Thursday, March 30, 2006

What are you listening to?

I’ve been listening to this Premiere Opera Podcast and I have really been enjoying it. But here is where I make the big confession. Haven’t a clue what they are singing about. I have seen a few operas and I really enjoy watching them but when you actually go and see them, they are usually subtitled. And the when I listen at home I can always follow along with the libretto. But on it’s own, it’s just pretty noise to me. What I like about it, though, is that it’s pretty noise that I can enjoy but I don’t need to concentrate on. I often find myself doing word-heavy work, like indexing, and if I listen to songs in English, I often find myself adding those words to the index. That’s really not good. It could be entertaining…I mean if I was listening to something really raunchy or something. But it’s not good.

Now, I realize that opera is not for everyone. In fact, for a long time I thought it was not for me. But I started listening out of curiosity. I bought a book called What’s All the Screaming About? and learned a little bit about it all. As I recall, it was a very entertaining book and I guess it must have stuck because I have been listening to the screaming ever since. I think it also helped that one of the first real, non-Bugs Bunny opera singers I really listened to was Cecilia Bartoli. She’s just so damn cute I figured that something had to be good about it.

I have also subscribed to a few other podcasts. One is the Paste Magazine Culture Club (and I will say that I did think “oooh Culture Club” for a second before I realized that Boy George had nothing to do with it) and also The Word Nerds. I did listen to Ricky Gervaise’s first series but I haven’t picked up the second yet. The only other ones I have dabbled in are the Vegan Freak Radiot and a Dr. Who podcast. I decided that I didn’t particularly care for them but that’s just me. You might love them.

What are you listening to?

Voted Most Dependable Girl in the First Grade

I know we have broken down the nerd/geek/dork element but what we haven’t talked about (and you know, by “we” I have no idea who “we” are. Whoever feels like answering, I suppose) those strange titles we may have had as kids. It’s not just me, right? I mean this haa come up in my office and we (different “we” here for a moment) have come to the conclusion that there are THOSE kids in every school. You know, the dinosaur kid, the shark kid, the Garfield kid, the dig a hole to China kid…did you have those? Were YOU one of those? Why do kids do that? Become obsessed with one particular idea to the point that it identifies them? I guess adults do it too. I’m sure you have the wine friends, the art friends, the movie friends. But I think it’s more fun in kids because…well really, how many adults are obsessed with digging a hole to China and would you really want to be friends with them anyway?

I don’t know exactly where I fit into that pattern. I was voted “most-dependable” in first grade. Looking back now I realize that that is a really lame-ass award. It’s pretty close to “biggest suck-up” I think. A little later I think I was probably the “reading girl.” I read whenever I had free time in school so I pretty much always had my nose in a book. But on the playground it was a whole other story. I was the “kiss ‘em or kick ‘em” girl. The one who would corner the cute boys and either kiss them or kick them, depending on how I felt that day. Actually this would be an excellent way to live my life now but I suspect that there would be a lot more kicks doled out these days.

So from what I remember, we had Stephen, “the Snoopy boy” who I think was also “the shark kid”. Odd combination, that. Later he would become become “the dude that wears that Dr. Who scarf all the time”, there was Chrissy, “the Woody Woodpecker girl”, who was so obsessed with Woody that she carried around a stuffed Woody doll well into grade school. I know there were several digging kids, but I don’t remember their names, probably because they were always down that hole. I do clearly remember at one “dinosaur kid”. A few “ballet girls” and OH! We had a lot of “horsey girls” in my school. They played with horse figurines the way other kids might play Barbie’s and they even played “stables” rather than playing “house”. Like they were racehorses and if you played with them you could be the new foal in the paddock or something. Looking back, that one is pretty creepy.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Just one more thing...

I love this video. Really excellent animation. It is part of my "happy day" file. I am particularly fond of the part where he throws himself on the ground. The song is ok too. But the animation rocks.

Mmm...word salad.

Have you ever had that moment when your native tongue suddenly becomes alien to you? Like when you say your name over and over and at some point, quite suddenly, it just becomes a sound (please don’t ask me why you would say your name over and over again, I don’t really know). Or when you say a word and realize that the sound of it, the actual phonetics of it, make no sense at all. The word still means cheese but the sound…it’s just noise. I think that there is an actual mental illness that causes this but you know…I just have a mild case. I’m not dangerous or anything.

Actually in looking this up I find a few interesting types of linguistic-type mental problems. Both have excellent names: word salad and echolalia, you may remember these from psych 101. But that’s not really the point.

So, I was reading this article about free speech by Tom Stoppard, who incidentally wrote one of my favorite plays (it’s an interesting article, by the way of the incidentally tangent). But I stopped to look up a word. I won’t shame myself by telling you which one but I will say that I thought I knew the word and just wanted to check that I was interpreting what he said correctly, which sounds like justification (and it is) but I do have a reasonably decent vocabulary, believe it or not. But from that point on it all seemed like another language to me and I kept having to go back and look words up. No kidding, I must have looked up 5 more words…just to check. And then I started looking up words that I KNOW that I know…just to check. Is this what they call a breakdown? Perhaps I should look it up…just to check.

In which I bore you
(assuming you even read it)

So the breakfast thingy of the week is pumpkin cranberry breakfast cookies. And that is good. They aren’t vegan but I guess they could be with a little work. I’ve not mess much with egg replacers, I guess that will have to be my next round of experimental baking.

