Wednesday, October 29, 2008
I just got an old movie of Craig Ferguson (my late show boyfriend) as a gay Scottish hairdresser who gets an invite to the world hairdressing championship in LA and brings his own documentary team to chronicle his rise to stardom, before arriving and finding out he was invited to be an audience member, not a competitor. That does sound like a bit of ridiculous in a nutshell, but works, due to the awesomeness that is CF.
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
I thought it was one of the most depressing things I have ever seen.
Let's start with a disclaimer. I am not religious. I am very not religious. But I have friends who are religious and I have basically stopped discussing religion with them. I respect their right to believe things that I don't believe (I also have friends who go jogging every day, and are vegans, also things I respect but don't believe in). But this movie was Bill Maher's excuse to pull a "Borat", and I found it just as disrespectful. It scares me that people think the end of the world is preordained and the Rapture is their reward for doing what the Bible says to. But I don't want to watch Bill Maher telling these people to their face that they are wrong and stupid and ignorant. I don't think that is funny. I believe that they are entitled to their opinions, and as much as I would prefer that they spent more time trying to protect the Earth while they're still on it rather than use it up since they're not going to be needing it much longer, I am not going to sit there and laugh at them.
Maybe it's because I am a very non confrontational person. I hate discussing politics with people, too. I just don't think I am going to change their minds. And I don't think Bill Maher is going to change anyone's mind with this movie. It verges on masturbatory, the way he lectures on how religion is the cause of all of our problems and we will never make it as a species unless we give up religion and learn to doubt. That's great, Bill, for you. I don't particularly dislike the guy, but I can't imagine that this movie will change any minds on the subject of religion - if you're not into religion, you're going to be entertained, but if you are devout at all, there is no way he will change your mind. He doesn't have a reasonable rational convincing discourse with most of the people he talks to - he just badgers them and mocks them. What does that accomplish? I guess it made him twenty bucks off of me and Matt going to see his movie.
The most positive impression I got out of this whole movie was when he was interviewing the Vatican astronomer. I wish I could find a clip - the guy was great, the most reasonable person in the whole movie. Possibly the only one who flat out said, no, you can't take it all literally, we've got to take all of this with a grain of salt. And he works for the Vatican. They need more guys like him. So does everywhere else. The saddest part for me was the interviews with the Muslim clerics discussing how their religion was about peace interspersed with the news footage of the crowds calling for the death of Salman RUshdie for writing the Satanic Verses/the crowds rioting over the cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed/the interview with the Muslim woman talking about her misinterpreted religion on the spot where Theo van Gogh was murdered (won't go into that).
In all, he made Christians look like buffoons and Muslims look like murderers. Scientologists and Mormons were just made to look nuts. He went pretty easy on the Jews though. Hmm. Take-home message for me? Yeah, I just plain don't like Bill Maher.
Monday, October 27, 2008
Friday, October 24, 2008
YOUR INVITATION TO LATIN/CARIBBEAN VEGAN MEAL AND MUSIC - DINNER PARTY
Two Vegan Caribbean Chefs will be meeting up in Reno, on November 8th for a Caribbean cook-off providing a very special “VIP” Dinner for Reggae Music aficionados and friends and YOU ARE INVITED!
What: Hors d’oeuvres, 4-course authentic Latin/Caribbean Vegan Meal
plus dessert, organic wine and music!
Music: Spinning by DJ Anthony “The PostmOn” Postman and a live acoustic set
by The Mark Sexton Band performing their new reggae singles “Hold On” and “Used To Do”
Plus! The evening will be taped for a trailer for a Reality Caribbean Cooking Show!
Produced by CJ of Sequoia Digital Promotions
ABOUT THE CHEFS:
Chef Mayra, aka “Dr. Flavor” from Las Vegas trained in the culinary arts has been in the “healthy eating and cooking” industry for over 11 years. She has certifications in Sports nutrition, Macrobiotic cooking, Vegan and Vegetarian, Holistic, and Feng Shui cuisine. She started her career as a cook by learning and experimenting with many recipes from France, Caribbean, Southern, Cajun and West Africa.
