Thursday, October 14, 2004

Smallville Shower Count, Part 2

Ok, no actual showering this week, but we saw a pool party and a sauna. Close enough? I may have to allow Clark's dunking booth experience from last week to count now.

Monday, October 11, 2004

Recipes 'n' stuff

A month ago, I promised to post my tortilla soup recipe. I'm going to make it again this week with a few final tweaks, then post it. I think I've finally gotten it where I want it.

I also made a delicious low-fat pumpkin bread, and that recipe is here now.

Low-Fat Pumpkin Bread

15 oz canned pumpkin puree (not pie filling)
4 large eggs
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
2/3 cup water
1 1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
3 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp table salt
1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground allspice
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease three 7x3 inch loaf pans.

2. In a large bowl, mix together pumpkin puree, eggs, applesauce, water, vanilla and sugar until well blended. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger and allspice. Stir the dry ingredients into the pumpkin mixture until just blended. Pour into the prepared loaf pans.

3. Bake for 60-75 minutes in the preheated oven. Loaves are done when toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.


You may prefer to reduce the amount of spices. I like mine with lots of flavor!

Also, you could try replacing two of the eggs with non-fat Egg Beaters to reduce the fat content even further. I haven't tried that so I'm not sure how it ill affect the texture of the bread. As written, it is already moist and dense, more like a cake.

I decorated the top of the loaves by sprinkling sliced almonds on them before baking. As soon as I removed the bread from the oven, I sifted a very fine dusting of powdered sugar over the top of each loaf. Pretty and tasty!

Thursday, October 07, 2004

Smallville Shower Count!

Ok, we've seen three episodes so far in the new season of Smallville. It's a good season so far, even if last night's episode was sort of lame, but there is a strange new trend on the show to depict characters in the shower as often as possible.

Episode 4.1: Lana showers in Paris. We get a full minute or two of watching her somehow much curvier silhouette behind the shower curtain. Gratuitous, but not unpleasant.

Episode 4.2: Lois busts in on Clark while he's in the shower, hijinks ensue. Also, Lionel Luthor takes a shower in prison. There are only two possible outcomes to scenes involving prison showers, and this scene follows that rule.

Episode 4.3: Radical Plastic Surgery Girl and Dumb Jock Boy make out in the boys' locker room shower, ensuring a lifetime of toenail fungus for both of them. No, wait, they're in the shower still wearing pants and shoes. I wouldn't shower in there without being mostly dressed, either. I'm not even going to count the scene with Clark in the dunking booth because it's not technically a shower, but it is sort of an overdressed bath.

So that's four shower scenes in three episodes. I wonder if they'll work one into every episode this season. I also wonder why. Did the WB tell them specifically to amp up the near-nudity content this year? Will it eventually turn into Buffy Season 6, from the glory days before UPN had a Standards & Practices department? If so, I want to see a lot more hot middle-aged action between Jonathan and Martha. They're the best TV parents ever, and quite attractive. I think part of being a good role model is letting those punk kids know that old married folks can still get it on, only it's way better because they have more experience and fewer neuroses.

Which Historical Lunatic Are YOU?

I'm Charles the Mad. Sclooop.
Which Historical Lunatic AreYou?
From the fecund loins of Rum and Monkey.

My results:

You are Charles VI of France, also known as Charles the Mad or Charles the Well-Beloved!

A fine, amiable and dreamy young man, skilled in horsemanship and archery, you were also from a long line of dribbling madmen. King at 12 and quickly married to your sweetheart, Bavarian Princess Isabeau, you enjoyed many happy months together before either of you could speak anything of the other's language. However, after illness you became a tad unstable. When a raving lunatic ran up to your entourage spouting an incoherent prophecy of doom, you were unsettled enough to slaughter four of your best men when a page dropped a lance. Your hair and nails fell out. At a royal masquerade, you and your courtiers dressed as wild men, ending in tragedy when four of them accidentally caught fire and burned to death. You were saved by the timely intervention of the Duchess of Berry's underskirts.