So it was a weekend of…well…we went to some places we had never been…and we got lost coming home. Well, James, got lost. And he will tell you he didn’t get lost he knew where he was going; he just went 2o some odd blocks out of the way. I knew where I was but after I asked him if he knew how to get home and he said yes, I kept my mouth shut for 17 blocks. Maybe he was taking me somewhere nice for a surprise, how would I know? Turns out he just went the wrong way. Go figure.

Anyway, one of the new places we visited was Mitsuwa Marketplace, a Japanese supermarket. I did go there with an ulterior motive in mind. I really wanted to find a Sakura Kit-Kat. And I did. And it was good. (Hunh, in looking for a picture of it, I found a lot of negative reviews. Me, I’m pretty picky about chocolate and I liked it, so there!) I had also read that they had excellent sushi grade fish. We didn’t get any because we didn’t know when we would get home, so I am thinking next time we will put a cooler in the trunk. Just in case.

I think it’s always fun to explore grocery stores. I like finding new products and new foods. Since this was largely imported products, there was a lot to linger over. We came home with some candy, some beer and some pork buns and I am quite sure we will go back for some fish and more candy.

Then we had dinner at The Counter.. It’s a nice burger joint and when you sit down you are given a clipboard with a checklist to build your own burger. The possibilities are kind of staggering. You can also chose between beef, turkey and veggie burgers and I think even a chicken breast. I did have beef, even though I am not a fan because I kind of felt like I should try what they were famous for. Frankly, I could have been happy with a sammich made just from toppings. They had an amazing onion marmalade and lovely veggies. I ended up giving a good portion of the meat to James but I ate all the bleu cheese, mixed greens, tomatoes and onion marmalade myself. We also tried the fried dill pickles. They were fine but I probably wouldn’t get them again. Nothing wrong with them but they didn’t thrill me. I did notice that they offer a chocolate burger for dessert but that just scared me and there was no way I could have fit it in anyway.

It was kind of big cooking weekend too. Aside from the breakfast cookies, I made some tortillas and some potato/corn filling for tonight’s enchiladas. And for dinner last night I tried out Martha’s recipe for chicken and dumplings. I liked the gravy and I guess I always thought you needed more liquid than this to make the dumplings but no. I did decide that I preferred my own version of dumplings though and will continue to make them with Bisquick (That last bit is mostly for my brother who also likes to make what we grew up calling “chicken pot-pie” and everyone else calls “chicken and dumplings”).

OK enough. If you made it this far you are now bored. Go read something interesting.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Recipe-ish
(it's really more of an idea)

Hey, do me a favor. No, actually, do yourself a favor and make this recipe-ish. Unless you are a vegetarian, then you might not like it as is contains meat. Sorry. Maybe if you are a vegetarian you should just skip this. But if you are not…take the skin off some turkey legs (this is honestly the hardest part of this recipe-ish, it’s all gravy from here…well not really gravy, more like barbecue sauce…but you’ll see…) ok, now chuck those turkey legs in your crock-pot. What? You don’t have a crock-pot? Ok, go get one…then chuck the turkey legs in it. I promise it will totally be worth it. Now, cover those turkey legs in barbecue sauce. I made my own (oooh ladidah!) but it was really easy. I used a large can of tomato sauce and added brown sugar, salt, red pepper, liquid smoke, garlic powder, mustard and soy sauce until I liked the way it tasted (you’d think that someone like me who likes to cook would be more specific but hey, that’s how I roll). Ok, once your legs are covered just put the lid on the crock-pot and let then cook on low for 5-6 hours.

When you take the turkey legs out they will absolutely fall off the bone. Just be careful of the tendons (they will be easy to see amongst the meat. They will be an ivory color).

Really, this was soooooo good and so easy. James and I rarely agree on dinners but this was a mutual hit. If you like barbecue and especially if you like pork barbecue but you want something a little lighter, give it a try. I hope you like it.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Magic Ipod

I wasn’t going to do this one (stolen from Jodi who nicked it from elsewhere) but I just had to. I couldn’t help myself. I had to know what my friends really think of me. And I like the answer…I don’t exactly believe it but I like it. But some of the answers were fun anyway. And my mom would certainly appreciate that my ipod (ok, well, I am pretty sure she kind of knows what an ipod is but…maybe not) told me to “stand up straight.”

How does the world see me?
Give Up The Funk (Tear The Roof Off The Sucker)-Parliament

Will I have a happy life?
Suffragette City-Seu Jorge

What do my friends really think of me?
Respect-Aretha Franklin

Do people secretly lust after me?
Higher Than The -Primal Scream

How can I make myself happy?
Air-Gardin

What should I do with my life?
Radio Cure-Wilco

Will I ever have children?
Use It-The New Pornographers

What is some good advice for me?
Stand Up Tall-Dizzee Rascal

How will I be remembered?
Always Take The Weather With You-Crowded House

What is my signature song?
I Need You Tonight-INXS

What do I think my signature song is?
I Wanna Be Your Dog-The Stooges

What does everyone else think my signature song is?
Jacking The Ball-Sea & Cake

What song will play at my funeral?
The Staunton Lick-Lemon Jelly

What type of guys do I like?
Schools Out For The Summer-Alice Cooper

What is my day going to be like?
This Charming Man-The Smiths

Now, Brenda commented that she didn’t want to show her playlists after reading mine and Jodi’s but I have to say, I have one particular playlist that contains the music I listen to at work. Then there is the rest of my music. And I make no bones about the fact that I like what I like. I like me some Spice Girls, I like me some Culture Club and I love me some Django Reinhardt. I will pretty much listen to anything. Heck, just yesterday I was listening to the Marriage of Figaro in my car. I don’t know what they heck they are saying but I sure like the way they say it.

