yrmencyn: (Default)
Question:  Having watched 2 episodes of The Legend of the Seeker, should I watch the third episode, which is also saved on the DVR?

Rational Answer: No, no, a thousand times no.  It's really not terribly good.  In fact, it's pretty damned not-good.

My Answer, as it turns out: Oh, why not?  I mean, it's only 11:30 AND I don't have to work until 11am tomorrow AND it is, after all, delightfully cheesy.  Plus Richard's not that bad looking; if only he would stop wearing that silly shirt.

Oh, show.

I am intrigued by the writing system they've chosen to use, it's worthwhile noting.  From the few glimpses I've seen, it looks like Futharc runes and Greek letters had a love-child.  Of course, this will never be investigated, much as the actual underpinnings of the magic system will not.  That would take too much time away from the overwrought battle scenes.
yrmencyn: (food)
I feel as if I've only been posting about the bad/annoying stuff in my life lately, which is just not an accurate depiction of my life at the moment.  So let's see... well, Saturday morning I went to the farmer's market along with [livejournal.com profile] koala_motchi, where we met up with [livejournal.com profile] whisperwheel, [livejournal.com profile] merodi_no_yami, [livejournal.com profile] knightvln, and [livejournal.com profile] flohchica, who was in town visiting (yay!).  I bought a ridiculous amount of food, I really did.  Fingerling potatoes, heirloom tomatoes, bacon, bread, zucchini, yellow squash, bell peppers, cantaloupe, basil, yellow cherry tomatoes, and peaches.  So much tasty!  So we did what any reasonable people would do, and had a brunch.  Very very tasty, with all kinds of tasty things from all involved.

Sometime this week -- I think it might have been Monday? -- Mollie and I went to see Stardust.  It was a really good ride, I must say.  A little predictable at the end, I suppose, but you'll get that when you're dealing with children's fairy stories, even if they *are* based off Neil Gaiman stories.  This is actually becoming a little maddening to me.  I mean, I know that there are standard endings that have strong traditions in the reference literature, but can we not do something new?  Something where technically a spoiler, no matter how predictable )?  Is that really the only ending possible?  It's emotionally satisfying, but also a little bit of a letdown since you see it coming.  Nevertheless, Stardust was well put together, and had some good acting and fantastic styling.

With my fantastical produce, I've been making some good foods.  I'm especially happy with a couple of things: a honey-basil cantaloupe sorbet, and this tasty pesto chickpea thing I just made (squash, bell pepper, tomato, onion, and garlic all sauteed together with chickpeas, dressed with homemade pesto and served over rice).  Ah, it's nice to be cooking again.  I was just really out of practice after being at camp and at the wedding and all that.  Of course, I still have like 3/4 of a cantaloupe cut up in my fridge and I'm going out of town tomorrow, but, well, melons freeze pretty well.  And then I can make cantaloupe smoothies!  Hahahaha!  Wow, I'm cracked.

Also, just FYI: there are two totally different ghost shows on TV right now.  SciFi's Ghost Hunters is like the happy-go-lucky ghost show.  It tries to be more scientific, but it's also really tame.  Discovery Channel's A Haunting, though, is like a little hour-long horror movie every time.  It's fucked up.  I'm enjoying it, but I won't watch it at night.  I just won't.  Gives me the willies.
yrmencyn: (qc - drunk)
Hi, LJ folk.  How was your Memorial Day?  I have to say that mine was pretty nice.

I mixed up some barbecue seitan, along with some homemade barbecue sauce. (I love making barbecue sauce; it's so easy, yet so great once the long long simmering is over!)  We also threw some corn on the grill.  Kevin made coleslaw, and I made some bread.  So in the end we had something resembling Carolina barbecue sandwiches (i.e. pulled pork sandwiches with coleslaw on top of the pork), except that the barbecued 'meat' was a patty.  Also various kinds of tasty summery beers -- you should try Blue Moon's Honey Moon Summer Ale, it's like spicy, citrusy candy, and yet nothing like their spring ale (which was also like spicy, citrusy candy).  After food, we [the roommates, basically, for a sufficiently broad definition thereof] played a couple of games; a five-person round of Puerto Rico, and a round of Chez Geek (which I sat out of in order to write a bad poem).

After Liz and her man had gone to bed and Mollie had left, Kevin and I sat on the couch and watched some more eps of Slings & Arrows.  If you aren't familiar with this show, you should be.  It's set at the fictional New Burbage Shakespeare Festival (similar to the actual Stratford Festival), and follows the off-stage drama surrounding the on-stage drama.  It's completely brilliant.  Those Canadians, I swear, they make some amazing TV.  A quick glance on Wikipedia seems to imply that the third season (from the summer of 2006) was their last; I hope this isn't the case, since from what we've watched so far of the first season it's simply amazing.