This brought on another bout of sickness, which surgeons countered by drilling holes in your skull. The following months saw you suffer an exorcism, beg your friends to kill you, go into hyperactive fits of gaiety, run through your rooms to the point of exhaustion, hide from imaginary assassins, claim your name was Georges, deny that you were King and fail to recognise your family. You smashed furniture and wet yourself at regular intervals. Passing briefly into erratic genius, you believed yourself to be made of glass and demanded iron rods in your attire to prevent you breaking.

In 1405 you stopped bathing, shaving or changing your clothes. This went on until several men were hired to blacken their faces, hide, jump out and shout "boo!", upon which you resumed basic hygiene. Despite this, your wife continued sleeping with you until 1407, when she hired a young beauty, Odette de Champdivers, to take her place. Isabeau then consoled herself, as it were, with your brother. Her lovers followed thick and fast while you became a pawn of your court, until you had her latest beau strangled and drowned.

A severe fever was fended off with oranges and pomegranates in vast quantities, but you succumbed again in 1422 and died. Your disease was most likely hereditary. Unfortunately, you had anywhere up to eleven children, who variously went on to develop capriciousness, great cruelty, insecurity, paranoia, revulsion towards food and, in one case, a phobia of bridges.

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Why do people live in Florida?

Is it the chance to be wiped off the planet several times a year by hurricanes? House-smashing, car-crushing, person-drowning hurricanes? Or is it the thrill of possible having a snake of record-breaking size take residence underneath your house? Or maybe the chance of being chomped by an alligator? Or maybe some people just don't like their votes counted. I think the government should permanently close Florida, or at least the peninsula part, and turn it into a great big wildlife preserve. We waste enough money in this country without haing to replace every house and car in Florida every year, sometimes more than once. Arguments might be made for keeping California, but Florida is nothing but a liability.

Thursday, September 02, 2004

Mmm, tortilla soup

I've been away from blogging again. I'm the worst blogger ever. I'm keeping busy though. Work's still really frantic all the time and when I get home I sually don't feel like plunking down in front of the computer. Instead I hang out with my hubby and read comics, watch movies, or cook. This whole diet thing has been interesting (down 34 pounds now: 242/208/137) because it's made me search out recipes that are healthy but still yummy. I've learned how to alter them a little to make them healthier than they started out, and it's always fun to experiment.

I'm tweaking a chicken tortilla soup recipe right now. The original one was tasty, but it made more of a stew than a soup. Not enough broth to soak into your tortilla chips. I'm going to double the amount of broth and spices, then fiddle with the spices some more. I'm also cooking the chicken by baking it slowly in the oven in a casserole dish, covered with habanero salsa. The salsa is too hot to eat by itself (yummy when diluted with mild salsa though), but if you cook the chicken in it then throw out the actual salsa you get chicken with a nice heat to it without overpowering yourself. I use fat-free chicken broth and pour the soup over Baked Tostitos so I can eat 'til I'm full without cheating on Weight Watchers. Once I perfect the recipe, I'll try to remember to post it here.

I made some Weight Watchers eclairs awhile back that were surprisingly good. They were tough to make the first time, but I bet it would be easier the second time around.

Great, now I'm hungry.

Friday, July 23, 2004

Extra! Extra! My husband trashes 'Catwoman'!

This story is linked from the front page of the Houston Chronicle's website today.  It's an article on comic-fan reaction to the new Catwoman movie, which looks positively awful.  My darling husband is quoted throughout.  Good luck selling your movie with this kind of press, Warner Bros.!

Friday, July 09, 2004

I'm not dead...

...just monumentally busy. Work has been even busier lately. In fact, I started typing that last sentence about 25 minutes ago. That's how busy we are.

Life outside work is pretty busy too. My grandmother was in town for quite awhile having cancer surgery and will be back in a few weeks to start her radiation/chemo treatments. While she was in town, she had some complications and landed in the hospital for a few days, so I missed being an alternate delegate to the Democratic State Convention to help out during that time. It's been a big bunch of not-fun for everyone. It's nice to see her of course, but it's obviously an ultra-stressful time for her (and all of us) so that makes it hard.

By the way: Paul McAllister of Belfast, if you're out there Googling your name for some reason and you come across this site, email me. I haven't been able to reach you by email for a couple of months now.

Friday, June 25, 2004

Serenity now!