My lack of musical discretionhas on occasion driven my friends a little crazy, I don’t think that Jules ever wants to listen to Loretta Lynn or the Barenaked Ladies ever again. But she doesn’t have to. At least I know that Lava Bear and I are agreed that “Toxic” truly is Britney’s best song ever.

And Brenda, like I said, you can’t go wrong with Greg Kihn. You really can’t. And just because I can, here is the proof of my longstanding love for him. This is a photo of a clipboard made for me circa…1990 or so, maybe a bit earlier, by my best friend. Among the many photos pasted on it…there is a photo of one Mr. Greg Kihn.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Memento Nori

I have this bad habit (what, just one?). If I am watching television alone, I tend to watch more than one thing at a time. This is generally not wise but I do get some interesting mash-ups. I think one of my favorites was Troy of the Dead. Who knew that Spartans and zombies mixed so well? (Go now and write that Roman zombie movie for me, you know you want to).

So this past weekend it was Dr. Eddie Who Izzard (yeah, I don’t know how to make that into a clever mash-up title, sorry). BBCAmerica was playing Eddie Izzard: Circle and although I have seen it, I do love me some British men in drag. Mix it up with a little cheesy, hot sci-fi (mmm…cheesy hot sci-fi) and I am in geeky heaven. I will not even go into the fact that I do so love them all, Eddie and the Doctor and Rose. These are beautiful looking people. And how does Eddie do what he do in five inch heels when I can’t even sit in them without looking like an idiot? If that’s not proof that we are all just “born that way” then I don’t know what is. I totally missed out on the “dress like a girl” gene. I guess Eddie got mine. And let me just tell you, when you do wear the high heels, please remember that the toilet is now that much lower. It’s…yeah…I speak from experience here, people.

I took a little jaunt with some girlfriends this weekend. We went out to Ojai, a little town that I had never before visited. It was pretty interesting and we had a good ol’ time wandering around and having tea. Yep, tea. What with the scones and clotted cream and everything. And belive me, clotted cream tastes much better than it sounds. So this put me in mind of opening my own goth themed bakery. Do you think people would actually buy food from a place called Malicious Delicious? What if the predominant theme of the bakery was skull and crossbones? Do you think that is sending a mixed message there? Hmmm… I think this is something I need to work on. How does one make truly black cupcake icing anyway?

Oddly, this actually ties in to a cookbook idea that I’ve been working on. My husband thought that I should author a goth cookbook. I don’t know if I will ever get around to it but every once in a while I crack myself up when I think of a good recipe. C’mon…Never S’mores? Bella Linguini is Dead? Memento Nori rolls? This, my friends, is comedy gold…or something.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Avocados, Morrissey
and the Randomness of it all.

I am kind of amazed by the way my tastes have changed over time. And by tastes, I do mean actually taste bud type tastes but also the more philosophical sort of tastes as well. For example, for most of my life I did not care for the taste of avocado. I tried it whenever it was offered but it always seemed to have the scent and texture of play-dough to me and if I wanted to eat green play-dough I would just steal some from a first grader and eat it.

Then I moved to California, where everything is coated in avocado. Everything. Every freaking sammich seems to have a slice of avocado on it and eventually I just got tired of saying “And no avocado or mayonnaise, please” (yeah, they put mayo on your burger without asking you…why do they do that? ok, maybe it’s just islands that does that, I don’t know, but it gets on my nerves) and just took it off myself. Then one day I got tired of even taking the avocado off and hey bam! There it is. It actually tasted good. Like literally out of nowhere I decided that I liked avocado and now…one of my favorite things in the world. How exactly did that happen?

And then there is Morrissey. I have never been a fan. I have always claimed that he just sounds too much like Kermit the frog and as much as I love Kermit, I don’t need to listen to him singing all the time. But one day, a few months ago I woke up and thought, I MUST LISTEN TO THE SMITHS TODAY. I have no idea where it came from or why but there it was. I collected some songs and started listening…and listening…I put it on my iPod and listened to then while baking vegan muffins (how appropriate!), I played them in my car, at my desk. I only have about ten or 12 songs but I started listening to them over and over again. I love the music, I love the lyrics, but I still can’t say I love his voice. But I love it enough to keep listening. How did that happen?

