Vancouver!

Aug. 21st, 2012 10:40 pm
sarea: (Default)
Back from Vancouver, where [personal profile] adelagia, [personal profile] slitherhither and I had a blast. We didn't kill each other and remain friends, which is always a 50/50 prospect when traveling with people for the first time. So yay for that! :D More details about the trip. Warning: Many pictures of food contained herein. )

Edit: I was so concerned with detailing all the food we ate that I didn't make note of the non-food stuff. >.> So I am copying and pasting some other stuff from [personal profile] adelagia's post on this exact same trip, for posterity. Non-food stuff! )
sarea: (annoyed clint)
OK so, I saw The Dark Knight Rises. I was disappointed. I'm going to be like one of 10 people in the world who didn't like it, and I've made my peace with that. It was the same with Lost in Translation (*fistbumps [personal profile] adelagia*). But anyway, before I talk about the movie and the issues I had with it, let me share something non-spoilery that happened before the movie began.

The first thing I said to [profile] corianderstem when the theater lights dimmed was, "I hope we get a Bourne Legacy trailer." I was so excited when those familiar opening frames started playing. I've seen that particular trailer a hundred times online, but never in the theater, and seeing it on a huge screen was super awesome. However, it was the very last trailer, and the theater we were at likes to do this showy thing where they LOWER THE CURTAINS AGAIN before the actual feature presentation, so the final minute or so of the BL trailer was obscured by the FUCKING CURTAINS!!!!! Which then rose again to show the actual movie! Seriously? SERIOUSLY?! I was so fucking annoyed. Like anyone needs the fake anticipation of the curtains rising again for the actual movie. Totally ruined the only big-theater viewing of the BL trailer that I've seen. -.- You know, if you're going to insist on doing something like that, do it RIGHT and just STOP the projector AFTER all the trailers are DONE. Gawd. :-l x 1000000000000000000000

Spoilery The Dark Knight Rises commentary. )

After the movie, C. and I went to eat at the Ballard El Camion, which just has such yummy food. And long lines that don't let up.

On Saturday [personal profile] adelagia, [personal profile] slitherhither and I ended up having an impromptu Taiwanese cuisine day, starting with Boiling Point and ending with Henry's Taiwan. It was lovely to see B., who is so busy these days that we rarely get to see her. In between, we played Pandemic and had frozen yogurt at Peaks.

Did you know you can play Pandemic for free here? (When I told [profile] jade_okelani she was like, "Well now when are we ever going to do anything else?") It's kind of clunky and not as satisfying as actually playing with the actual pieces, but still, it totally works. The only thing is that it's a German site, so it's half in English and half in German, which makes for a somewhat confusing/frustrating experience getting started, lol. But yay that I can brush up on my (nonexistent) German? [personal profile] akscully was a very good sport and helped me figure it out, even though by the time we finished playing a couple of games with Jade it was like 4 in the morning for her. :))

Two hilariously funny things from Tumblr recently:

1) My neighbor's dog won't stop baking! ) Best response to a typo ever. Seriously, this makes me laugh so hard every time I see it. It's just so ridiculous. I think I might have to frame it and put it up somewhere in the house, because every time I encounter it, it's going to cheer me up.

2) "Scary Smash" - Kids make up a story, adults act it out. This one stars Joss Whedon. It's awesome.

sarea: (jeremy trapped!)
Hmm I thought it was less than a week since my last post but apparently I was wrong. >.> TUMBLR HAS EATEN MY LIFE. I can't even be sorry about it. I'm dazzled by all the pretty pictures there. I start to write, but then after a sentence or two I just go to my dash and refresh. >< And depending on what's there, I then totally get sucked in. Apparently I just need the internet taken away from me if I want to get any writing done, because I have no willpower to speak of.

I'm also running on very little sleep. I did it while Jade was here, but that's because we were packing our days with FUN things. Now I'm getting up super early because of work, even though I don't go to bed until like 1am. The other night I went to bed after *2*, because I was watching GoT S2 w/ Jade and we went off on a big random tangent afterward. I really just want to find the nearest bed and sleep for aaaaaaaaaages. But speaking of GoT, I realized that I never talked about the S2 finale. I'm sure you all have been dying to know what I thought of it... not. But I'm a completist, and one day I might want to know what I initially thought, and will be annoyed with myself if I don't do it, so here we go. Spoilers for GoT 2x10 'Valar Morghulis.' )

OK, and the following is for [profile] dearnana. She wanted to know exactly what Jade and I ate at all the places we went to during Jade's visit, so heeeeeeeeeere it all is!! We don't overeat. Why do you ask? )

WHEW.