Up above there is a banner. Yay me, I figured out how to put the code in. It will lead you to Serenity: The Official Movie Website. Serenity, in case you didn't know, is the Joss Whedon-directed feature film version of the Firefly TV-series. The show was cancelled far too soon and somehow found new life at Universal Pictures. It is shooting now and is scheduled to open April 22, 2005, but you can see the website now

Serenity now!

Up above there is a banner. Yay me, I figured out how to put the code in. It will lead you to the official Serenity website. Serenity, in case you didn't know, is the Joss Whedon-directed feature film version of the Firefly TV-series. The show was cancelled far too soon and somehow found new life at Universal Pictures. It is shooting now and is scheduled to open April 22, 2005, but you can see the website now!

Tuesday, June 22, 2004

Joe Schmo

I haven't watched any of the millions of reality shows that have dominated the airwaves these past few years. The commercials alone usually make me ill. However, last night we caught a repeat of the premiere of Joe Schmo 2 and we laughed our butts off. I like it not only because it's a great parody of all those other shows, but also because it's not mean-spirited. It's just a really elaborate practical joke where the payoff should be as funny to the Schmoes as to the audience.

There's a blog written by one of the show's producers on the official website, and it's fun to read after you've watched the show. The first season, unseen by me, is out on DVD. I foresee a rental in my near future. It airs Tuesday nights at 10 Central time on Spike TV, but I think they repeat it a lot during the week.

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

Bad day in Bozeman, Montana

Yesterday, an 18-wheeler dumped over and spilled nine million bees on a highway near Bozeman. Avoid Montana for a few days.

Friday, June 11, 2004

Somewhat better

I got the Links section fixed. For awhile it was repeating all the links 10 times in a row. Clearly, my grasp of HTML is dodgy at best. So of course my next step will be playing with the color. I'm probably going to ruin it, but it's by blog and I can ruin it if I want.

One things that sucks about changing templates is you lose all your comments. Bleh.

Thursday, June 10, 2004


Ok, I accidentally changed the template and it lost my links. Now I get to search through the code and try to figure out how the hell to put them back in. Super fun!

Hey, it's my monthly post -or- I am a bad blogger

There's been a fair amount of personal and work-related chaos recently, so I haven't had as much time to post. Just as an example, it has taken me about 25 minutes to type this much in. We've suddenly been swamped with calls. It's the end of the day on the east coast, so they're all calling in their orders. We've been slower most of the day, so I guess everyone decided to call at once.

I've been meaning to change the template here. They introduced a bunch of new, prettier ones not long ago but I can't figure out how to change without losing stuff like my links and everything. I definitely don't have time to jack with a lot of HTML formatting and stuff right now. Meredith's blog is all pretty in pink and mine's not orange and blue anymore but I'm still not thrilled with it. Is there a tiki bar design? Would it be hard to make one? I don't know how to add pictures. I haven't tried real hard to learn, but I'd like to have some graphics. My blog is boring, boring, boring as it is right now.

The Weight Watchers thing is still going well. I've lost 19 pounds and my size 20 pants are getting awfully baggy. I have some 18s that are still a bit too tight to wear, but I can get them on. Yay! I wonder what it will be like to shop in the non-plus-size section. I haven't been there in about 10 years. You know, men's clothes are all in one big section. They don't create a special fat guy leper area that's separate from the other sizes, where suddenly cute clothes are replaced by grandma clothes with polka dots and large floral prints and muumuus and such. The men's section just has a bunch of pants and shirts, some of which are really big. I understand the need for a maternity section, but come on.

If I find out who invented the plus-size section, I'm going to cut them into tiny pieces with a samurai sword. I'm just saying.

Thursday, May 13, 2004


Is that how that's spelled? I don't know. I think so.

I haven't written anything here in two weeks. Some of that is due to the weather-related headaches. Bleh.

We're planning to see Troy this weekend. Yay, summer movies. I bet they totally un-gayed the story for a mass audience though. I guess it's okay for Achilles to jam spears through lots of peoples' livers as long as it's not because the Trojans killed his boyfriend. Either way, I'm sure it will be fun. Will it be a good adaptation? Hard to say.

