sarea: (russell excited - up)
Just picked up from the library:

- Dr. Who S2
- Merlin S1
- 500 Days of Summer
- The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Swedish film)

Eeeee!

Still in the middle of:

- Tongues of Serpents (Temeraire)
- Mockingjay (Hunger Games)
- BSG (Blu-ray rewatch)
- The West Wing S1

The BSG series is so awesome right from the start, particularly considering the mini-series was rather slow going. I'm kind of stalled on Mockingjay... just not that into it, partly because I'm loving Tongues of Serpents, even though it might be the book in which the least amount of action/progression happens, at least so far. Not sure I'm going to be able to make it through The West Wing. That speed-talking jabber thing that Aaron Sorkin is so well known for bugs me. I was able to work past it on Sports Night, but that was a half-hour sitcom that only lasted a season, if that. I don't know if I can put up with 7 seasons of an hour-long drama in that style.

Just bought off Amazon:

- Nikon 50mm f/1.4 lens. It's supposed to be one of the best if not the best Nikon lens to use in low light, and since I'm often photographing food in restaurants with bad/low light, I'm really hoping this will be awesome for that. Won't know for awhile though, because I had it sent to my parents' house to save over $40 in taxes. Freaking Amazon being based in WA state!

- My very first kitchen apron! I know, WTF that it look me this long. It is so adorable, lol! Fashion and function!
sarea: (Default)
There are three reasons I haven't been watching The Vampire Diaries:

1) I rarely watch ANY television during its original airing. I usually watch TV on DVD, so I'm almost always a season or two behind. Shows I love like Mad Men, House, Lost, Arrested Development, Gilmore Girls, Prison Break, Rome, How I Met Your Mother, etc., I watch/watched on DVD. There are a few rare shows that I try to keep up with in real time, like Glee and S4 of Dexter, but that requires watching on Hulu or downloading a torrent, which I am too lazy to do for most shows. It sucks because this means I am more sensitive to spoilers (an entire season could be spoiled), but it's also nice because I can skip commercials AND watch episode after episode of one show and watch events unfold in a less disjointed way.

2) I hate Twilight and am resistant to anything that appears to try and win audiences over because it's trying to take advantage of the 'hot new thing.' I am skeptical there could be quality there for that reason, particularly because the 'hot new thing' it's trying to take advantage of is so low quality to begin with that it's obviously not aiming toward discerning audiences.

3) I LOVED the L.J. Smith book series. I read them as a teenage girl, before Buffy came along and made vampires cool, and it was one of my favorite series. So I was even more resistant to the show based on my skepticism that they would be able to do it well (given point #2) and my fear that they'd ruin something I had really loved. (And my fear that the series itself wouldn't stand up to the test of time.)

However, I've read and seen enough about the show at this point that I think I'm ready to give it a shot. I'm #8 in my library queue for the first season, but I think it's going to take awhile as there's only 1 copy available. Still, I thought it was going to be a show that I'd never watch, so the fact that I will do so eventually is a big step!

===

I'm also going to start watching The Shield. I don't actually know anyone who watches this show, but I've heard/read enough critical acclaim about it that I'd like to see it. I've gotten the complete series on DVD; it's kind of cool-looking, actually. It's like a big hardcover book, with little inserts for the discs.

===

My BSG Blu-Rays have come! I don't know now whether to start rewatching those or starting The Shield.

===

I'm on S7 of XF. It wasn't a bad season but I DREAD what's coming. Why did they attempt to do XF w/o DD?! Greedy fuckers. I mean, XF just isn't XF w/o Mulder and Scully. EVERYONE KNOWS THAT.

The Samantha resolution though, wtf? (The end of Closure is beautiful, however.)

Mulder constantly breaks my heart.

I'm interested in rereading my favorite fanfics from way back when, but I suspect a lot of them won't be available anymore. A lot of people took down their stories after they finally realized that having their real names associated with fanfic might not be such a good idea. I've already gone back to reread a couple, and those unfortunately did not pass the test of time.

I want to go back and rewatch S6. Again. Other than Agua Mala and Trevor it was pretty a much a perfect season, imho. Freaking Agua Mala, I spit on it.

===

I still haven't seen Lost S6. Or the latest season of House. Or of course Mad Men S4. OMG so much to catch up on! I have tons of vacation, maybe I should take some time off and just watch TV the whole time. Hey, that'd be a pretty darn relaxing vacation.