And keeping with the theme of tastes, randomness and music...ten random songs from iTunes today...
Natural Blues-Moby—Jules has been sending me music on Fridays lately but this morning this showed up. She felt it was a most appropriate song for a Monday. I agree.
Milk And Apples-Jets To Brazil—Another song gifted to me. I don’t actually know much about this band but they certainly are fun.
You Only Move Twice-Jeniferever—I think I picked this up at 3hive one day and I liked it enough to keep it.
Always Take The Weather With You -Crowded House—I have always loved this song. It just seems so sad.
Pictures of You-The Cure—Talk about loving a song. This was a favorite to dance to in the Dance Hall Days of my youth. Usually alone. How pathetic is that?
Stripped-Depeche Mode—Damn this is a good mix of ten. Fave Depeche song ever!
Ever Fallen In Love?-The Buzzcocks—Oh it just gets better and better! Man, I am glad I cleaned up the ol’ iTunes a bit. This song is punk rock brilliant!
Mama Said Knock You Out-LL Cool J—Oh the ladies, we do love Cool James. This one…ah, so classic.
Lies-Thompson Twins—I could not have asked for a better random ten today. Did you know that Alanna Curry of Thompson Twins shaved her eyebrows because she couldn’t afford the rainbow colored contact lenses she wanted to make the band stand out? Yeah, I don’t know if that’s true or not, I just remember reading that once a long time ago.
You Can't Break A Broken Heart-The 6ths (Magnetic Fields)—sigh. I am almost sad that this is random. But to save this mix, as it’s own play list defeats the randomness of life.
(No Smiths…go figure).

And just in case you were wondering, because really, why wouldn’t you…the vegan breakfast pastry of the week is currant scones with oats, very good.

Finally, following the theme of randomness, this morning I found this picture in my inbox. Ms. Smith took it for me way back in December. I am posting without permission because that’s how I roll…also I am too lazy to ask but if you look carefully you can see the chandeliers hanging along Rodeo Blvd for Christmas. I am fascinated by the fact that they do this but so far not fascinated enough to get my butt down to Beverly Hills to see them. Maybe next year. Until then I have this picture to marvel. Thank you Ms. Smith for remembering my fascination and taking a quick drive-by snap for me.

Friday, March 17, 2006

YAY!


Just a reminder. Dr. Who starts on the SciFi network tonight. Please watch it so they continue showing on into the new season. It's good, take my word for it. You don't need to be familiar with previous versions of the Doctor and really...how can you resist such hotness (both of 'em!)?

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Happy Day

Yesterday was not my favorite day. Aside from the traffic nothing really bad happened but it left me feeling really frazzled. Yeah, I said frazzled, what about it? BUT I was just cleaning some stuff from my computer and I found my "Happy Day" folder, which contains some videos of things that just make me a little happier. Now with the ease of Google Video, I hope you have a happier day too...

I don't know why I love this guy so much but don't you want to travel the world and do your stupid dance too?
Can someone just tell me what the heck is up with her legs? It's not just me, is it? Those are all kinds of wrong, right? (Image from Glamour Magazine UK)

*sigh*

Today in a nutshell…it took one hour and fifty-five minutes (or so) to drive approximately 22 miles. This did not make me happy.

And some brief messages to some people I met on the road today:

To the man in the black BMW SUV thingy: Just because you wave your hand out the window doesn’t mean you get to automatically cut in front of me. And that gesture I made at you did not mean, “By all means sir, please go ahead” it meant “Hey, asshole WTF?”

To the lady in the blue Ford SUV thingy: When you pass me on the right…ON THE SHOULDER and then the shoulder narrows and you want to get in front of me, I will flip you off and call you really nasty names because I OBEYED THE LAW you stupid woman. And guess what, all the rest of us need to get to work, or to the store, or to our appointments too. So yes, F*** YOU TOO. Next time stay in the proper lanes and behave like a human being.


Look, I am generally not an ANGRY person, really but this was ridiculous.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

"She comes in colors"...
what the heck is that supposed to mean?

JustJENN was asking about songs that “make your heart ache.” And there is no doubt that we all have them. I guess it’s mostly our connections with the songs and where and when we heard them but has anyone ever told you that a particular song reminds them of you? Were you disturbed by the answer? I was thinking about this the other day, I used to have a playlist called “Songs I Wish Were About Me” and the only song that I remember being in there was “Nosering Girl by Nerf Herder. I don’t have a nose ring, although I have thought about it on occasion but then I just think…ow. Anyway, I remember someone once told me that “Punk Rock Girl" by The Dead Milkmen reminded them of me and while I am flattered and I do like iced tea and I used to wish I could afford to shop at Zipperhead (which, sadly, no longer exists) and there was a time where I did eat at the Philly Pizza Company (look, if you just look at the lyrics, you will understand why I say all this), I have never jumped on a table in any restaurant and I don’t much are for Mojo Nixon nor have I even stolen a car. So I never really knew how to take it. Is it nice to remind someone of a song? And what happens if YOU don’t like that song? A guy once told me that I made him think of the song “She Comes in Colors”…what exactly does that mean? And how would he know anyway? What is the appropriate response to such a comment (“Don’t come near me! I have a gun!”).

I always think that I want someone to say that a really cool song reminds them of me. A song like…well, I don’t know. I guess “You Shook Me All Night Long” might be nice but hardly appropriate. Or how about “Lips Like Sugar”? OK at the very least I will take “Toxic” (c’mon, I’m pretty toxic). But no, I get the ones that I can’t puzzle out. Or the ones that just don’t fit. Or the ones that I wish would fit but don’t. Sigh. Although I suppose I should just be happy that it wasn’t something like “Queen Bitch” or “Rock Me Amadeaus.”