Yesterday I hung out with J. We took a little walk (omg at how out of shape I am, it's seriously sad), then watched Moonrise Kingdom (which I only saw because she SO wanted to see it, and also because Bruce Willis and Edward Norton were in it -- otherwise I never would have, because I generally can't stand Wes Anderson movies. I hated Rushmore and actually walked out of The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou. MK was ok), then had dinner at El Camion, which I think is the Mexican food truck that [personal profile] slitherhither told me about ages ago and I've been wanting to try. It was DELICIOUS. I had the pollo verde tamale, two tacos lenguas, and one taco carne asada. You guys, I've had a revelation about tamales. I've always hated them growing up, because they were always, without fail, dry and disgusting. For the first time ever, I had a tamale I enjoyed when in Chicago, at one of Rick Bayless's restaurants. It was moist and wonderful, and I realized that that's how they're supposed to be. I had another good one at a Salvadorean place near Crossroads, and now from El Camion. So now I love tamales, but they have to be done properly. Because when they're dry and wrong... ugh, they're terrible. And [personal profile] adelagia, the tacos lenguas were REALLY good, the chunks of tongue were cut really big and tender. Mmmmmm. I really regretted getting the carne asada one, lol.

What a boring update. Sorry I don't have more interesting things going on. Why don't I top it all off by saying that I am still waiting for @#%@ing summer to start in Seattle. It's &#&@ing JULY already! Right now it's &#!@ing 59 @#$&ing degrees. <caps>$@*$</cap>

A few things from Tumblr that I want to share, that's not my usual Clint/Natasha squeeage:

- "Clint" flips off Loki - very well done animated .gif that totally always makes me grin

- Some pretty awesome artwork of the Avengers if they were Death Knights (from WoW). At least, according to me, not the artist. But that's what they look like!!

- This is a drawing -- that's right, DRAWING -- of Hawkeye that someone did, with some artistic "Loki blue" flowing out of his eyes. Seriously, it's so realistic it looks like a manip'ed photo.

- And a non-Avengers rec: An excellent, excellent essay titled "In defense of Sansa Stark." Sansa haters to the left. I didn't start out liking Sansa, it just gradually happened as the series went on, and I don't know if it's as easy to like her if you only watch the show, but this essay articulates much better than I could why she's just as much a kickass heroine as the other kickass heroines in the series.

Also, this is old news by now, but I would be remiss if I didn't tell you that I am SO JEALOUS OF UK SUBSCRIBERS OF EMPIRE MAGAZINE, who get this subscriber-only cover of the August issue. I NEED THIS. )

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sarea: (while you were sleeping)
I tried McDonald's sweet iced tea for the first time last night and oh my giddy god is it SWEET. I don't know how it compares to the sweet iced tea found all over the South that I read about in Jane and Michael Stern's Roadfood, but if it's anything like that, I have to tell you I cannot take it. I felt an onset of diabetes just from the one sip I had. O.o I went home and watered it down by 100% and IT WAS STILL TOO SWEET. It's like drinking syrup! Plus there was no taste of lemon, and I like my iced teas very lemony.

[profile] jade_okelani is going to be here in ONE WEEK. How is that possible?! Eeeeeee! I still have a lot of cleaning and organizing to do, for my own sanity, because Jade has already said she doesn't care.

Now that it's the end of May, all the TV shows are wrapping up, and I have sooooooooo much to catch up on. It's exciting and overwhelming at the same time. Over the long weekend I managed to finish all of Fringe S4. Spoilers! )

I'm also halfway through Glee S3! More spoilers. )

I've also seen the first 8 episodes or so of Parks & Recreation S4. Yep, spoilers. )

Also, of course, there's the latest Game of Thrones episode, 2x9 'Blackwater.' You guessed it, spoilers. )

Did I mention that I finally received The Walking Dead compendium from the library? I would have loved to have gotten it even a month ago. Now with my Avengers obsession I really couldn't care less. >< Sigh. And I've waited SO LONG for it.

Finally finished reading The Winter Sea by Susanna Kearsley. It was recced to me by K's friend C, who LOVED it, and it's also got plenty of other accolades. I was totally underwhelmed by it. It's a work of historical fiction with two tepid (to me) romances, and far, far too much of the novel is pages and pages of dialogue describing some historical event! Horrible. I don't know how a novel like that could even get PUBLISHED, much less given praise. I can't believe it's compared to Diana Gabaldon's writing, because as much as DG gets far too into the history for my taste, at least her novels are complex and full of showing, rather than telling. Nearly all the characters and the plots of TWS left me cold or rolling my eyes. I hate to tell C what I really thought of it, though. She loves everything I've ever recced to her, and I know she really wants me to like it. Siiiiiiiiiigh.
sarea: (western annie)
I am slowly surfacing from my Clint/Natasha coma, by which I mean I am able to once again do things and be interested in stuff that doesn't involve them. I still mostly want to spend all my time with them, but at least it's not an exclusive relationship anymore. *snicker*

I did watch GoT 2x8 'The Prince of Winterfell,' but I barely remember anything about it, other than that it's probably the last time I'll see one of my favorite characters. :/ My lack of memory is partly due to the BlackHawk haze, and partly due to the fact that I had a really bad tummy ache when I watched it. That, my friends, is the price of gluttony. I seriously thought I might have to go to the emergency room. The only thing that stopped me was the idea of telling people that I had done it to myself by eating too much. >< Cutting the shameful story, might be kinda TMI. )