===

I also want to rewatch Buffy again. Also Firefly, which I also just got on Blu-Ray. Maybe I'll do a Whedon binge after I've watched everything else mentioned here.
sarea: (mulder & scully)
OK all you people who live in Seattle and enjoy food: Restaurant Week is back again! Oct. 17-28 (minus Fri. & Sat.). WHO'S WITH ME?? $25, 3-course meal, awesome restaurants! You know you want to go! I am keeping that entire week+ open so I can go to as many as possible. <g> So let me know if you're interested and we shall plan to go. There are a few restaurants I want to hit for sure -- Dahlia Lounge, Mistral Kitchen, Spring Hill -- but am also open to anything.

===

Speaking of food, I've actually been cooking quite a bit, and have just posted a big roundup about it here.

===

Dealing with some work insanity the past couple of days. Sigh. And I so tried to avoid having this happen. I wish my work didn't so often consist of making sure other people do their jobs. You're not in control of your own destiny when that's the case, and there's a lot of sitting around worrying about how other things are going so that your bigger picture can fall into place. The good news is that everything went well, despite Murphy's Law coming into play.

===

Did someone recommend Patricia Gaffney's To Have and To Hold to me? Was it maybe when I was talking about Laura Kinsale's Seize the Fire and that novel's bastard of an anti-hero? I ask because it was apparently in my library queue so I picked it up yesterday. But what I found odd was that it was an "inter-library loan" (meaning not one of the 16ish libraries in the Sno-Isle library system that basically share a catalogue) -- it's from Harvard-Westlake School in California. O.o How random is that? For that reason it cannot be renewed, so I pretty much have to read it right away (there is a serious back up in my reading queue).

The problem is that there's another one I also have to read right away -- I just got Tongues of Serpents! I think there's a big waiting list for it right now, so I probably won't be able to renew and if I wanted it again would have to wait in the queue all over. It always takes me a page or two to get back into reading a Temeraire novel, because of the language. But it's cool because once I'm back in it, it reads like any other book.

===

I finally caved and bought the BSG series on Blu-Ray. There's conflicting reports on exactly what's included (The Plan y/n?), so I'll have to see when it gets here if it's missing anything.

Finally on S6 of XF. I know a lot of people didn't like that season... but I don't know why. It's hands down my favorite season. Almost every episode is totally rewatchable (unlike the second half of S5, after Bad Blood). I guess I like the lighter fare, though I will admit that the lighter fare wouldn't be as good if all the dark stuff hadn't happened to them before that. Still, just last night I saw Triangle, the two Dreamlands, and How the Ghosts Stole Christmas, and I'm only on disc 2! I LOVE YOU SEASON 6, I DON'T CARE WHAT ANYONE ELSE SAYS.

===

And the VERY LAST TV Show Meme!! I started this way back in June. Wow. O.o I took my sweet time with it, didn't I?

Day 30 - Saddest character death

Since this is potentially spoilery, my answer behind a cut. )
sarea: (russell excited - up)
I'm not usually a soccer fan, but I've been following the World Cup because everyone in my office is totally into it and it's contagious. :) This morning's U.S. game -- exciting! Only caught the last 4 minutes but that's really all I needed to catch, apparently. Yay Donovan, but really that was a team goal.

Did you know, despite the fact that a tomato is botanically a fruit, it is legally considered a vegetable in the United States? Yes! It was a Supreme Court ruling back in 1893. Filed under "crazy things you learn every day."

Speaking of tomatoes, a garden update!

- It's possible I have a couple of baby tomatoes growing. That or it's blossom drop. Even if they're real tomatoes, God knows if our Juneuary will even allow them to grow properly.

- Some of the tomato plants are also getting so big (yay!) that a couple of them have started to lean, which means I've had to start tying them to the trellis. I'm talking about the nursery transplants from months ago, of course, not my seedlings that I only recently transplanted.

- I've also started removing the suckers on those bigger tomato plants, which makes me feel all professional. I'm so expert (not)!

- I had 1 red strawberry! It was so exciting! What's not so exciting? The damn birds. Despite my having put netting over my little strawberry patch, this morning I found that a bird had pecked into that strawberry. Argh! I cut off the offending portion and ate the rest (sweet and tart, with a subtle flavor you can't get from supermarket strawberries). I also put on MORE netting to hopefully save the other strawberries that are slowly getting red.

- I've also put some bird netting over the zucchini seedling, so hopefully whatever happened to the last one won't happen to this one. I really hope it grows big enough to start flowering... I've been reading up on how I need to provide some boom chicka wow wow in the garden so that I can get the male flowers to fertilize the female flowers, heehee.