ADDENDUM: And what about the really inappropriate use of songs in ads? Last year JC Penney used “99 Red Balloons”(the English version of Nena’s “99 Luft Balloons”) which we all know is about nuclear war, in a VALENTINE’S DAY ad. Now I have had some bad Valentines but really! My friend was so outraged that she wrote a letter to Penney’s. You will notice they did not run that ad campaign this year. And, as my husband likes to point out, the really terrible use of any song by Applebee’s. “Imagine steak and shrimp and shrimp and steak” to the tune of “Happy Together”? You couldn’t do better than that Applebee’s?

Heh, You said "Duty."

Hey CBS! If you are going to name your hot new show "The Unit”, then please don’t expect me not to snicker like a fourteen year old boy everytime you tell me to watch "THE UNIT." The only thing that would make it better was if "THE UNIT" was sponsored by The Sak. Or perhaps you might like to run those Ford SUPER DUTY commercials because yes, I am that immature.

Please stop putting your unit all over my TV and then I will stop laughing at your unit. OK?

Monday, March 13, 2006

I got the cold feet.

I don’t have much to say about the Battlestar finale as I am a watcher but not really a follower, I have missed too many episodes. But I would like to note that everyone I have spoken to about it (OK, by everyone, I do mean the two women I talk to everyday who watch it) and the first comment from each of us was that hair and babies must grow differently on New Caprica. I will excuse it though since I have no idea how a half-cylon baby ages or if gravity or something could influence hair growth in a human. That’s all I really have to say about it.

Oh and I know I said I was not going to talk about the muffins but when I said that I meant those specific muffins. There were no muffins last week because there were…vegan scones. Very good pecan scones with just a little bit of maple. Yum. This week there are muffins again, cherry almond muffins. Also very good. I was careful about baking time and turned the pan halfway through since I think my crappy oven is hotter on one side than the other. But they came out fine and I would say they are very good. I don’t much care for the wet fruit in the muffin though so next time I will try it with dried instead. Still, they are tasty nonetheless.

It was a pretty quiet weekend at casa de me. We blew a fuse on Saturday and since we don’t have access to the fuse box we had to wait for the landlady to come and fix it so we were left with all important electrical toys unusable. No internets, no television, no coffee and no toast. It was all fine by me…except the coffee part. That kind of sucked.

Today I noticed that it is actually colder here (in L.A.) than it is on the east coast. Now I realize that I grew up on the east coast and I know what cold feels like (well New Jersey cold, not like Nebraska cold) and L.A. cold is not all that cold but 40 degrees is 40 degrees and that, my friends, is what it has been in the evenings and that is cold. It’s been in the 60s in the afternoons, which I can handle but I swear it’s about 40 at my desk right now. I am wearing two sweaters, wool sock and furry boots and I am still shivering. And as the east coast spring starts, L.A. will stay cool and then it will be June, which is always gray and chilly to me. That seems so absurd but for the 8 years I have spent in L.A. every June people start saying “It’s so cold! It’s June, it shouldn’t be this cold” and I have to start yelling about how it’s always this way and that’s why they call it the JUNE GLOOM people! Man, pay attention why don’t you.

Sorry. That’s my little rant for the day. JUNE GLOOM, ok? I hate it and I am not enjoying March that much either.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

As long as I am here...

I got a little present today. See, Batman DOES TOO LOVE ME! I don't know how many times I have to say it!
(thanks Mr. Beaucoup)

Everybody else was doing it...

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Commenty

I started out writing a comment to what a few people had commented on in a previous post but then it got long so I figured I would just make it an entry and make it look like I have a lot of things to write about. But what I really like is how it ends and begins with bakery related non-sequitrs.

Also, the lovely Ms. Smith gave me a dark chocolate cupcake from Sprinkles today. I have to say the cake was excellent but the icing was too sweet and I do not agree with any sort of cupcake construction that requires eating said cupcake with a fork. Cupcakes are handhelds. Also, I think “Sprinkles” sounds like a dirty name for some reason. Still, it was a good cupcake.

My comments to my comments:

Teacakes, you say? Hmmmm.

The movies I never need to see again are...movies I never need to see again.

Matchstick Men was quite tedious to me but to be honest, I don’t remember why. I am not a big fan of Nicholas Cage and Sam Rockwell…he can be fun but he is always Sam Rockwell to me. You know?

Jackie Brown confused the hell out of me because I kept knowing what was going to happen, I decided that Ii was psychic and then realized I had actually read the book (“Rum Punch”). BUT, I kind of just didn’t like the movie. I don’t think Pam Grier is a BAD actress but I don’t love her either and I just don’t like Robert Forester. I just don’t.

The Karate Kid is one of those over-hyped movies from my youth that I imagine I enjoyed as a teen but now I can’t stand. Although Ralph Macchio hold the distinction of being the only celebrity to whom I have ever written a fan letter (I didn’t get a reply). I will confess however that I have yelled “SWEEP THE LEG” more than once in my life.

L.A. Confidential is a total anomaly for me. I should like it. I really should. I like Guy Pierce, I like Kevin Spacey, I like Russell Crowe,I like James Cromwell and I really like Paul Guilfoyle. All that should counteract my distaste for Kim Basinger and that soft, soft focus on her not-an-ingĂ©nue-anymore face but I just didn’t care for it. I remember thinking at the time that it was tedious and obvious but I haven’t seen it since then because, as I say I never need to see it again. Maybe I am wrong.