I also finished The Good Wife, season 3. TGW is one of those shows that I shouldn't like. It's on CBS, which is like, the most boring network ever, it's a procedural, and it stars Julianna Margulies, who I don't particularly care for (and never have, even on ER). And yet. It is a REALLY good show. The case-of-the-week plots of the weekly eps are almost always interesting and well written, while advancing the non-case-based plots, and it's well acted. It helps that I love both Josh Charles and Matt Czuchry, but they're honestly not the defining reason why I like the show. The only other person I know who watches TGW is [profile] corianderstem, which is weird considering it has like 10 million viewers (if only so many people could have been cool enough to watch Community). Anyway... my thoughts on The Good Wife S3. )

Oh, and of course the Other TV Thing I had to shoulder this past week... Dan Harmon being fired as showrunner of Community. The first thing I did was scream and rage and call both NBC and Sony a bunch of frickin idiots. The second thing I did was very similar to the first thing. The third thing I did was feel glad that there's at least going to be a final 12 episodes at all. Here's the thing. I feel strongly that when you take a smart, funny show that appeals to a small, select group of people because they all share in and appreciate that kind of humor, to then remove the guy who brought that vision to life, in order to make it more "broadly appealing," all you're going to do is ruin what it is, alienate existing fans, and not succeed ANYway, especially if you also combine it with moving the show to Friday evenings. But whatever. They have their reasoning, and Vulture has been able to lay some of those reasons out objectively in these two articles. Because I am a reasonable person, and because it seems they're trying to retain some of the writers (like Megan Ganz), I can now see where the other side is coming from, and I will give S4 a chance. I want it to succeed. But I pretty much think that by getting rid of Dan they're changing what the show is, and I just don't know if I would enjoy Community-lite. I do hope they prove me wrong -- but again, even if the show maintains its quality and awesomeness, they're not helping it with its current slot, so in that way they're dooming it ANYway. In which case, they might as well have either canceled the show outright or brought Dan back to run the final 12 eps.

And because this would not be my LJ if I didn't include some Clint/Natasha prettiness, here we go:


From here.
sarea: (bring me a sandwich)
I love all the Sexy and I Know It parodies. First was the Nerdy and I Know It Starcraft video, now there's these Hunger Games "texts." Seriously this new LJ cut sucks. )

Game of Thrones 2x3 'What Is Dead May Never Die' )

Restaurant Week: Tilth )

I'm starting to realize that I really don't need to wait for RW to enjoy these restaurants more often. What generally ends up being the case is that we basically get the dessert for free... yet the desserts are often the weakest part of the whole meal (with the exception of Mistral Kitchen and maybe the Tom Douglas restaurants). I'd almost always rather have another savory course.

I just found out that ordering an entire case of Head Country BBQ sauce was totally unnecessary. It turns out that the butcher I occasionally go to carries it. >< SIGH. I wonder if there's any chance at all they'd take it off my hands and I could get meat in exchange. Hmm.
sarea: (bodie)
Happy birthday, [personal profile] akscully! May your summers be long, your Starkcest be plenty, and your quest for alcohol be fruitful. <3

We are now in the Sweet Sixteen of Hump Madness. Thank you to everyone who voted me on... even if you didn't know you weren't doing it since it's anonymous. :D Anyway, the Sweet 16 Slytherin and Hufflepuff brackets are up here. Go vote for 4 of the 8 lovely drabbles available for your reading pleasure! Any guesses on which of the drabbles is mine? :D

I'm now in the middle of S3 of The Wire. S2 was not nearly as good as S1, and S3 is shaping up to be about the same as S2. S1 was just so charged and emotional, and that same level of emotion just hasn't been matched yet. I love Herc and Carver, though. They're like the original Troy and Abed. Aidan Gillen is in S3 and he plays a smarmy politician. Hmm... what's familiar about that... When fandoms collide!

Last night I went to Joule with J. All of the eating. )

Went to a 5-year-old's birthday party on Saturday. The sun was out, but it was still freaking cold, especially when the wind blew. K. got a selection of sandwiches from Macrina, and the roast beef and mushroom was far and away the best. For dinner they made spaghetti with a parsley, chard and walnut pesto (note to self: should make pesto more often, even if basil's not involved), which was delicious. Even more delicious was the Bakery Nouveau chocolate cake. I got the 8" one even though there weren't many of us because we all love it so much that leftover chocolate cake would be welcomed by all. Afterward we played Ticket to Ride and Pandemic. OMG D. takes sooooooooooo long with his turns. We could get a whole other game in if he didn't take so long. >< I'm typically very decisive when I play games so when others take forever I'm like, "Goooooooooooooooooooooo." :))

So that was my weekend. Too short as usual. Sigh.
sarea: (yoon eun hye)
Right now I am marathoning City Hunter. It is just as good as I hoped. :D I love when that happens! I'm on episode 12 or 13. I Frapped and uploaded this fight sequence from one of the early episodes to YouTube. Such a good role for Lee Min Ho. <333

Context: Using undercover work, Yun Seong (LMH's character) has just exposed a scumbag politician admitting to the crimes the latter has committed. YS's been captured by said scumbag politician's thugs... but not for long. Long live the spoon. ;)



More spoilery comments. )

I couldn't get Death Note Vol. 7 from T. yesterday, due to all the snow. :/ (Reports are that my area got 7 inches!) I've ordered it from B&N and it should be here in a day or two, but the snow might stop that also. I don't know if the USPS still abides by their motto of delivering the mail through all kinds of inclement weather.