Van Helsing was pretty good. Lots and lots and lotsandlotsandlots of people swinging across rooms and/or crashing through windows. I couldn't help thinking Kate Beckinsale's character was wearing the absolute wrong shoes for Romanian forest-based werewolf hunting. High heels? Those are even less practical than her corset. Other complaints: not enough shirtless Hugh Jackman. The X-Men movies know enough to at least stick him in a tank top a lot. I mean, come on.

Yes, I know the X-Men movies themselves don't "know" anything on their own. At least it's not likely, unless they're some mutant form of movie.

Friday, April 30, 2004


Today's feature on McSweeney's main page is one I definitely could relate to at 21. It's titled, "An Open Letter to My Male Gynecologist".

Make sure to check out their Reviews of New Food and, just for Meredith, Expert Help for Your Fantasy Baseball Franchise.

Thursday, April 29, 2004

I need new pants

As of last Sunday morning, I've lost 9 pounds so far on Weight Watchers. Yay! I feel so much healthier now that I'm eating lots of veggies and drinking water instead of coke. My skin is much better, my acid reflux has gone away, and my biggest pair of nice work pants are now falling off. I don't have to fasten & zip them anymore; I can pull them on like sweatpants. Time to buy new, smaller ones! Goodbye, size 24 pants! I've got a couple of size 20s I can squeeze into now, though they're a bit stretchy so that helps. I'll also need a smaller bra before too long. This is going to get expensive!

Some people, man...but there's progress in less backward states.

California is trying its hardest to reject those crappy electronic voting machines with no voter-verified paper trail. Good for them! All the states should be doing that. I got a newsletter from my local election commissioner that was all about how we totally need these e-voting systems because otherwise we'd be taking a step backwards technologically. Oh no! We wouldn't have technology! AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! I wanted to call her office and say, "Hey, dimwit, technology isn't nearly as important as KNOWING YOUR VOTE COUNTS!" People really frustrate me sometimes.

Tuesday, April 20, 2004

Office fun

I just got back from my company's sexual harrassment seminar, where the person giving the seminar allowed people to go "ewwwww!" about the concept of same-sex harrassment. Oh, the irony! I should have pointed it out, but I didn't. I don't know why I didn't say anything; I'm already known for occasionally being an instigator over stuff like that. What's one more windmill tilted at? I'm disappointed with myself.

The seminar made me think about my days back in college, working at Mad Science, where the work environment was like Melrose Place. Every employee was harrassed and committed harrassment against some one else daily. We didn't really think anything of it at the time. Everybody was somewhere between 19 and 23 and really stupid (myself included). I'm so glad I'm not there anymore.

Friday, April 16, 2004

Sometimes even the British tabloids have a slow news day

So Quentin Tarantino put on a long coat and walked outside to buy a paper, probably while wearing shorts underneath. The Sun thought this was newsworthy. I checked the mail the other night in my robe. Ooh, scandalous! Why wasn't I in the paper? Could be the whole "not being famous" thing.

All I can say is he was a lot more tan last time I saw him in shorts. Also, his hair had been bleached orange by the deadly combination of California sun and pool chlorine. That didn't make the paper, but this did. Slow news day, righty-o, pip pip!

Wednesday, April 14, 2004

Kill Bill, Volume 2

We saw a sneak preview of Kill Bill, Volume 2 last night. It was bitchin' groovy. It's a totally different film from Volume 1, which is a really cool thing to see. Same story, two different movies. "Bill" is David Carradine's best role in a couple of decades, but the same can be said for several people who show up in the flick. I can't say much without getting into spoilers, but I loved it. It's the most violent chick flick ever! No really, how many action movies can you name that have pivotal scenes involving two women and a home pregnancy test? Or one where major conflict is given closure by people talking out their problems? See, it's girly. I hope to see it again this weekend.

Thursday, April 08, 2004

Tuesday, April 06, 2004


Good movie. Really spiffy adaptation of a comic which I've never read, but saw and flipped through often in my comic shop clerking days. Poor Ron Perlman has spent his entire career in heavy prosthetics. I'll bet he and Robert Englund would have plenty to talk about. He's good at emoting through the makeup though.