Strange Days is a bad movie that I have seen many times. Partially I think it is my fondness for Ralph Fines that brings me back but it is a nasty, nasty story, so I don’t know why I come back to it. I do have this fascination with Juliette Lewis too. She’s…compelling for some reason.

One of my favorite L.A. movie moments/memories though is in a movie that is not actually set in L.A. I remember seeing Jurassic Park 2 and the scene where they bring the dinosaur back and it escapes from the boat and runs around tearing up the city. I believe that is supposed to be set in…maybe San Diego. But as I was watching in the theatre, I realized that the street the dinosaur was running down was actually the street right in front of the very theatre in which I was sitting and it alternately freaked me out/made me happy. I was a little afraid that when the movie was over I would come out to a city terrorized by a T. Rex (the dinosaur, not the glam rock band). Sadly, or perhaps happily, I just don’t know anymore, it wasn’t. But this sort of thing happens all the time on TV as well. Almost every street background on sit-coms is my neighborhood. It is unnerving to be watching a show set in New York or Chicago and see Magnolia Blvd. in Burbank being used as background.

And if they were squid cupcakes, I think you could fairly call them a gross.

In which Ren totally turfs it.

I’m gonna start this with two confessions. They aren’t great secrets or anything but they are sort of shameful. And it will all tie together somehow…I think.

First, I am not the most graceful person you have ever met. And if you have ever met me, right now you are laughing. But despite years of dance training and such, I still can manage to fall down the stairs, sit down on the stairs to wipe off the blood and then turn around and fall UP the stairs. On the way to my final exam for a college acting class I feel down a flight of cement stairs and had to deliver my scene with blood running down my knees. And I have actually sustained a serious HOUSEKEEPING injury that involved a trip to the emergency room, a CAT scan and a course of antibiotics. I am, to be succinct (too late), clumsy.

That said, I am always, always the first to laugh at a kid turfing it on his/her skateboard, My husband says I am a terrible person for this but I don’t wish them any bodily harm, I just love to see skateboarders bite it (but hey, I do stop and make sure they get up and brush themselves off. If they were lying there on the ground moaning in pain I would totally stop to help them…after I stopped laughing). And my husband is the one who calls the police on the skaters in the street. I’m the one who likes to run around the house yelling SKATEBOARDING IS NOT A CRIME! (To which he always responds, “Yeah, but loitering is.” I totally married Mr. Wilson (C’mon, Dennis the Menace’s next door neighbor, the grumpy old man, you knew that, right?)

Part of this comes from being a kid who, obviously, took headers off my skateboard quite often. But there is an odd pride when you fall off a skateboard, you know? You attempted to do something stupid, to perhaps fly down a hill on a little piece of wood with for tiny wheels on it and even if you aren’t exactly successful…well…a crash is just as successful, I suppose. But, the thing is, I get really upset when people just fall. Skateboarding is one thing, you put your own life in peril but when anyone falls on TV, I gasp and clutch my pearls until I see them get up, never mind real life. I am terrified of falling so I just assume that everyone else is too. Dude, when they did that thing at the last summer Olympics and that guy was running through time and when he got to 1940’s when the Olympics were not held because of the war and he falls? I gasped and said “Oh my gosh, I hope that poor guy was ok!” and then I felt stupid because it was just intended to represent the faltering of the Olympic spirit or some such nonsense. Do you have any idea what I am talking about or am I the only person that watched the Athens opening ceremonies?).

Ok here’s the part where it all ties in…It was rainy last night and I needed to stop at the store on my way home. That’s all fine, I have no problems with rain or grocery stores. I put my jaunty little rain hat on (no, seriously, it’s jaunty) and I buttoned my coat and got out of my car and walked across the parking lot and I was fine. I was fine until I hit the section of the parking lot that is painted as a cross walk and is suddenly really smooth from all the paint and dude, I totally went down SPLASH in a huge puddle. I have no idea how I landed but bruised my knee and elbow on one side while the other side of my body was completely soaked. On top of it all, however I fell required me to shift to get up and thus sit in puddle, so I got even more soaked. I had a passing moment of “Oh no, I am going to die in this puddle, in this very crowded parking lot in front of this very busy store in an extremely busy city…oh, I guess not.” And a very nice older woman asked me if I needed help. I considered saying yes because the bag boy at this particular store is really more of a bag MAN and is quite handsome and lovely and actually looks capable of helping a girl carry her groceries so I’m guessing he could help me off the ground but I said no and stood up. I was fine. A little wet, a little shaken (not stirred) and a little bruised…ok actually, I was a lot wet, so I decided to just go home. I squished my way to my car, found a towel to sit on and drove home, sniffling. I just fell in a parking lot. My knee hurts and I am wet down to the socks and waaaaaaaah. It was all terribly pathetic.

Today I am a little stiff. I somehow managed to twist my back a bit and my knee hurts like the dickens but I’m seeing this all as karma. I will no longer laugh when a kid on a skateboard turfs it.

Oh, who am I kidding?

*Just in case you were wondering, I do say things like “Oh my gosh” and I do “clutch my pearls” (this is that movement that your mom does when something startles her and her hand flies to her sternum as she gasps) which is slightly embarrassing and not at all punk rock of me.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Batter eater!