Also due to the snow my mom and I ended up going to Boiling Point (we went like 5 or 6 times while she was here; we LOVE that place) instead of Lola with K. Thankfully her flight wasn't canceled, the big snowstorm didn't come in until yesterday.

Tonight I'm supposed to go to Spring Hill's fried chicken dinner with the two Ks and C. I really want to go and also try out my drama-Korean on K and C, but it's still lightly snowing outside so I don't know if I want to make the trek all the way out to West Seattle for it. It would be lame of me not to, though, since it's a set dinner for 4 people. Sigh, why couldn't this have happened next weekend, when I have nothing planned?!
sarea: (Default)
Yesterday I had stinky tofu hotpot with T and B. :D Hotpot is soooooo delicious and good to have on cold days, which is all we've gotten recently. I'm mostly over my cold except for a slightly runny nose, and the chilly weather doesn't help. Then B had to work, so T and I headed over to Plato's Closet where I bought way too much stuff, including a North Face jacket that cost as much as like, 5 other items put together. But I really wanted it. Like I said, it's very cold lately! Then we went to a European deli, because I love buying salami and cheese from such places. Except the cheese I sampled (I asked for something sharp) ended up being even stinkier than the stinky tofu, lol. Then we went to Starbucks, where I made the mistake of getting a venti frappuccino with my free drink birthday card. I was really craving the taste of a frappuccino, but after awhile I was like, it really is too cold to be drinking this. T nicely did not say "I told you so."

I had to send my mom to the airport yesterday morning. Her flight was at 7am. You do the math. To add to the fun, the time change happened overnight, so we had to keep that in mind when planning the timing. (When are we going to STOP with this asinine time changing thing already! The reason for it is less critical than it used to be, and plenty of places are rightly opting to not observe the practice.) I couldn't even enjoy 'gaining' an extra hour due to how early I had to get up. All I could think about was getting back home/in bed!

It was really nice to have my mom around, but it's also best for our relationship that we don't live together. Her favorite meal while she was here was the salmon she had at Etta's, but her second favorite was the meal I cooked at home a few days ago! What I made. )

Saturday afternoon, we went to the Pacific Northwest Ballet with K and her little girls. The company performed "Love Stories," a selection of scenes from 5 love story ballets, including Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty and Romeo & Juliet. The girls love the ballet, and were totally enraptured the whole time; I'm kind of embarrassed to admit that I fell asleep during the first act and the third. I guess I just do not appreciate ballet. There's no talking, or singing, or anything that keeps me engaged. They spend 20 minutes expressing themselves through dance, which frankly doesn't really 'speak' to me (they could get the same thing across in 2 minutes if they just freaking said what they were feeling); I don't find ballet dancing all that beautiful, in fact I find it kind of freaky and unnatural how they're always on their toes (which I know ruins dancers' feet), and the guys are not appealing at all. I mean, the girls get to wear skirts and such; why can't the guys wear something similar? Put on a pair of pants or shorts, for god's sake, you just look ridiculous. Anyway. So yeah, I'm severely lacking in appreciation for ballet. Even though I love Billy Elliot. Sorry, Billy.

An update on my media consumption!!

TV Shows: Still watching and enjoying Goong. Except for when they focus on matters relating to the adults/succession of the throne. That storyline bores me to tears.

I'm now three episodes behind on Merlin. >< I also haven't watched any more Vampire Diaries.

I've totally gotten into a reality TV show for the first time: Top Chef. :D I like it because it deals with "amateurs" rather than experts who everyone already agrees is at the top of their game. (It's the same reason I prefer college sports to professional sports.) Each season starts off with a selection of about 15 up-and-coming chefs, and they participate in challenges throughout the season until one is crowned Top Chef. It's really fun, I love the head judge Tom Colicchio, I love the guest judges, and I'm continually impressed by the creative/delicious-looking dishes that the contestants come up with. I could never do that with food; I'm much more a recipe follower than creator. I started with season 4, because that's the season Stephanie Izard won, but now I'm going to go back and watch the others.

Books: I read Room by Emma Donoghue. I didn't much like it, and only finished it because it was a very quick read. I found the narrator, a 5-year-old boy, REALLY annoying. Adults should stop trying to write from the POV of a little kid, because it never sounds right. The kid always sounds way too adult, and way too kiddie, at the same time. I also found his mother really annoying. They're both supposed to be victims, and the whole time I found myself disliking them, so either I'm heartless or the author simply wasn't good at making me sympathize (beyond the very basic human level of feeling bad about their awful situation). Also, it was disturbing subject matter, but it actually wasn't as disturbing as the real-life stories we've heard of the same, so in that sense it almost felt like a protective fantasy rather than some harrowing tale that really draws you in and makes you feel every second of the horror and desperation of the situation.

I've never read a single Stephen King book. At first it was because I didn't have any interest in his usual genre, and horror still isn't my favorite. But then it was because he was so hyped, and so prolific, that I couldn't imagine I'd really be able to enjoy any of his books. But it looks like I'll be reading him for the first time -- a coworker who really likes SK gave me the first three books of The Dark Tower series, and since he's reading ASoIaF on my recommendation, I feel that it would be nice to reciprocate.
sarea: (damon)
[personal profile] grrm has been selling lesser-known books of his off his overstuffed bookshelves, and since I CANNOT RESIST such things I've been buying them to put into my own overflowing bookshelves. However, he signs each book and I enjoy reading his little inscriptions. :D Plus it doesn't appear that I will ever get to meet him in person to get my silver first of A Game of Thrones signed. Sigh.