Question about Hellboy's plot though: what exactly did Rasputin think he was going to accomplish by summoning Cthulu (I'm sure that's not spelled right)? And how exactly was it going to help Hitler? It doesn't affect my enjoymeny of the movie either way, but it does make me wonder.

I've lost 3 pounds on Weight Watchers so far. Go, me!

Thursday, April 01, 2004

Public Service Announcement

Today is April Fool's Day. Please try to remember this before you believe anything you read in the internet today.

In other PSA news...warped GI Joe PSAs.

Wednesday, March 31, 2004

The Punisher, Ennis-style

The movie's good. Sadistic, brutal, darkly funny -- everything an adaptation of a Garth Ennis comic should be. The way the violence escalates throughout the course of the movie is really effective, and it's probably nastier than a lot of people are expecting. The Punisher isn't even a little bit of a hero; he's just as big a monster as the criminals he's fighting. He has motivation and is reasonably careful about who he kills, so I guess he's a marginally better person than, let's say, Pol Pot. The beauty of Garth Ennis' take on the character was that he never shied away from the fact that his protagonist is a brutal psycho. And he's cool with that. This movie is kind of a throwback to 1970s drive-in crime dramas, with weird, fun set pieces and really screwed up ethics. And musical numbers. The musical numbers are important too.

Tomorrow: Hellboy!

Monday, March 29, 2004

The Punisher, minus MIT Grad Dolph Lungren

My hubby scored us free passes to the new movie The Punisher tonight. I'm glad, because it comes out the same day as Kill Bill, Volume 2 and we were going to have a doubleheader of ultraviolence that night. Seeing them on different nights is probably better. That's terrible scheduling, by the way. Why divide your audience? They're going to appeal to the exact same demographic. Might as well aslo release Hellboy that day, just so everybody can get screwed.

I hope this one's good. I'm a big fan of Garth Ennis' work on the comic, which is what this flick is based on. They're wisely pretending the godawful 1992 Dolph Lungren version never happened, and they're also ignoring the laughable Christopher "Giant Hack" Golden run on the comic book, where they reveal that Frank Castle's family weren't really killed by the mob, they were killed BY THE DEVIL!!! So he dies and gets sent back from heaven as a demon fighter with huge demon-shooting guns. Oh, the agony. When Ennis took over the book after that, he rebooted it and wiped that whole debacle from continuity.

Anyway, this one looks like fun and best of all, I get to see it for free! Freeeeeeeeeeee!!!

Friday, March 26, 2004

Not as hungry as I thought I'd be. So far.

Yesterday I joined Weight Watchers. I was tired of feeling really tired all the time, being out of breath after walking out to check the mail, having my knees hurt when I stand up in the morning, all that stuff. I'd also really prefer not to get diabetes, which I'm at risk for. So far I'm not starving. It's a pretty good system, really. You can eat anything you want, but only certain amounts. It encourages you to make better, healthier choices because you can eat more that way and get better nutrition (sneaky!). I ballooned up after I had the pneumonia and both me and my husband, Maynard McGuffin, gained a ton of weight after the wedding. It was only eight months ago and already he can't wear the suit that fit fine back then. I don't fancy being a young widow, so the diet thing will be good for both of us. Maynard's onboard. He's already started walking to work just for the exercise. I think it'll help to have a little moral support.

Wednesday, March 24, 2004

God Wants You to Name the Baby after Him

The headline is the title of one chapter of Baby's Named a Bad, Bad Thing, which is one of my favorites to read if I need a good laugh. Sure, I'm getting a laugh at some poor child's expense, but I'm mostly laughing at the goofy parents who go around naming their children Mikayla and Macques. I understand wanting to name your baby something unique, but I swear people are just making up random sounds and deciding those are names. Poor kid's gonna spend a lifetime saying, "My name is Sidney, spelled C-Y-D-N-E-I-G-H." Anyway, the website is a hoot. It's comprised of quotes taken from baby name message boards around the internet, followed by smartass commentary from the person who does the site. Hi-larious.

My husband says if we had a kid we should name it Euphrates Throckmorton III. Our name isn't Throckmorton, so that would be fun for the kindergarten teacher to figure out.