My dad arrived last night. This last weekend I toasted/chopped organic almonds (I don't know why toasting nuts makes them SO DELICIOUS, but omg, I wanted to eat them all) and MADE MARSHMALLOW. Crazy! It wasn't that difficult or anything, but still, way more effort than buying a bag of them from the supermarket. I also made the chocolate ice cream mix, which is the first time I've made that. I took it out yesterday to churn and it was SO THICK, omg. Most ice cream mixes do not get that thick. It was like very dense pudding. The churning went well (I tasted the 'batter' and it was soooooooooooooo delicious), and I sort of guessed at the amount of almonds and marshmallow to add (the recipe seemed to call for way too much). We ate some last night and it was great, a good balance. As expected, my dad's biggest compliment was that it was very similar to Dreyer's. Never mind that mine is full of organic and non-chemical ingredients! It's more satisfying to bring ice cream to K. and D. because they fully appreciate that kind of thing and find my stuff to be WAY BETTER than supermarket stuff, not good because it compares, lol.

There are a number of other recipes I've been wanting to try, but haven't yet for various reasons. Tres leches cake, deep-fried pickles (made in the Actifry), loukoumathes, and Ivar's clam chowder, to name a few.

TV Show Meme, Day 02 - A show that you wish more people were watching.

Caprica. I never hear anything about it. I haven't actually seen it yet, and it's not that I want to be spoiled, but I also don't want it to get canceled. I am assuming/hoping it's as well done as BSG, being as it's in the same universe.
sarea: (books)
I have found a new espresso drink to love: the Americano. If you're unfamiliar with it, it's basically the exact same thing as a latte, but made with water instead of milk (so if you're like me, you have to add your own cream and sugar separately). It's got a lovely, strong coffee flavor, and is harder to 'screw up' in case you're not sure of the barista. It also costs less than a latte, but not THAT much less considering there's no syrup and water is much cheaper than milk. Still, it tastes really, really good, especially with pastries.

K. and I went to Mistral Kitchen last night. It was the first night of Seattle's Restaurant Week. She and I are planning to take full advantage; we both have 4-5 restaurants that we're planning to go to. Tomorrow night we're going to Canlis, then on Thursday I'm going to Crush with my friend S., who's in town from Oregon. (I'm actually seeing him tonight, too -- we're going to Bai Tong, which I've heard from a number of sources is the only Thai restaurant in Seattle worth going to -- we shall see.) Then on Monday I am going to Seastar with [profile] corianderstem, to Dahlia Lounge with J. on Wednesday, and finally to Union with my mom on Thursday, the last day of Restaurant Week. Whew!! I do so love eating out.

That's also a good segue way to the fact that my mom is visiting soon in order to help K. out with the kids while K.'s husband is out of town. It'll be really cool to see her, of course, but not THAT exciting since I JUST saw her recently. Plus it means there will be EVEN MORE eating (too much of a good thing in too short a time). She's already made me promise to take her to Senor Moose, and she'll be joining me and K. at Spring Hill for their special, by-reservation-only, fried chicken dinner. K. and I have been looking forward to that for AGES. Also I'm planning to cook at least two dinners while she's here -- a Korean-themed meal and an Indian-themed meal. Hope I can pull it off. What IS really cool is that she'll be here over Mother's Day, and while she's here K. can show her how to use her pressure cooker, which is identical to the one I just got her.

If you haven't already seen, a fabulous mystery artist drew this for me as part of the D/G Fic Exchange. Squee!

The newly repackaged (making a number of improvements, and adding one of the movies) Blu-Ray set of Battlestar Galactica is now available, and Amazon is selling it for $149.99 (retail price is $349.99). So... tempting...

I'm in the middle of 3 books at the moment. I've started Breaking Dawn, which is torturous so far. It's somehow even worse than the series has already been. I find myself wanting to throw it aside in disgust every other line. The worst part of the series is how much Bella HAS, that we are somehow supposed to feel sorry for her for having. Her life is SO DIFFICULT. Not. (To be fair, it is sort of like Mia whining about having to be a royal princess in The Princess Diaries, except Mia is likable. You know, to me.) The only way I am getting through it so far is by allowing myself to stop after every chapter, or every few pages because the chapters are so long (at least, it seems like it -- and ugh that the book is as thick as OotP), and reading something else. Which brings me to the other two books that I've started: Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer, a real-life story pieced together about this guy who abandons everything in his life, goes off into the wilderness of Alaska, and is found there 4 months later, dead; and Throne of Jade by Naomi Novik, the second book in the Temeraire series. The latter two are so engrossing that I find myself really reluctant to put them down in order to go back to the dreck of Stephenie Meyer. BUT I promised [profile] jade_okelani that I would finish the series, so I will, and plus once I'm done I can list all 4 books as a set on eBay.