I'm still not much in a reading mood, but I finally finished Lisa See's Peony in Love. That one took me months and months. Right now I've started the first Dresden Files book, Fevre Dream by GRRM (one of the books from see above), and The Grand Tour, sequel to Sorcery & Cecelia.

My mom is staying with me right now, which is wonderful because she's made such an amazing recovery. But on the other hand, she is DRIVING ME UP THE WALL. I thought that given everything that's happened, I'd somehow turn into a saint and have endless amounts of patience for her. I don't. Somehow, my mom is able to push my buttons like no one else, and she still does it. This has always been our dynamic and I guess it always will be.

Restaurant Week is over at last. This is the most I have ever participated in a single RW -- I believe I went to 12 places -- and it was too much, especially because half the dinners weren't all that great. Next time I'm going to restrict it to only 2-3 dinners, with no restriction on lunch, because RW lunch is always worthwhile. The final RW outings. )

Then today we went to Bellevue to eat at Boiling Point, which is a Taiwanese hot pot place that specializes in stinky (fermented) tofu. If you're not Chinese or totally immersed in Chinese culture, you won't like it. In fact, it'll be completely heinous. But my mom and I love it, LOL. Then I actually made dinner tonight! I made Jamie Oliver's vegetable lasagne. I so could not do it in 30 minutes, but then I made a different version than he did so it's not really a good test. It was really, really good but my version was too soupy; we had to use bread to mop up the sauce. To go with it I made a simple salad of butter lettuce and radicchio, with olive oil and lemon juice dressing. For some bizarre reason I had it in my head to make another dressing -- a sesame vinaigrette -- that I ended up having to save in the fridge.

[profile] jade_okelani and I have started Vampire Diaries S3! Spoilers for 3x01 'The Birthday.' )
sarea: (Default)
So I woke up with a raging sore throat. Sigh. I was really hoping to miss cold and flu season this year. I got my shot and everything! This blows. At least I got to enjoy most of Restaurant Week before it hit. Since my last post, I've gone to... lots of places. )

I have read and enjoyed very much Sorcery & Cecelia or The Enchanted Chocolate Pot, by Patricia Wrede and Caroline Stevermer. Thanks for the rec, [personal profile] laria_gwyn! It's a really quick and easy read, though it did end a bit abruptly, I thought. So imagine my joy to discover that it actually has not one, but two sequels! Set in regency England, the entire novel is told in letters between two cousins, Kate and Cecelia. There's a fully connected plot that includes magic, intrigue, pretty dresses, evil stepmothers, and even a bit of romance.

Because I've been spending so much time eating out (and cleaning/tidying the house for when my mom comes to stay with me), I haven't been watching anything. I haven't seen the latest Merlin ep, and I have yet to start You're Beautiful (recced by [personal profile] adelagia) or Goong (recced by [personal profile] akscully). For the latter, I had A. rank the hotness of the male lead (because the YB male lead is kind of hideous) in comparison to other male leads from dramas we've enjoyed in the past. FWIW, this was her order of hotness (the most important detail, obviously, when starting any drama):

Zhi Shu (It Started with a Kiss)
Yi Jeong (Boys Over Flowers)
Goong male lead (Goong)
Jun Pyo (Boys Over Flowers)
.
.
.
(somewhere way far down)
Tsukasa Domyouji (Hana Yori Dango)
YB male lead (You're Beautiful)

Hotter than Jun Pyo (who is pretty dang hot)?! I'm there! But I do have to wait for the torrent to finish downloading, which according to uTorrent is going to take just under a week. >< I suppose that's better than the 3 weeks it started out as.
sarea: (caroline)
I'm slowly getting used to the fact that my entire Merlin relationship with [profile] jade_okelani WAS A LIE. There are still moments when I remember something I really wanted to say, but held back because I didn't want to spoil her, and then it occurs to me that I probably wouldn't have been spoiling her at all. Or the times [personal profile] akscully and I were flailing and giggling at her behind her back on locked Merlin threads, except that it turns out she was reading them all along and laughing at us behind OUR backs. Grrr.

One of my favorite bands of all time is Linkin Park. I just love their sound. Last month they released a concept album, "A Thousand Suns," that's gotten mixed reviews. One critic said, "This sounds like a really good Linkin Park cover band." Ouch! LOL. I recently listened to the full album, and after several play throughs, I've decided that I like it. Screw the critics. Yes, it's quite different from their other albums. Despite the nuclear warfare theme, the general sound of the album is fairly mellow (especially for LP). I think Chester only screams in one song! My favorite songs right now -- Waiting for the End, Burning in the Skies, and The Messenger. I actually like ALL the songs, but those are good ones to start with. Actually the entire album should be listened to in order, since as a whole it's supposed to tell a cohesive story, but I won't ask that of you. ;)

Had a great weekend. I took Friday off, and in the morning K. and I went to Julep for pedicures. Now it's ALL ABOUT FOOD. )

I've been dreading my blood workup results because I was sure my cholesterol must be really terrible, but it was shockingly not that bad. I mean, it wasn't good by any means, but I think it was actually better than last time, and it wasn't too far off the mark. The one thing that was really bad was that I was low in vitamin D, which is true of every person who lives here, lol.