Chef Kimba the RastaMan: Owner of Roots-N-Kulchah Company, Sacramento, CA Chef Kimba, who from a young boy growing up in St. Croix embraced cooking and also the Rasta belief that “Ital is vital.” “We as children Of Jah (God) must eat to live and not to die”. So we as Rasta say we don’t entertain “deadas” (food that represents death). Our cuisines are nourishing and does not leave you feeling stuffed and weighed down. Come experience the very true essence of the Rasta/Caribbean Culture. Ital food for the mind body and soul! “Tasting is believing”.
Dr. Flavor and Chef Kimba ** ARE TAKING OVER THE FLAVOR IN THE RENO AREA!!
This sounds totally goofy to me. I edited out the identifying info, but WTF do you wear to a fancy reggae dinner party? I don't have any formal tie-dye. Matt really wants to take me (his words specifically). Heck, maybe it'll give me some more stuff to check off on that meme. And Reality Caribbean Cooking Show? Feng shui cuisine? Seriously? If we were in LA I would expect a celebrity to show up and get Punkd.
The VGT Omnivore’s Hundred (from here):
1) Copy this list into your blog or journal, including these instructions.
2) Bold all the items you’ve eaten.
3) Cross out any items that you would never consider eating.
1. Venison (does elk count?)
2. Nettle tea
3. Huevos rancheros
4. Steak tartare
6. Black pudding
7. Cheese fondue
10. Baba ghanoush
13. PB&J sandwich
14. Aloo gobi (Iprefer pakoras)
15. Hot dog from a street cart
17. Black truffle (only the oil)
18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes (meh)
19. Steamed pork buns
20. Pistachio ice cream
21. Heirloom tomatoes
22. Fresh wild berries
23. Foie gras
24. Rice and beans
25. Brawn, or head cheese
26. Raw Scotch Bonnet pepper
27. Dulce de leche
30. Bagna cauda
31. Wasabi peas (never again, oh the pain)
32. Clam chowder in a sourdough bowl
33. Salted lassi
35. Root beer float
36. Cognac with a fat cigar (I can't find the strikethrough command - not if you paid me)
37. Clotted cream tea
38. Vodka jelly/Jell-O
40. Oxtail (at a Basque restaurant - it was delicious!)
41. Curried goat
42. Whole insects (um, strike that one too - not that adventurous)
43. Phaal (strike it, it might kill me - NO tolerance for spicy curries here)
44. Goat’s milk
45. Malt whisky from a bottle worth £60/$120 or more
47. Chicken tikka masala
49. Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut
50. Sea urchin
51. Prickly pear
55. McDonald’s Big Mac Meal (strike it, eew)
57. Dirty gin martini (strike this one too, I hate gin)
58. Beer above 8% ABV (round here, they call that barley wine, I believe)
60. Carob chips
63. Kaolin (um, I think not so much with the dirt, I got that out of my system when I was 5)
66. Frogs’ legs
67. Beignets, churros, elephant ears or funnel cake
68. Haggis (I have always been SO curious about this stuff)
69. Fried plantain (it was soggy, so sad)
70. Chitterlings, or andouillette
71. Gazpacho (made it, it came out WAY too garlicky and I don't say that often)
72. Caviar and blini
73. Louche absinthe
74. Gjetost, or brunost
77. Hostess Fruit Pie
79. Lapsang souchong
80. Bellini (these are lovely, Matt wanted to have them at our wedding but it would have been way too much $$$)
81. Tom yum (correctly named. Yum)
82. Eggs Benedict
84. Tasting menu at a three-Michelin-star restaurant.
85. Kobe beef
86. Hare (had to try it once, now I know, and I don't think I'd ever order it again)
88. Flowers (meh)
89. Horse (I might be too weirded out by that one, but hey, if I can eat a bunny once, why not a horsie?)
90. Criollo chocolate
92. Soft shell crab (awesome if properly done)
93. Rose harissa
94. Catfish (just ok)
95. Mole poblano
96. Bagel and lox (yum!)
97. Lobster Thermidor
98. Polenta (I can NOT cook this to save my life. Yummy tho)
99. Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee
That's 42, not bad so far. There's not much I wouldn't try except super spicies (I'm guessing the Scotch Bonnet pepper?). I'll usually try anything weird once - in Italy I had arrosto piccione (roast pigeon) and it was lovely, and at a very nice restaurant in Reno I had skate and it was meh.