Finally, a confession: I have cheated in my garden. I am a total garden cheater. I went to Flower World yesterday, and if you've never been, it's basically like a giant amusement park for gardeners. It is ginormous. There's a map, just like an amusement park, to help you get to different parts of the nursery because it's that big. There's even a part where you can kind of drive through to look at all the big potted trees for sale. Also, there are chickens. What I got... )
sarea: (Default)
Something semi-cool has happened. A rep from cookware.com contacted me re: my food blog and is offering any item from that site up to $40 to either keep (if I do a review of it) or give away (as part of a giveaway contest on my food blog). The only thing about these sorts of promotions is that I feel kind of... well, bought. I'd feel compelled to give the product a good review, and $40 really isn't that much. When Jade and I used to write book reviews for Smallville novels (we were contacted in the same way, and given the books), the same thing happened. The reviews took a long time and what we were getting return was really nothing. As for a giveaway, I don't think enough people even read my food blog to make it worthwhile. The one thing I need to find out is if this is an ongoing, or one time, thing. If I could have regular giveaways or regularly get fun new kitchen equipment, it might be worth it. Still, it's always nice to be recognized, even in a small way.

Finished BSG S4 and a bit of 'The Plan' )
sarea: (Default)
Just gonna keep updating as I watch...

Midway through S4. )

Blood on the Scales )

Crap. I just realized I never saw the Webisodes after episode 12. >< Guess I'll do that now. Better late than never?

The Face of the Enemy )
sarea: (Default)
I haven't done a meme in awhile, but this was fun. Stolen from [personal profile] elle_blessing.

1. Answer each of the questions below using Flickr Search.
2. Choose a photo from the first three pages.
3. Copy the URL of your favorite photo into this site: BIGHUGELABS.COM using the mosaic maker feature(e.g., keep default square tiles and choose 4x3 or 3x4 for the columns/rows; to get the pics, use right click 'copy image location'.)
4. Share with the world.
5. And leave comments


01. First Name - You can guess from the first photo, can't you?
02. Favorite Dessert - vanilla panna cotta
03. Hometown - Arcadia
04. Favorite Color - lavender
05. Celebrity Crush - Wentworth Miller
06. Favorite Drink - virgin pina colada
07. Dream Vacation - France (and all the food)
08. Favorite Food - noodles
09. What I Want To Be When I Grow Up - a good person
10. What I Love Most In The World - family & friends
11. One Word That Describes Me - passionate
12. My LiveJournal Name - Sarea

The mosaic. )

Meanwhile, I've watched a few episodes of BSG S4... )
sarea: (Default)
In case you haven't heard: HBO has green lighted "A Game of Thrones"!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Oh it will be an epic series. I just hope I'm not so attached to the original text that I'll be freaking out about every change they make, lol.

It's March and that means the start, once again, of Dine Around Seattle! Lots of places are doing a $15 3-course lunch, including Dahlia Lounge, so if any Seattlites are interested (lunch or dinner), let me know. I am always down for going to one of these.

My wireless keyboard at work started freaking out (it's intolerable when you're typing and it doesn't catch every letter) so I have a new wired one. The problem is that it's not an ergo keyboard and I'm not used to that, so the typing is still typo prone. :/ I'm having an ergo one ordered and I hope it gets here soon.

So you know how I may be going to Esalen in April? I hope I DO get to go, and I hope the weather is good, because I will have the chance to take photos like this. I can't seem to find a way to paste it here directly... stupid Flickr. Anyway, that photo was taken by a user name twoeightnine ... isn't it gorgeous?? Esalen has baths that are carved right into the mountainside. When you're done with your bath and you let the water out, you can see it cascade down the mountain. How awesome is THAT.

I love potatoes. I know very few people who don't. So it's a big deal when I say that I have discovered my new favorite way to make/eat them. I think it is better than any other way to prepare potatoes, which is saying a lot. I am talking about Tom Douglas's garlic smashed potatoes. They're not mashed, they're smashed. I had them first when I went to Lola with J. They were incredibly good, so I looked for a recipe for them in the Tom Douglas books I have. I found a very similar one for Greek Smashed Potatoes, which seemed exactly the same except it had oregano, so I made it without. And they were just as good as what I had at Lola, but didn't cost me $8. It is, I will say, very time consuming. It's simple and easy and the active time is practically nil, but it does take almost 2 hours. That's why it's best to make a whole bunch at a time! The recipe for these is here, along with my adventures in making/eating Julia Child's Langue de Boeuf Braisee, Calcutta, or sliced fresh beef tongue braised with curry. :D

Finally, spoilers for BSG Razor. )
sarea: (Default)
WHAT )
sarea: (Default)
I love deathmatches. In this case, the contestants are snack foods! LOL. The people pimping the deathmatch on my flist are dark chocolate M&M fans, which might be why, in a very tight race, that candy is now edging ahead. Therefore I must take up the Skittles banner and call all Skittles lovers to fight! Fight! Fight for the freedom to taste rainbows everywhere!! Vote here!

