very familiar, but have never heard live, were on the lineup. The first portion of the concert was a solo pianist (who I've never heard) Jie Chen, performing works by Mussorgsky, Cui, and Balakirev. After the first intermission, the orchestra came on stage and performed the same Balakirev piece Chen had just finished, "Islamey," as it was orchestrated after his death by one of his students, Liapounov. Neeme OWNED this piece. He was a sprite, a pogo stick, a ringleader on the podium. He really made you know just what you were supposed to feel from the piece, and he interacted so dynamically with his musicians you could practically see wires connecting them to each other. He was like a puppeteer. And "Islamey," what a piece! The next piece, was the posthumously well known "Night on Bald Mountain," given more widespread exposure through Disney's "Fantasia." I thought that Neeme missed the mark on this piece. He seemed, in the most climactic parts, to be blunt - too eager to "blow his load" as it were. And he lost touch with the orchestra, in my opinion, because of this eagerness. They weren't as clearly with him as they had been in the last piece. Also, he over dramatized the contrast between the climax sections and the slow interludes, and build-up sections. I dunno, it just wasn't doing it for me. Leopold Stokowsky pretty much takes the cake on that piece. After Mussorgsky was Borodin's appearance with the "Polovtzian Dances" from Prince Igor. I was pretty pleased with these, though I thought the second dance (more of a pavane than a dance) was a little (again) rushed. Mostly, quite beautiful though. There was a second intermission at this point, followed by the epic (42 minute) Scheherazade of Rimsky-Korsakov. Though the two main themes of this piece are clear and quite dominant throughout, it is still captivating for all 42 minutes, changing tone and feeling quite often. For me, at least.
So overall, I'd say a stellar concert. Also, I forgot to mention that before the concert they now do "concert talks" where they discuss some aspects of note in at least one of the works they intend to perform. Very cool, and very much in the spirit (which I appreciate) of make classical music "more accessible." So in short (or long) I can't wait for my next NJSO concert!
Friday, January 26, 2007
Thursday, January 25, 2007
Wednesday, January 24, 2007
The WSJ had an interesting article today about a really cool tool that's new to me. As the article is appropriately subtitled, "Time Waster," I can see myself wasting quite a bit of time with it. The tool is a history of presidential buzzwords. It scans all the major presidential speeches from our history (state of the union addresses, inaugural speeches, war declarations, etc) and indicates which 100 words appear most frequently in a given speech. Then it uses a format called "Tag Clouds" to show which words have been used most frequently out of the 100, and which of these words are newest or oldest in the overall presidential lexicon. Use the slider to change speeches. Links to all speeches (usually hosted by Britannica) are at the bottom left of the page.
It's a cool project that this guy has thought of, so check it out. I know I'll be perusing it for the next few days. Another fun trend I've already noticed besides the ones discussed in the article, is that Teddy Roosevelt's favorite word seems to have been "corporations" which soon fades with Taft, makes a slight reemergence after the stock market crash in '29, and then completely falls off the radar again until like Reagan or so.
Tuesday, January 23, 2007
Monday, January 22, 2007
The other reason for the post was that I made an awesome awesome new recipe tonight. Extremely healthy and very tasty. Here it is:
Fusili with Yellow Pepper Sauce
- 3/4 cup water
- 1 large yellow pepper, seeded and chopped
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 plum tomato, seeded and chopped
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 1/4 tsp table salt
- 2 cup uncooked fusilli
- 4 tsp grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
- 2 Tbsp parsley, minced
- 1/8 tsp black pepper, or to taste (I used more)
- Combine water, pepper, onion, tomato, oil, salt, and ground pepper in a nonstick skillet over medium-low heat. Cover and cook, stirring frequently, until vegetables are tender and liquid evaporates, 15 to 18 minutes. Add more water, 1/4 cup at a time, if liquid evaporates too fast.
- Meanwhile, cook fusilli according to package instructions. Drain and put in a serving bowl.
- Transfer vegetables to a blender or food processor. Add ricotta cheese and purée. Pour over fusilli and toss to coat. Serve, sprinkled with parsley and Parmesan cheese.
If yellow peppers are unavailable, red or orange will work just as well. But steer clear of green peppers - the flavor is too strong. Also, if you're a weight watchers member, this can either be 2 dinner sized servings for 8.5 points each (and 2 veggie servings!) or 4 lunch sized portions at 4 points each (and 1 veggie serving.)
So there you have it - I highly recommend it, and hope whoever reads this will give it a try!
There was something else I wanted to post about today, but I can't remember what it is at the moment. Perhaps I shall post again if I remember. Somehow I think it had something to do with politics. Sigh. Mind of a sieve.
Sunday, January 21, 2007
More fun plans for today. My immediate fam (minus Aaron) are going into NYC to visit my cousins who just moved from Manhattan to the Bronx. It's really my Dad's first cousin, though I think of him as my cousin, and his wife and two kids. The kids (Henry and Lucy) are ADORABLE! I might have to post some pics when I get back. Actually I should be running, I'm late for my weight watchers meeting in Fairfield!!
Saturday, January 20, 2007
In other news, I am totally pumped today because I am going to the Rangers game with my brother. I bought him tickets for Hanukkah, so I've been waiting for over a month for today to come!! I have been watching many of the games this season on TV with my Dad and having such a great time. I sort of lost interest for a couple of years when the Rangers were so so bad, but there was a time when I was 10 or 11 and could recite the whole lineup. They're playing Atlanta today, who I've never seen in action, so that should be fun. What I know of their team is that they're a bunch of young guns with a lot of energy, and that they've beat the Rangers all three times they've met so far this season. Which hopefully means I'll be doing a lot of cheering to urge us on! Another new fun thing is that I'll be sitting in a section of MSG I've never sat in before (for a sporting event or concert) - the 300s. Back when my dad used to work for Ogden we always sat in the 100s, and ever since then I could only afford the 400s, so this will be a new experience. I wonder if I'm allowed to bring my camera? It would be neat to document the view. I can supplement my old collection of pics from my younger days - I have on where I'm about 10 inches (and a layer of glass) away from Jeff Beukeboom - a hulking former defenseman of the Rangers (now retired.) He was on the 94 cup team.
Alright, enough for now. I'm heading over to my parents house (ha! so funny to say that now that I have my own place!) to get some more stuff I forgot, and then I'll be off for the 1 o'clock start!
Friday, January 19, 2007
Ok...I guess adding a picture doesn't make me that anonymous. But it has no caption, and the file title is "short hair" so it'd be pretty hard to google just my picture. So I have two identifying elements - my first name in the title, and the picture. Three I guess if you count the fact that my profile name is the same as the name of the old journal. But I had to give people some way to find me. "You get the idea....Goulet." Alright, enough messing around for tonight. Peace.