I have so much TV to watch, it's awesome. Currently almost done with The Sopranos S1. I still don't see why all the critics say it's the best show that's ever been on TV, but I'm enjoying it. I like most of the main/featured characters in their own way, except Christopher, who I wish would get killed off but probably won't. Then there's How I Met Your Mother, which I'm apparently a season+ behind on (I thought I hadn't watched S4, but oh how wrong I was). Really looking forward to S5. There's also Dexter S5, but Jade has convinced me not to watch it until the whole season has aired. It's only 13 episodes, so I'm pretty sure I can resist as long as I don't start it. Then, of course, there's the current seasons of Glee, Merlin, and Vampire Diaries (I finally had to look up when they each actually air, so that I'll know when the next ep is available for download). I've paused on Supernatural for now. It's just not the kind of show where I'm dying to see the next episode. I gave my discs to my mom, who loves that kind of thing.

Oh that reminds me, I saw a movie recently, The Last Exorcism. Spoilersssssssss. )

Because of the Merlin 3x10 trailer, I have plot bunnies hopping around madly in my head and they seem to be multiplying by the hour. I'm just like, don't you guys know it takes me like 3 years to write a story? Go away! And take your chicken with you!
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.

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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: (Default)
SO freaking tired. One of the bad things about a long weekend is that I get myself used to a schedule of sleeping late and waking up late, which then bites me in the ass come the next work morning. Ugghhh. And I had to get up extra early this morning in order to make potatoes au gratin in the Crock Pot.

I've had my first [community profile] trashy_eats-inspired meal. One slice of white bread, slathered with peanut butter, folded over with a dill pickle spear in the middle. Photo! ) The first bite was kind of strange, because of the blend of flavors that my taste buds weren't used to, but strangely delicious after that. I've eaten it two days in a row now. Might as well, since I have white bread in the house due to making turkey meatballs (the most delicious turkey meatballs EVER!).

Rama Farms at the West Seattle farmers market has the best red-gold nectarines in the world. They're only available for 3 weeks. K. snagged a box of seconds and gave me 11 of them. She's so nice. Each one is treasured. They are so, so good, the perfect blend of tang and sweetness, with a juicy, firm flesh that's not mealy at all (mealy fruit is the worst).

Talking about Tom/Becky in my last post made me take a little trip down memory lane and I thought about all the ships I shipped when I was younger. I'm sure I am very alone in some of these, but I bet some of you shipped at least a couple of these. Admit it!

* Anne Shirley/Gilbert Blythe (Anne of Green Gables) - This one's a gimme. Right? Everyone shipped this.
* Tom Sawyer/Becky Thatcher (The Adventures of Tom Sawyer)
* Smurfette/Handy Smurf (The Smurfs) - Don't look at me like that.
* Princess Aurora/Lance (Voltron) - I can't remember if this ship ever became canon.
* Mary Lennox/Dickon Sowerby (The Secret Garden) - I can't remember if I shipped Mary/Colin, a little bit... wait a minute, they were cousins, right? Then of course I didn't, because that would be very wrong. >.>
* Logan Bruno/Mary Anne Spier (The Baby-sitters Club) - My 10-year-old self was DEVASTATED when Logan and Mary Anne broke up. That's when I realized that there was no such thing as happily ever after.
* Kevin Arnold/Winnie Cooper (The Wonder Years) - I loved the whole nerdy-girl-turns-beautiful premise. Hey, I was 11 when it first aired!
* Rick Hunter/Linn Minmei - As a little girl I was totally into Minmei, because she was the girl I most wanted to be. Now, of course, I realize that she was a superficial little idiot and I should have shipped Rick/Lisa, but oh well.
sarea: (Default)
OMG. I'm reading Mockingjay, and no plot spoilers, but I've just gotten to a part where we meet two minor characters, brothers, who are named Castor and Pollux. The second I saw those names it struck a chord of recognition in me, so I went to Wikipedia. And I was right!! Those are the names of the brothers in Face/Off (one of my favorite guilty pleasure movies)! Castor Troy (played by Nicolas Cage) and Pollux Troy (played by Alessandro Nivola)!! Now that I know Suzanne Collins must be a Face/Off fan as well (I mean, I just can't believe those two particular names could be coincidental), I'm super tickled. Yeah, and how big a fan of Face/Off must I be to recognize those names like that? LOL.

Edit: OMG, whatEVS you smarty pants with your knowledge of mythology and what not. Way to be a buzz kill. It was so much more fun to imagine SC being a fan of Face/Off. Also, it's pretty sad that after loving mythology all through school and even taking a class on the subject in college, I never once learned about brothers Castor and Pollux.

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Can't really tell yet if the antihistamines are working. My eyes seem less itchy, maybe? Hard to tell re: my arms, since they already have the rashes going on it'll take time for those to heal on their own before I'll really be able to help if the antihistamines are going to prevent them from happening.