So. I am now 2 episodes away from the end of BSG S3. I started episode 19, and they've skipped the credit sequence and have put the credits in during actual plot/action, so something Big must be coming. OMGWTFBBQ? )
sarea: (Default)
Food things first... snail butter and my adventures with roasting bone marrow. Quickie verdict: better than the first time, after I used a salt-water soak, but not sure I'd go as far as Anthony Bourdain and have it as my Last Meal. My next culinary adventure is... TONGUE! I'm going to prepare it using a recipe from Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Vol. 2. Which, I'm not sure if I've ever told this story before (edit: I have), but I got it at HPB for $8 and it was a signed copy by Julia Child, Paul Child, and Simone Beck (before the Julie & Julia movie came out). Seriously whenever I want to wallow in self pity about my general bad luck, I think of that book.

On Saturday [profile] corianderstem and I finally got to try Serious Pie, after a couple of fits and starts. Initial verdict: I thought it was good, but not THAT good. Not worth waiting an hour and a half good (we waited probably 20 minutes or so). I got the clam pizza and she got the rosemary potato, both of which were good. It's probably not fair to give a final verdict until I've tried their tomato sauce as well, so I'll probably be back at least one more time. After lunch we walked around the corner to the Dahlia Bakery, where we indulged in cookies (their cookies are so good!) and the $2 bite version of their famous triple coconut cream pie. It's really tiny, about 3 bites worth, but considering the calories and richness, that's probably for the best. I've been reading up and apparently, their breakfast sandwiches are a MUST try, as well as their brioche caramel monkey bread. Too bad it's in a location that has terrible/expensive parking. Wish I could just hop off a bus at that location then hop back on, like A.!

After that we went to watch Avatar on IMAX. I felt about the same about the movie as I did the first time I saw it... found it visually stunning (even though I think there is something wrong with my eyes where I just can't 'see' the 3D stuff as well as other people), but with a mediocre storyline and really bad dialogue.

Currently trying to work out my possible Esalen trip in early April. Right now I'm in limbo due to factors totally outside of my control (mostly it's on my cousin, Esalen, and my aunt), which drives me crazy, but I think I've worked it out to something approaching acceptable for me. Esalen is in Big Sur, which is about 4 hours from LA and 4 hours from the Bay Area. So I'm going to be driving 4 hours either way. Most likely, my mom will be coming, so it makes sense for me to fly to LA, rent a car, and drive us to Big Sur together. It also makes sense to take Talis with me and have my dad watch him while we're gone, because it'll cost about the same to kennel him. There is the possibility that we may not go at all, or other variations (it would make your head spin). I've decided that I'll just cut the complexity out of it by going to LA for sure during that time, and if we end up going to Esalen, great, and if not, I'll just be there on vacation. Sure, it's a lot sooner than I would have planned for a vacation back to LA, but at least this way I don't have to worry about alternate dates/airlines/locations/etc. Yeah, more than you wanted to know about that.

I'm about halfway-ish through Eclipse. I can't wait for it to be over.

I've also watched more BSG. I wish I were going slower on that, because there's only 1 season left!! No!! Spoilers. )
sarea: (Default)
Okay. I love nature, except when it's insisting on coming into my house. There are definitely critters in the crawl space above my room/below the roof. I don't know if they're birds or squirrels (I'm not entertaining any other possibilities atm), but they make a lot of noise in the morning, scratching and running back and forth and what not (it wakes me up). Also it's creepy.

Then there's the damn woodpecker. In the past, I've heard it on the roof, this rapid tapping like someone's trying to drill into the house. Recently it's taken to sitting on the metal chimney stack (I think that's what it's called? No real idea) and drilling there. It echoes down the chimney really loudly and freaks Talis out. I have to go outside and scare it away by clapping my hands loudly or yelling. I'm not in my house all day though, so who knows when that woodpecker comes back and does it again? I don't want to have to pay for repairs to the damage it does!

Effing woodpecker, squirrels, and birds... GET OFF MY LAWN!