Who am I tagging? Anybody who wants to, I want to know everyone's hundred!
Monday, October 20, 2008
On another, mildly less frivolous note, I got my beloved little Honda back from the shop today and the brakes feel so nice and cushy now (bonus points for not squealing anymore, too). That and a 5,000 mile service and winterize, means I should SO not be looking at impractical sandals anyways. Le triple sigh.
Sunday, October 19, 2008
- 2/3 c. oil
- 2 lg. eggs
- 2/3 c. brown sugar
- 1/2 c. honey
- 1 t. vanilla extract
- 2 t. cinnamon
- 1 t/ pumpkin pie spice
- 2 c. flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups shredded zucchini
Beat together oil, eggs, sugar, honey and vanilla.
Combine the flour, soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon; add to the wet ingredients; stirring until blended. Fold in the shredded zucchini.
Fill muffin cups and bake for 20 minutes.
This recipe originally called for two kinds of sugar instead of sugar and honey - the extra liquid makes the muffin tops spread out a little while cooking but I didn't want to try and adjust the levels of baking soda/powder (that always intimidates me). However, the tops are my favorite part anyways and they come out so amazingly moist and delicious it is definitely not a problem.
However, I did a nice big round of clean-up in the backyard and got my raised beds all prepped for spring planting. And man, was that depressing. Now they are all cleaned up and ready and neat looking, and I have to wait until MAY to plant anything in them. Sigh.
I also did my good deed for the month (possibly the year), as our friends were cleaning out their massive garage and I went over and helped them so they wouldn't make it on the news for domestic abuse. They have a four-car garage and love to collect stuff. We ended up with a pile of garbage and a pile of donations both bigger than a mini-van.
So today, I did NOTHING. And that's ok by me.
Friday, October 17, 2008
I am on an apple bender. I finally went down to the new Whole Foods on the far side of town and they had honeycrisp apples. I am trying to keep it down to 2 a day. These apples are ridiculously good. I mean RI DIC U LOUS.
My point is, I highly recommend them if you happen to spot them somewhere. Seriously.
Also, I should not be allowed in Whole Foods without a shopping list. Budgetary trouble will surely ensue.
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
*apparently not apocryphal story about him shooting out the picture tube when he didn't like what he saw...
This is now ALL THE LAWN WE HAVE. That is big. Or, more accurately, small. It is enough to sit on or for someone small to kick a soccer ball on or for someone furry to roll around on. That is plenty for me. Although the barrel on the right is not going to stay. In the spring when we reseed, that corner is going to get the rocks removed and get seeded like the rest of the lawn, we get enough grass growing in the rocks anyways, I figure.
This side used to be all lawn too. That was a lot of lawn. I don't know when to take pictures here since it is either too sunny or too dark, so this is it for now. The junipers are fine, they'll never die so they can stay. The tree is my new baby, I love it! The rest is decomposed granite (somewhere between gravel and sand) and it acts like a mulch for keeping weeds down. In the spring I will be planting hardy, attractive shrubs here and it will look much nicer. For now though, it's tidy. It also keeps going - there is another tree on the right there and there was MORE LAWN. All DG now, thank goodness.
Here is a close-up of the edging on the lawn side. This used to be full of rocks (see top R corner of pic) and they were suffocating my shrubs. So maybe now these guys have a fighting chance. That is the DG around them now, I think it looks really nice and clean here, especially compared to those nasty spider-filled rocks (ew).