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Tried Zippy's Giant Burgers in West Seattle today. It's gotten tons of write ups. I think there's a bitter feud between them and Red Mill Burgers, which is possibly Seattle's most well-known burger joint. I've only been there once, and that was a long time ago, so I can't directly compare the two. But Zippy's grinds their own chuck in the morning and hand-shapes their patties, which is great. I prefer the fries at Five Guys, though.

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I curse and love [profile] corianderstem for introducing me to Ciao Bella's key lime graham gelato. It is AMAZING. The only thing, in my mind, that would make it better is chunks of graham cracker crust. I bought some of Ben & Jerry's key lime pie flavor because theirs does have the crust, but it was disappointing. The flavor of the ice cream isn't as good as Ciao Bella's (and, being ice cream instead of gelato, the texture isn't as creamy), and the chunks of crust aren't really all that great either. I think I may actually just make a graham cracker pie crust and crumble it on top of the Ciao Bella gelato. In the last few days I've eaten so much ice cream that I've run out of spoons before washing, which hasn't happened in I don't know how long.
sarea: (lucille pissed)
Okay... I had a traumatizing experience yesterday. Despite the fact that mosquitoes love me and I almost always have several bites on various parts of my body, I've never taken especial precautions to prevent them. I just figured it was a fact of life. But now I need to make it a point to cover myself up from head to go when I go out in the garden. I need to buy some sun clothes and wear them. For the first time ever, I SAW a mosquito feasting on me. I've never seen that before. They usually bite me and I don't notice until the swelling starts. It totally freaked me out to see it sitting there, EATING ME. And yes, now there is a hot lump on my arm where it had treated me like a juice box. THAT IS SO GROSS.

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Have you ever had deep fried pickles? They are so yummy. I had them for the first time a couple months ago -- I was super skeptical, but after the first bite I was completely sold. I failed at making them in my Actifry, but I love them enough that maybe I'll try making them the old-fashioned way. Or just make excuses to go to the People's Pub in Ballard for an excellent plate of them.

Also, I made this cocoa-nana bread the other night. Chocolate and banana, mmm.

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TV Show Meme, Day 18 - Favorite title sequence: Dexter

DESPITE the first few frames showing a mosquito feeding on Dexter, the rest of it features a lot of food. Delicious-looking food (even though it's supposed to make you think of death and murder). So I'm a big fan. I don't get sick of watching this title sequence. :))
sarea: (Default)
Enough correct answers to the romantic quotes meme have been supplied that I am considering it done. Thanks to everyone who helped relieve my boredom!! Shout out to [personal profile] mynuet and [profile] xcarol who tied for the most correct answers with 6 each.

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I am all pasta'ed out. Maggiano's w/ the DG gals yesterday was fabulous, but I ate WAY too much. They're still doing their classics special, which means you choose a heaping portion of pasta to eat there, and choose another one to take home. The portions are ridiculously huge, especially the eggplant parmesan that [personal profile] slitherhither and [personal profile] adelagia got. That thing could have fed a small country. We also shared this dessert sampler that was SO GINORMOUS! I thought each dessert in the sampler was going to be a small little thing, and they were like, regular-sized, practically.

Then I went to K.'s for dinner, and guess what she had to use up? That's right, PASTA.

My carb count yesterday must've been astronomical. And it doesn't even stop there, since I have my take-home spaghetti with meatballs!

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Calling all favorite Crock Pot recipes -- what are your favorites?? I have Crock Pot books but I'm more interested in recipes that people have actually used and love/make all the time... the recipes I've gotten from other people vs books have almost always been better. So if you have a fave recipe, please share!

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TV Show Meme, Day 17 - Favorite mini series: Band of Brothers

I was conflicted between Band of Brothers and Rome, but in the end had to give it to BoB. It's just one of the most amazingly done TV projects ever. The acting, the storytelling, the filming, everything was just of the highest caliber. I was riveted for the entire 10 hours.
sarea: (tomato)
Strawberries! So many strawberries are suddenly developing nice color in my tiny little patch, it's awesome. And today I saw, for the first time, A TINY LITTLE TOMATO!!!! Eee! Here's hoping this decent weather holds out. It's not super warm today but at least the sun is out. I haven't been able to take pictures recently but I'm going to soon. Right now I'm still trying to decide if I should just cut my garlic scapes now or not. Most of them have one loop, and I wanted to wait for them to develop two loops, but it's slow going.

Got my car back from the body shop today with its repainted door. Looks good. But then, it looked good the first time too, and the darkening of the color didn't happen until after a few months. Hopefully I'll get a good deal on another car this weekend and then I can just turn this one in.