Still doing a little sprucing up, but I have links today

I'm still not done playing with the look of this page, but I haven't had a lot of time to mess with it this week. Maybe today will be better.

Interesting stuff in today's Lasso, the blog of the Austin American-Statesman. In an entry entitled "The Eternal Sunshine of a Mind Just Like Mine", there is a discussion continued from yesterday's entry of how we tend to isolate ourselves into little groups of people who think just like us. Of course this creates a very us-against-them mentality and I'm sure eventually it'll break out into a shooting war. Except all those gun nuts (THEM!) will have the guns and WE! US! will have, um, hopefully U.N. peacekeeping forces or something. As someone who grew up among a whole lotta "them", I don't have many solutions to offer. Everybody thinks everybody else is crazy and dangerous, with no end in sight. Maybe we'll finally get together when the aliens land and suddenly we have a much bigger "them" to worry about, and suddenly gay marriage doesn't seem like such a big deal anymore.

On McSweeney's front page today is a satirical piece listing "Movies Directed by Mel Gibson's Father, Hutton Gibson" (now world-famous holocaust denier). Sample:

Poor Judgment at Nuremberg: A war crimes tribunal convenes in Germany, but since there has been no Holocaust there is nothing for them to do. Court is adjourned and everyone goes to lunch.

Thursday, March 18, 2004

Under construction

You may notice some horrifying color schemes popping up here. Don't worry, I'll get them fixed. One big reason I started this blog was to teach myself HTML, and so I'm experimenting. Right now, I'm learning how to make colors. Right now, I suck at that. I'm starting to figure it out though and fortunately for me, my husband understands about that whole color wheel thing, so eventually I should have a decent color scheme going here.

Wednesday, March 17, 2004

Happy St. Patrick's Day! Here's a Mexican recipe...

I stole this recipe from today's edition of the Austin American-Statesman:

Breakfast Tacos

3 medium potatoes, peeled and diced

2 to 4 Tbsps. cooking oil

6 slices bacon, cut into bite-size pieces

Salt and pepper to taste

1/4 cup milk

4 eggs, beaten

8 flour tortillas


In skillet, fry bacon until crisp. Remove bacon from skillet and drain
on paper towel. Add oil to bacon drippings and fry diced potatoes until
done. Beat eggs with milk, salt and pepper. Drain excess grease from
potatoes. Warm tortillas. Pour egg mixture over potatoes. Add crisp
bacon bits. Stir mixture until it starts to set. Stir lightly and cook
until eggs are glossy but moist. Divide egg mixture among tortillas.
Fold or roll tortilla to close. Serve with salsa, if desired. Serves 4
to 6.

-- Adapted from South Texas Mexican Cook Book

Yum. I'm making these as soon as possible.

Monday, March 15, 2004

Friday, March 12, 2004

Missing no more

My friend Jen has been found, alive and safe. I haven't heard any further details yet, but I'm so relieved.

Wednesday, March 10, 2004

Missing a friend. Literally.

I heard a few days ago that an online friend of mine, Jen Schall, has been missing from her home in Virginia since last Friday. Another friend has put up a website with pictures and information here. She is now officially considered a missing person. All her friends and family are hoping for her safe return. If anybody's seen her, please call your local law enforcement and then contact the Loudoun County Police at 703-777-1021. Detective Fognano is the person handling her case. You also can email an anonymous tip to

Come home safe, Jen.

Thursday, March 04, 2004


This article is headlined, "Stalin's last army - hordes of gigantic crabs on their way to invade Europe". I found the story linked on Neil Gaiman's blog and I felt it was the sort of news that should be posted everywhere, in case you're Norwegian and you want to keep all your fingers. Or if you're a Jerry Bruckheimer/Michael Bay production in need of a concept. I suggest a combat strategy involving forks, bibs, and melted butter.

The weirdest part of this is the fact that this is a result of "a Stalinist era scheme to provide food for the populations in the north-western Soviet Union". I guess he eventually gave up and let the people starve to death. Little did he know that if he'd just waited until the 1990s, the crab population would explode and invade Norway, leaving environmental devastation and tasty eatin' in their wake. No word on how this will affect the imitation crab industry...