This is my path, just so the other side isn't completely boring all winter (just mostly boring). Future plans include Russian sage, more barberry, some of that low-growing juniper, and maybe some big tufty grasses for contrast. With some rudbeckias and echinacea for color. So I call this a good start, for now. And it snowed last weekend, so that will have to do. Until about April, probably. At least it looks neat and tidy now.
Monday, October 13, 2008
And The End. While I was gone, we had a good, hard freeze. So, no more green beans, no more fresh stuff from the garden. Sniff. I've still got stuff to do out there though, hopefully next weekend won't be raining or anything because now I need to cut down my teepees covered in frozen beanstalks and pull the other stuff that froze (and in some cases, note which ones did freeze and don't plant them again) and mulch shrubs and do all the tidying up that my garden still needs. I've got my fingers crossed for decent weather, it's been in the 20's at night the last few days and they got quite a bit of snow while I was gone (it didn't stick, thank goodness). I'm just glad the last of my decomposed granite pile isn't frozen solid, I need to get it into the beds before it gets covered in snow or something. There isn't much left, at least, a couple hours and I could have it all taken care of. I just need a couple of sunny hours...
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
1. Yard Yard Yard. I have been doing all sorts of stuff to my yard and not taking pictures of it. My tomatoes are still green and it is supposed to freeze tomorrow night. This means I need to cut them and put them in a paper bag in the kitchen and see if they will ripen there. Matt killed 2/3 of my front lawn and I replaced it with decomposed granite and a tree. I am trimming up the bed at the edge of the remaining lawn with more decomposed granite but it means I have to take out the rocks that are squashing my shrubs and take out the landscape fabric that is smothering the shrubs but not the weeds (of course). So most of it is done, my shrubs are hopefully going to perk up and my tree will be all happy. And I will take pictures. I had to do it all quick though because it is supposed to freeze soon and I don't want to be doing any planting too close to a freeze. In the spring I will hook up a drip system and put in some more shrubs on the side with no lawn so it will match the shrubs around the lawn side. Whoof.
2. Wardrobe angst. I lack basics but my wardrobe is still boring me to death. How does that work? I naturally gravitate away from anything with bright color or pattern, so I have no idea how to fix this situation. I am trying to train myself to buy stuff in colors other than black, navy and gray but I haven't purchased anything since I came up with this strategy so I have no clue how effective it will be. I did a clean-out of stuff that is ill-fitting or falling apart so now I guess I will just have to walk around naked until I get this resolved ;) The question is, do I stock up on basics and fall asleep looking in my closet, or buy one or two stylishly quirky items and skate along with a dearth of t-shirts for a few months? That, and who decided that everything right now has to have puffy sleeves? I am not twelve, and I do not need to look any more like a linebacker than I already do, thank you very much.
3. Weekend trips. Last weekend we spent with friends in the Nevada City area. It was brilliant. We got out of Reno and were somewhere we had no commitments, had a couple of gorgeous walks (not quite hikes) in lovely beginning-of-fall weather (drizzly, sunny, turning leaves etc.) and a superfantastic dinner in a random Italian joint in Grass Valley that turned out to be totally delicious.
3.1... However, this weekend I am going home to visit my family. This did not used to stress me out. Howeever, we are having a baby shower Saturday night for my sister, and that means at least for small children present on four different schedules (as in "No, we can't do that, it's naptime" so we have to sit around and be quiet). And people who come home and think, "Aah family, that means free babysitters". Which leads to my mom chasing kids around (doting grandma is ok with that) and me doing all the cooking. Words have been spoken to the effect of "It's ok if she is the only one helping Mom, she doesn't have kids". I didn't sign up for that, sorry. Words WILL be spoken between Mom and me to the effect of, "If nobody helps us cook, we're passing the hat and making them all pitch in for takeout". Visits home USED to be fun. Now this is what is up. Last trip we tried to go to the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Three separate groups of parents chasing around kids and me trying to keep the groups in contact (not a small aquarium) and ending up not seeing anything I wanted to see. Le sigh. Matt is not coming with, either, so being the singleton for the weekend means I get to sleep in the basement. Le double sigh.