Bah, I got tagged and while I love playing along with this stuff, I am just not…so much of an L.A. person. I really should get out of Burbank sometimes…

Four L.A. Things:
Four Jobs I've Had In My Life In L.A.:
1. Well, I have worked for a semi-major comic book company for the past 8 years.
2. I worked for a now defunct stock photography company as a “keyworder”, which was a pretty interesting job but I hated the company. Basically, I was given a picture and I had to apply as many words as I could to it. Both the obvious (dog, puppy, pet, animal, fur) and the less obvious (loyalty, love, affection). It was fun on occasion but there was always a limit to what I was allowed to do. Look, if you have a picture of two dudes in casual attire, in a hip looking apartment, hugging, you can keyword “friends” but really, why wouldn’t you also keyword, “couple, love affection, homosexual”? I got very frustrated that such issues were ignored. It’s not as if there aren’t publications looking for a nice picture of a same-sex couple. But, I guess, by the same token, we didn’t keyword any opposite sex couple as “heterosexual.” HOWEVER, it’s a lot easier to find that kind of picture, so I never thought it needed that sort of keyword. Yeah, I guess that’s sexist of me.
3. I was also a photo researcher at the same place. Someone would call and say, “I NEED PICTURES OF A SPARK! NOW NOW NOW!” and I would have to think, “Well, where would I find pictures of sparks? I know! ARC-WELDING!” because really, you only have so many ways to catalog pictures.
4. For two or three days I did a “test-run” at a company that later offered me a job as an illustrator of courtroom displays. Like the picture of the parking lot and the path the car that hit you took, you know? I liked the illustration aspect of the job but I hated the idea that I would have to talk to lawyers all the time and drive around a city that I didn’t know. They asked me to work for pay for two days to see how I dealt with their environment. It was interesting but when they offered the job I declined. They actually came back with a second offer but I just couldn’t get over the “dealing with lawyers” part of it.

Four Movies About LA I Could Watch At Least One More Time (I had to change this one a little bit, I just couldn’t think of any that I could watch over and over again):
1. Valley Girl
2. Singin’ In The Rain
3. Clueless
4. Die Hard (yeah, Alan Rickman makes it worth it)

Four Movies About LA That I Never Need to See Again:
1. Matchstick Men
2. Jackie Brown
3. The Karate Kid
4. L.A. Confidential

Four Places I’ve Lived All Over L.A. (With Food Memories From Each):
Oh! This is a trick answer! My living room is in “Toluca Woods” My bedroom is in Burbank, my kitchen is in Toluca Lake and I think technically my whole apartment is in North Hollywood but if you call the North Hollywood police they will tell you that you are not in their jurisdiction. I’ve only ever lived in one apartment in L.A. but it’s in a really weird location. I would very much like to move but I can’t afford it. (So the food memory thing is changed to favorite foods pretty much because i have to.)

Four L.A.-Themed Shows I Love(d) To Watch:
1. Melrose Place (Oh, like you didn’t!)
2. Miss Match (I like that Alicia Silverstone, I think she’s cute.)
3. V.I.P. (I have a deep and abiding fondess for Pammy, I can’t explain it, I think it’s just this attitude of “This is me. Deal with it” that I think she gives off. And she just seems to “get it” and by “it” I actually don’t mean sex.)
4. Popular (I think I am the only non-teen to ever watch this show…)

Four Places I Would Vacation At In L.A.:
For me, vacations aren’t about L.A. so I am woefully uninformed as to nice places to spend some time. Most of my vacations are excuses to see family in New Jersey.

Four LA-Based Websites I Visit Daily:
1. Absolutely Dorky
2. Candy Blog(This is an L.A. blog, right? I’m pretty sure it is…)
3. justJenn
4. Jane Espenson

Four Of My Favorite Foods Found In L.A.:
1. Fried Tofu at Frontier Wok in Burbank.
2. Carnitas tacos, pretty much anywhere but I particularly liked the ones at Barrigan’s (it’s not just me, is it? that’s a really odd name for a Mexican place, isn’t it?) in Burbank.
3. Tuna Melt with avocado at Snug Harbor in Santa Monica.
4. Tofu Vegatable Soup at Joy Feast in Burbank.
5. Since I never seem to get out of Burbank I will mention that I used to really love the pizza at Jacapos in Hollywood but I haven’t been there in a very long time.

Four Places In L.A. I Would Rather Be Right Now:
1. Curled up in my bed with my cat, a hot drink and a book.
2. Prowling around The Illiad bookstore (well, after the big move I guess).
3. You know, this is a bit of a stretch since it’s not something I have ever done, but at the moment, sitting in the George C. Page museum, sketching skulls sounds very appealing...
4. …As does curling up in a booth at Paty’s and reading a book while drinking some nice hot tea (it’s really cold in here today and I was out in the rain so I’m feeling in need of some warmth and cuddlyness).

I won’t tag anyone because…well, I don’t know anyone to tag. You could, of course, do this with any neighborhood if you are not in L.A.