I've watched some more BSG... I think I am almost done with 8 episodes from S3 now. Spoilers. )

My cousin is coming here at the end of March. He got an interview at UW for a PhD program, so they're flying him up here. First of all, I changed his diapers and fed him formula as a baby. HOW can he possibly be applying for PhD programs?! It's like, wut. Second of all, I'm excited because this will give me an excuse to go back to Senor Moose! "DoyoulikeMexicanfoodgreatIknowwherewecango!"

I'm on book 3 of the Twilight series. I HATE this series. It's so horribly written and stupid. I'm sorry to those of you who love it, but I just don't get it. I've read tons of fanfic that are written better. Why anyone would find this series compelling -- much less exceptional -- is seriously beyond me. Ranting. )

lol BSG

Feb. 22nd, 2010 10:31 pm
sarea: (Default)
I've watched maybe... 6 episodes of S3 now?

Anyway, THIS is now the funniest line/exchange. )

More thoughts on all that's happened forthcoming, but I just had to post that, it made me giggle so much.
sarea: (ice cream)
On the TV front:

- Started this show called Pushing Daisies. I'm not sure how old it is, but it's no longer airing and I think it was only on the air for 2 seasons. It's cute, but I find the lead heroine fairly annoying. It's narrated by Jim Dale! I love Kristin Chenoweth (her character name is Olive Snook -- how great is that), though of course I always wish she were singing.

- BSG season 3 FINALLY finished downloading. Spoilery comments. )

On the food front:

- Julie and I went to this AWESOME authentic Mexican place in Ballard this weekend, Señor Moose Café. My raving gets a little long. )

- I don't think my boeuf bourguignon came out the way Julia Child intended. It's good, but it's not fabulous, and I think it's supposed to be fabulous. Her recipe seems to indicate that there should be way more sauce than I had. Every step of the way it seemed like the heat I was using was too high, even though I was just following instructions. I think I need to use less heat next time. And I confess that due to the Señor Moose excursion, I may have taken the boeuf bourguignon out of the oven 30-60 minutes too late. Also, I have to say that some of the instructions are not as clear as they could be.

- The snail butter came out great. It's really just an herb butter. It smells terrific, and the specks of parsley, garlic, and shallot dotting the butter just looks sooo good. I haven't downloaded the pictures I took yet, but I'm definitely making a post to the food porn community about it.

- Currently I'm soaking beef marrow bones. You have to soak them in salted water (with several changes) for 24 hours in order to get all the blood out. I plan to roast them. This is my second attempt at this; the first time I didn't like it much, but I don't think I followed the soaking instructions so I'm giving it another shot. It always sounds so good when I read about it in Jennifer McLagan's book Bones.

On the work front:

- I celebrated my 10-year anniversary here on Friday. I cannot believe it's been 10 years. My manager's manager joked that I'd been here for 40% of my life, but actually I thought about it, and it really IS 33% of my life, so it wasn't that much of a joke. It's kind of wild to think about, and strangely depressing (even though I'm glad I've had a very good job for so long). I got my 10-year crystal sculpture thing, there were drinks and chocolate cake, and it helped keep my mind off of things going on in my life that could totally cripple me if I let it. So that's good. :-)

On the writing front:

- I have a basic outline worked out for my [community profile] dgficexchange story, which is a Good Thing. Jade is always a great sounding board for this kind of stuff. Sometimes I use her ideas and often I don't, but everything she brings up is worth thinking about, and it helps me hone exactly what I DO want to do, which is usually the hardest part.
sarea: (Default)
Next on the cooking docket... snail butter and Julia Child's boeuf bourguignon.

Okay, now you're like, wtf is snail butter, that sounds disgusting. I admit it, it does have to do with escargot. But there aren't any actual snails involved. It's the sauce that's typically used with the dish, but it's delicious even without the gastropods. Basically you put butter, parsley, shallot, garlic, a dash of Pernod, salt, and pepper in a food mill and whip it all together. The result is a really tasty spread for bread (and pretty much anything else). As for the boeuf bourguignon, it's probably about time that I actually attempted it.

This is a really interesting, funny, well-written article about "the racial case against the Winter Olympics." It's called White Snow, Brown Rage. It makes some really good points without being totally overwrought about the race thing. Plus it's funny.