On the pet front, things are going better. They're definitely at least tolerating each other at this point, even if they don't play or anything. I am getting a bit stressed about Jaime's eating habits, however. In that, HE WON'T STOP EATING. He constantly wants food. He's a cat food fiend. I really wanted to free feed him, but I can't because he just eats everything I give him in a short amount of time. At first I was feeding him 1/2 cup dry cat food (with 1-2 tbsps of wet cat food) twice a day. The vet thought that 1 cup of food was a lot for him (he's 10 lb, 10 oz, which she says I want to keep him at). I was just going off of what it says on the package, which is 1/2-1 cup of food for cats between 10-14 lbs. But the package also recommends free feeding, to put that much food in the dish once a day. If I did that, Jamie would be done with it in a few hours and then be starving the rest of the time! I've cut his food down to 1/3 cup, twice a day (for a total of 2/3 cup per day), but he polishes it off very quickly, even when I don't put any wet food in the dish. So I don't know what to do. I don't want to put him on a path to become obese, which leads to other health problems, but neither do I want him to go hungry (he's always meowing for food). The other stressful thing is that if he eats like this, I don't know if I can go out of town for a couple of days and just leave him a pile of food. He'll probably just eat it all on the first day and then starve the rest of the time! Have any of you cat owners ever experienced this with your kitties? What did you do?

Since my dad arrived the day before, we have so far had Chinese food and Fatburger, lol. Their cajun chicken sandwich is actually quite delicious, and my dad really enjoyed his mushroom swiss burger.

TV Meme, Day 03 - Your favorite new show (aired this TV season)

I think it's pretty obvious that I'm going to say Glee. I just love it. Okay, the season finale was bad, but in general, this show makes me Smile with a capital S. The storylines are pretty trite and many of the characters are annoying, but for all that, it's almost always fun and frequently brilliant. I generally like the music they feature and I love that they're getting super talented guest stars. My favorite character is, of course, Sue Sylvester, because no one can touch Jane Lynch. I'm glad the show's already been picked up for two more seasons; it's so rare that a show I like doesn't need mouth-to-mouth resuscitation to get it renewed that I am a little afraid Glee is going to start becoming a show I won't like (aka, if they do more episodes like the season finale).
sarea: (robin cigar)
I don't know if any of you guys use Tippr or how many cities they operate in, but a couple of months ago there was an offer for 1 hour of handyman services from a particular company for $45, which is half off, and if enough people purchased the voucher, they would up the value to $120. I was one of the people who purchased the voucher (and it did meet the requirement to increase the value), because I was having those problems with the birds in the attic at the time, and thought I might want to use them. Well, I ended up going with someone else instead (through a recommendation K. made), so I still have this voucher. A rep from the company contacted me recently, being like, "So... what do you want us to do?" I've now made up a list of stuff that could be done in my house, and it would be awesome if I could get it all done for that original $45. I'm wary though that I'll end up spending WAY more if it takes them a long time to get a couple of things done!

I finished Into the Wild. I'm still torn about how I feel about the guy and the events. I felt pretty critical of him at the beginning, but by the end, I don't know. Is it really such a terrible crime to be naive and idealistic? It's not really like he caused anyone's death but his own. He did put his parents through some anguish, but I don't think he should have changed who he was to please them, either.

I am starting the process of hardening off my seedlings. I think I'm just going to take it very slowly and do it over the course of 2-3 weeks. Hopefully by then spring will have set in for real. This weekend I need to get more potting soil, I think I am going to repot some of the seedlings as well as some rosemary I'm trying to grow from cuttings. Plus my big aloe plant seems to be having many little pups, so I'll need to get those into their own pots eventually as well.

Yesterday a giant steel pig -- Maximus/Minimus -- came to our work place. They were there as part of another group's event, but stuck around to do some extra business. So nice to have something *different* for lunch. I have to say, their BBQ pork sandwich with maximus sauce was very good, if on the small side.
sarea: (cheesecake!)
I finished Catching Fire. Spoilers... )

Last night's fried chicken dinner at Spring Hill was very good. Fried chicken is one of my favorite foods. There was SO MUCH chicken. The sides were rather skimpy, but there was a pile of chicken, even more than it appeared initially. Since the kids only had 1 piece each and there's only so much my mom, K., and I can eat, we had lots of leftover chicken. Since reheating fried chicken never works out well, I'll probably use my share of the leftovers to make some other chicken dish. The batter on the chicken was tasty and super crispy, my favorite. Sides were: mashed potatoes with gravy, macaroni & cheese (made with Beecher's, one of my favorite cheddars), jalapeno cornbread with honey butter, crispy oven-baked broccoli, and lightly seasoned spears of cucumber. We thought WE were hardcore because we got the dinner with basically just 3 adults eating (D. ordered a Caesar salad and basically ate that plus some sides), and behind us was a table of 6 adults who got the same thing (the dinner is supposed to serve 4). But then the table next to us put us to shame... 3 adults and a little girl, and not only did they get the fried chicken dinner they also ordered a side of Spring Hill's Monday spaghetti entree (which is not small) as well as two huge meatballs. I have photos, but they're on my SD card at home. D'oh.

Not sure if anyone remembers this, but back in November I was rear ended. Over the next 3 months I went to physical and massage therapy, then I had to wait and wait and wait for them to gather all the expenses and what not to make me an offer of settlement. At long last, after some back and forth, I think the whole thing is going to be settled, which is one less thing for me to worry about, so yay.

K.'s birthday is coming up and it's a big one, so I am thinking of being a good cousin and making her a vegan chocolate cake since she's off dairy right now. I can't imagine a vegan cake actually being any good, but if you know of a recipe for a good one, let me know please.

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