Man, I made a crapload of cupcakes this weekend for a very nice party at Jodi-odi-odi’s house and drank a little too much but that was ok as I think I was not the only one (I’m lookin’ at you JODI!). I suppose “crapload” is not a very appetizing way to refer to cupcakes but it was a lot. I realized it was a lot when I used and entire package of those little paper liners and I had to open a second package. There were chocolate chocolate chip cupcakes with vanilla buttercream, vanilla cupcakes with buttercream with a touch of cherry juice and peanut butter cupcakes with a chocolate cream icing. I thought they were all pretty good but I still have not found the ultimate chocolate cupcake recipe. I guess I will have to keep trying…sigh. I do have a new band name due to the massive amount of baking going on my house though. I am quite liking BATTER EATERS.

Friday, March 03, 2006

It's a bird! It's a plane! It's...OWWWW!

Have I ever mentioned my sort of not quite super hero alter ego? We all have them, you may not of found yours yet but you have one, I am quite sure. My alter ego is not quite super, only slightly above average hero called…wait for it…CONTUSION! My power, which is not exactly super but could totally come in handy in certain situations, is the ability to cause uncomfortable sprains and bruising. Just think, I could stop a bank robber dead in his tracks by causing him to twist his ankle! Really, it’s not a useless power at all.

Naturally, my costume is a rainbow of deep bloody purple, dark, painful-to-the-touch blue, and a sickening green that lightens to a bilious yellow and instead of a mask, I would sport two black eyes to conceal my identity. I even have a sidekick called…wait for it…MISTER BLISTER. I don’t think I need to explain his powers.

People, it gets better. I am part of a team of not at all extraordinary gentlepeople. We are called…wait for it…THE UNCOMFORTABLES and the team includes the mighty GRIDLOCK and the duel personality of HISTIMINE/ANTI-HISTIMINE (think Two Face with allergies). We’re not super and we are not exactly heroes but…well, that pretty much sums it up.

EDIT: After spending the last hour watching the boys I work with run around like idiots I have decided that MISTER BLISTER should really be SISTER BLISTER. Yes, we are the LEAGUE OF EXTRA ORDINARY GENTLEWOMEN (see, you have to really emphasize the space between EXTRA and ORDINARY, but you get it, right?).

ALSO: Apparently eleven hours is too long to cook potatoes in a slow cooker, just in case you were wondering. I'd say check them after 6 and definitely take them out by 8.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

I WANNA ROCK! I...WANT...TO...ROCK!
(Have I said that before?)

menu
you can click if you want to see my menu!

Oh my gosh! Donovan’s Mom told me that I should make up a monthly menu and it sounded like a good idea. BUT IT”S BEEN SUCH A PAIN IN THE BUTT! The philosophy behind it, she says, is to have the ingredients on hand prior to the day of the meal (yeah, right) and…you know, it just makes things easier. I totally think she’s right but it has not been easy going for me to figure out a twenty-six day menu. And realistically, I know that a lot of these nights I will be caught in traffic, or we will go out with friends, or whatever, but I decided that I would do twenty-six days anyway, just so I can have some flex room. And I am trying really hard to be fair about the distribution of meat. Me, I could eat veggies almost every day and be happy, not so for the husband. So I am trying to have one fish, one chicken, one veggie and one MEAT day each week and I figure on MEAT day I can have a veggie burger, or veggie bacon or whatever while he has a hamburger or some turkey sausage. And then, as I lay it out in a grid I realize that I have two fish days in a row, or no meat day on one week and 4 chickens…it’s all so confusing! I am also trying to add some new dishes to my repertoire AND have a little tofu once in a while because I just really like tofu. On top of it all there is the added complication of servings. If it’s a meat night and I don’t feel like eating meat, I am fine with eating say, the sweet potato and veggies but then what happens to the other meat portion? Because the husband is not terribly fond of leftovers and quite frankly, neither am I. Maybe it’s just as easy to freeze it and then he can eat the same dish again in a week or two. Perhaps that is what we will try…hmmm…look, I said I wouldn’t talk about the muffins anymore, ok? This is dinner. And by the way, hey, brother, I don’t put rich creamery butter on my vegan muffins because, much to my surprise THEY DON’T NEED IT! They are really good and moist all on their own.

Hey, yesterday was Fat Tuesday or as my husband kept saying as he pointed at the cat “Hey, it’s CAT Tuesday” yeah, he’s a clever one but he is the only one in the house with a Fat Tuesday tradition. If I had been thinking about it, I might have fried some shrimp for dinner or something but his family always eats doughnuts on Fat Tuesday. So while I made a non-deep fried dinner, he dashed out and bought us each a doughnut. We are not real traditionalists, ok, to be fair, I am not a real traditional sort of person he is, but this is one thing we have done for years now. It may well be our only tradition and I think it’s kind of sweet. Awwwww.

Finally, one small complaint. I was listening to Dicky Barrett this morning and what do I hear? The sweet, sweet voice of Dee Snyder screaming “I WANNA ROCK! I…WANT...TO…ROCK!” and I did that little dance of joy in my car and then…AND THEN…they cut it off. 30 seconds in…so cruel. They did redeem themselves about 15 minutes later with the Hoodoo Gurus played back to back with The Ramones but why tease a girl like that? Why?

WAIT! WAIT! ONE MORE THING! I am fairly giddy that I just found a recipe on line that is supposed to approximate the long long "Carnation Breakfast Bar". It's not nearly as healthy but man, I loved those things! I ate them for lunch every day in high school...sigh, if only menus were so simple now...