Monday, March 01, 2004

Obligatory Oscar Post

So, RotK swept the awards. Good for them! I mean, there are cinematic achievements and then there are Cinematic Achievements.

I totally missed Michael Moore's cameo in the opening montage with Billy Crystal. I watched the first little bit of that and it was painful, so I wandered off into the other room for a minute. I hope Moore's back at the winner's podium next year with his upcoming Farenheit 911. Come to think of it, there was a surprising lack of rabble-rousing considering Tim Robbins and Sean Penn both won.

Anybody out there seen The Fog of War? I saw the trailer when we went to see Bubba Ho-Tep and it looked fascinating. I can't believe Errol Morris was never nominated before this year. Gotta see that movie.

And what the hell was Uma Thurman wearing? A shower curtain? A dry cleaning bag? When Quentin Tarantino knows how to dress you better than you do yourself, it's maybe not your best day as a glamour gal.

Friday, February 27, 2004

The movie so nice, they made it twice

What's weirder about Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights? The fact that Lawrence Bender is one of its producers? That it got made at all when the DVD and soundtrack CD from the 1987 original still sell thousands of copies a year (ok, milking the cash cow is a good enough excuse)? Or the fact that Patrick Swayze has a cameo playing Johnny Castle, his character from the original film? This is the most intriguing part of it all to me, since the original DD was set in 1963, but this one's set in 1958. So that means Johnny "Nobody puts Baby in a corner" Castle un-aged about 17 years over the 5 years before he met Jennifer "I carried a watermelon" Grey and lost his gig in the Catskills. Or he's a time-traveler. Yeah, I like that one better.

Now I have memories of slumber parties circa 1988 where all the girls wanted to watch were Dirty Dancing and the beach volleyball scene from Top Gun.

I also have memories of the 10th anniversary re-release of the original in 1997, largely spurred by Conan O'Brien's facetious calls for such an event. Meredith and I went to see it in the theater then and you know, in a weird way, the movie kinda works. I'm sure I'll end up seeing this one too, if for no other reason than to behold the glory that is time-travelin' Patrick Swayze.

Thursday, February 26, 2004

Vile Recipe of the Week

I'm hoping to make this a regular feature. I also might post good recipes, but the truly nasty-sounding ones are way more entertaining.

This week's vile recipe comes from The Complete Outdoor Cookbook by Yvonne Young Tarr, copyright 1973. I'm sure this is some kind of beloved ethnic food that somebody's grandma used to make, but I think this part of the culture barrier is gonna stay intact.


"A gorgeous pink, chilled beet soup garnished with hard-cooked eggs and lemon slices. Its flavor is enhanced by the chopped shrimp, cucumbers and ham."

8 small beets, sliced
1/2 cup young beet tops, minced
1 1/2 cups water
5 tablespoons scallions, minced
1 tablespoon fresh dill, minced
1 1/4 cups sour cream
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 teaspoons vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
5 cups chicken broth
1 cup cooked shrimp
2 medium-sized cucumbers
1 1/2 cups cooked ham
feshly ground black pepper
5 hard-cooked eggs
8 thin slices lemon

(Serves 8)

Place the beets and beet tops in a saucepan. Add the water and cook for 20 minutes, or until the beets are tender. Cool the beets, reserving the cooking water, and chop them very fine. Stir the chopped beets into the beet water, and add the scallions, dill, sour cream, lemon juice, vinegar, salt and chicken broth. Refrigerate for 3 hours or longer. Place soup bowls in the refrigerator. Chop the shrimp. Peel and chop the cucumbers. Dice the cooked ham. Chill well. Stir the shrimp, cucumbers and ham into the cold soup.

To serve, put 1 tablespoon of crushed ice in each chilled bowl and pour the soup over it. Sprinkle with the black pepper and garnish with the hard-cooked eggs, cut in lengths, and lemon slices.

No, seriously, that's what it says. Old cookbooks are awesome. If anybody out there gets up the nerve to actually make this, you must tell me how it is. Bonus points if you get your friends to eat it.

Testing. Oh boy, I don't know what I'm doing. Here goes nuthin'!

I think the first test was lost to history...

Testing. Again.