Yesterday I bought 5 bottles of the Riesling I was saying that I enjoyed in another post. It was all they had. I also have 2 bottles of the 2008 version (what's wine terminology for 'version'? Vintage? Bottling?), which isn't supposed to be as sweet, so we'll see if I actually like that one. While waiting for my car to get serviced yesterday, I read an article in Wine Spectator about fake wines. Can you imagine buying a bottle of wine for $20,000 (which, wtf) and suspecting it might be fake? Then again, can anyone REALLY know if it's not the real thing? What if it is, for instance, a Burgundy from the 19th century, just not the vineyard the label says it is? Could you REALLY know? And if you don't know/can't really tell, then what are you doing spending $20,000 on a bottle of wine anyway? I mean, obviously the people who are spending that kind of money on wine know more than the average Joe ... but how much of it is just bluster?

I watched the BSG webisodes between S2 and S3 -- "Resistance." I guess it's good info to know? Won't really know if I'm glad I watched them until I watch S3 and see how lost I am. (Like, even though I didn't much care for the miniseries, I'm glad I watched it because it set up the whole premise for the show and had a lot of character development I wouldn't have appreciated otherwise.)
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Okay, I finished BSG S2! Apparently there are webisodes in between S2 and S3, and since S3 is downloading at a snail's pace, I'll need to find/watch them. Just a couple of comments on the S2 finale eps... Spoilers. )

I'd really like to join a book club, one that meets in person. I don't know if there's a really good one near me, or if people even do that amongst strangers anymore. I'd also like to volunteer at like, a soup kitchen or a library, but it seems like most places have more volunteers than they need already. Gosh!

Today from the cafeteria I am having blackened catfish, mashed potatoes made with blue/purple potatoes (it's so pretty!), and steamed broccoli/cauliflower. It's actually pretty good. I must say, our office move in one sense has been great -- this cafe is a lot better than our other one! Also for a limited time 12oz lattes, mochas, etc. are $1 from the espresso bar. :O I am going to be so wired...

mostly BSG

Feb. 16th, 2010 08:56 pm
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Watching BSG S2. Spoilers! )

Tonight I made beer-braised barbecue shortribs in my cousin's pressure cooker. Using the pressure cooker always makes me nervous, like it's going to blow up. Anyway, they came out REALLY well. The beer braising gave the meat such a great flavor, and I was a big fan of the barbecue sauce recipe. Basically the ribs were braised in beer, water, and bit of cider vinegar for 25 min + natural release. Then I basted them in the barbecue sauce and baked for about 15 min, turning them once. SO GOOD! Next time I'll use a less fatty cut though.
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Too much to update, too little time. Not that any of these updates are all that riveting. But I find that if I don't post to LJ on a semi-regular basis, I just drop out of the habit for weeks/months.

On the book front:

- I finally bought and read the last Georgia Nicolson book (sad face), Are These My Basoomas I See Before Me?. I was actually surprised to learn it was the last one, because like The Princess Diaires, it seemed like it was going to go on forever. In the case of both series, I was both sad and relieved. Sad because they've been so enjoyable; relieved because the longer the went on, the longer it drags out the problems of the two people you want to see get together. Meg Cabot actually pulled off a very decent (if abrupt) ending for PD. Louise Rennison was less successful. ATMBISBM was enjoyable, but not as funny as other books in the series have been, and failed to be emotionally moving. :/ It wasn't BAD, but it wasn't the send off the series deserved, imho. Now I get really spoilery. )

- Partially through My Life in France, Julia Child's memoir. One thing I have to thank Julie Powell for is the renewed interest in a true cooking great. (To be fair, I liked Powell's book, even if in the movie version her life paled in comparison to Julia's... not the least because Amy Adams played her very annoyingly and Meryl Streep was a wonderful Julia Child.) I'm enjoying it so far, though I find the parts about the food far more interesting than the parts about France/Europe/the world. >.>

- Also, I've just started Shutter Island, by Dennis Lehane. It's really a shame that I've waited this long, considering that when the book came out I actually MET him (thanks to [profile] corianderstem) and have an autographed first edition of the book. I'm finally reading it because the movie's coming out soon and I decided I wanted to know what I was getting into. Plus, the venture is intriguing in general because it's like, what, Dennis Lehane wrote a horror novel? Leonardo DiCaprio is going to be in a horror flick? And it's directed by Martin Scorcese? I just don't expect to see those names attached to the horror genre.

I'm still watching/enjoying BSG. I am about midway through season 2. I think my favorite character is Boomer. I dig her romance with Helo, which is surprising because I hated that actor in Dollhouse, lol. I alternately like/dislike Starbuck, and while I sorta dig her quasi-thing with Apollo, I also think Apollo has a very girly voice, which so does not track with his enormous arm muscles. I generally like him, though. Not a fan of Commander Adama for the most part, though I like him way more than I like Tigh (and omg Tigh's wife Ellen needs to DIE). Surprisingly (because I feel like I should find him annoying), I like Dr. Baltar, though not so much his Cylon shadow (and the stupid music that accompanies her whenever she shows up). Finally, I like the President, a lot.

Yesterday I had brunch with my friend J., then we went to the Ballard farmers market (bought nothing) and nearby Kavu (bought a jacket and a purse, neither of which I really needed), then watched Valentine's Day. J. loves sappy romcoms, and while I usually don't, I was willing to watch it for her sake, since we don't really watch movies together all that often. I pretty much agree with this review, which trashes the movie, however, I liked it more than the reviewer did, because I went into expecting it to be the kind of movie it was. So while everything the reviewer says is pretty much accurate, I was more forgiving of its flaws. There are a gazillion storylines (a la Love Actually, though possibly with even more), and all but one followed a very predictable path (for me). It's just a really, really fluffy piece with little redeeming value other than in-the-moment entertainment, starring some very familiar actors: Julia Roberts, Ashton Kutcher, Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Garner (too bad they didn't have a scene together -- Will and Sydney back together again!), Taylor Swift, Taylor Lautner (okay, the two Taylors were amusing), Jamie Foxx, Anne Hathaway, Topher Grace, Queen Latifah (who was wasted), Jessica Alba, Jessica Biel (two Jessicas I normally can't stand, but they were both OK in this movie), Patrick Dempsey, Shirley Maclaine, etc. etc.

After the movie we went for a walk in Discovery Park, which was really muddy, then to Trader Joe's, where I got the ingredients for a potato leek soup. And! Very exciting -- a bottle of wine that I actually intend to DRINK (as opposed to using in cooking)! I usually don't like wine (or alcohol of most kinds, as I respond in an allergic way), but I had this one at work last week and it was really good. I think I can drink half a glass of it with actual enjoyment! (This is huge for me.) It's this Chateau Ste. Michelle Riesling. I'm sure I like it because it's sweeter than most other wines I've had. Maybe for dinner tonight I'll have some of this wine with some Brie I acquired recently. How very French!

Oh, I have a question though, for you wine buffs... you know how some wines are meant to be aged (they get better) while others start to degrade? How do I know? I'd like to run out and buy a dozen bottles of this wine since I know I like it, but since that would probably last me quite some time I wouldn't want to stock up if they're just going to spoil before I get around to actually drinking them. (Did a quick search and it would appear that Rieslings might age better than other types of white, but are still meant to be drunk "young," within 1-2 years of release. Is that generally accepted to be true?)
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Making little improvements every day. Still have the sniffles and a cough, but I have to do less of each now. Yay. My sense of smell/taste is mostly all back though, so big cheer for that.

I think today I am going to attempt to make cream of broccoli soup for the first time (that wasn't from a can). When done well it's one of my all-time favorite soups, so I hope the recipe I'm planning to use is a winner. The best broccoli soup I've ever had was one they served at Kerckhoff Hall in the coffee shop while I was at UCLA. It came in a bread bowl, which is always a plus, but the soup itself was so. freaking. good. I don't know what supplier they bought it from or what was in it, but I've never had broccoli soup that good before or since.

I have some obvious TV show recommendations to make. Sorry they're so obvious but it's all I've got.

1) Mad Men - Mentioned this in my last post but now I've watched all 3 available seasons and I've solidified my opinion that it's a must-watch show. It's authentic, it's interesting, the characters are rich, etc. The bulk of S3 wasn't as good as the first two seasons, but by the end I was sold and am excited for what's coming next.

2) Glee - I've always had a soft spot for amateur singing groups/show choir type things, possibly because I can't carry a tune and have forever wished that if I could have any talent, it would be to sing. The show is so super fun, even if I find a lot of the characters annoying and/or useless (with the exception of Jane Lynch, who is a comedic goddess). I know that sounds weird. As a whole though, it just works. I've watched all 13 available eps now and miss being able to watch it; I looked forward to every episode.

I also just finished S5 of Lost, which... I enjoyed, but thought was the weakest season. I don't care what they say, some of the stuff that's happened in the past was so not part of some overarching plan. When you have characters going, "Oh yeah, I did that but it was fake/I lied," it's like, okay, yeah, that's them going, we didn't know what we were doing then and this is how we're going to retrofix it. I've also started, at long last, Battlestar Galactica. I'm totally years behind the bandwagon on this one. I avoided it at first because I've just never been into Star Wars/Star Trek-type things, and BSG seemed to be of that ilk. I'm enjoying it so far, so either I've grown more tolerant or it's different somehow. It helps that it's more science fiction than fantasy (more robots, less creatures with prosthetics and purple skin).

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