Today is a return to the real world of school, but honestly it's not bad.  In an amazing reversal of the usual order of things, the end of this quarter is very low-key for me.  I've got some poems to revise, and that's about it.  Unfortunately, this also leaves plenty of time for self-recrimination.  The poem I wrote yesterday for forms class is really and truly crap.  I mean, it is a turd of a poem.  I'm embarrassed to have sent it out to my class.  So last night I was beating myself up over it, which I normally wouldn't have time for.  Luckily, however, I was able to write a new poem this afternoon that makes me much happier, so maybe that'll be enough to make me feel like less of a hack in class.
yrmencyn: (armadillo)
I occasionally have these moments where I realize that I am just a little strange.  Perhaps even more than a little.  Example: I had been watching some TV in the living room (30 Rock, by the way, just keeps getting better and better.  Tina Fey?  Is your God now.), and I wandered into the bedroom to see what Kevin was up to.  Not weird, right?  Well.

Point 1: He asked if I could hand him the glass of water on the nightstand, which I of course did.  While doing my best impression of a simpering slavegirl.  Sure, I came out looking more like a disappointed prostitute, but that's really more a measure of my acting ability than anything else, isn't it.

Point 2: We were discussing the book he's reading (Kim Stanley Robinson's Fifty Degrees Below), and he mentioned that the character Frank in this book is just like the Frank in the Mars trilogy.  My brain's addition?  "Except that this one is a giant pigeon."  Which... comes from nowhere.

I feel like I'm living in a surrealist experiment.

In other news, I have a big crush on Jonas Armstrong, who plays Robin Hood on the BBC's series of the same name, season 1 of which is currently airing on BBC America.  It's weird, I swear I've seen him somewhere before, but he's been in relatively few things, so I dunno.  Might just fit into one of my general attractiveness profiles.  The show, by the way?  Is hilarious.  Of course, sometimes you're laughing with the show, and sometimes against it.  The show's music is blatantly stolen from Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, to the extent that I'm sure Michael Kamen's got a lawsuit in there somewhere (well, along with John Barry, since the romance theme is lifted pretty much straight from Dances with Wolves).  The acting in the first episode was so atrocious that I nearly turned it off.  That being said, it picked up quickly, and now there's a lot of good stuff going on.  There was some interesting socioeconomic stuff going around in the first couple eps -- the Robin Hood myth has always had a socialist/commun(al)ist cant to it, at least in my experience, but this one talked about social prosperity for all classes through economic reinvigoration.  Salvation through the market.

In other other news --

Ooh!  Hee, sorry, 'nother Robin Hood thing, he just quoted the Koran.  Hehheh.  This show, it's all about historical revisionism.  That, and harnessing the collective cultural mythology to engender social change.  You know.  Where was I?  Oh yes.

-- so yes, in other other news, do you remember the Phillips BodyGroom?  You may have heard about it last year, since its website was a pretty big viral marketing hit (check it out, it has a terrifically smarmy humor about it).  Anyway, it's a body hair shaver/trimmer.  When it first came out, I was... shall we say, skeptical.  But times change, people change.  Erin, Mandi, Katie: don't judge me.  I'm thinking I might get one.  I enjoy a good trim, I like the way it looks and feels.  I'm tiring, however of using scissors.  This truth was really brought home to me a few days ago when I had this deep desire to hack down the shrubbery, but couldn't find my scissors.  So I did what any logical person would do, and used the kitchen shears.  This worked well until it came time to trim my nipple rugs (seriously, y'all, my nips are just ridiculous), and I seem to have misjudged both distance between tool and flesh, and sliciness of my finely crafted implements.  I now have a little wedge-shaped cut on the edge of my areola, and that's ridiculous.  A testament to my shears, though: very clean cut, barely felt it at all.

There.  Now you're in my world.  Isn't it a fun place to be?
yrmencyn: (Default)
definite spoilage )
yrmencyn: (qc - drunk)
I am currently engaging in willful sloth.  I've only been doing it for five minutes or so, but I'm thoroughly enjoying it.  AND, I don't have to feel guilty, not really.  I don't have workshop tomorrow, since Andrew will be in Atlanta for the AWP conference, so nothing to prepare for it.  And thus I only have to prepare for Art, really, which involves reading an article and inserting a couple of sound files into a PowerPoint.

Thus, DVR-time.  I have weeks of Gilmore Girls to catch up on, not to mention every single episode of Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip aired since January.  And Iron Chef America.  And 30 Rock.  And Law & Order: SVU.  Wow, I think I know what I'll be doing during Spring Break.

Oh dear, my beer has run out.  To the bat-fridge!
yrmencyn: (Default)
Oh, food.  Sometimes you are delightful, sometimes I use the wrong horchata recipe and end up with a vaguely rice-flavored beverage with a texture reminiscent of... hmm.  Ok, you know how, if you put a dairy product in an acidic liquid, it ends up with a bunch of little curds?  Like that, but the curds are made of cooked rice and almond.  That shit is lo-fi, man.

Not to say I can't cook recently.  I've got a custard for Maritime Mist ice cream in the fridge, which I'll freeze tomorrow; it looks to be lovely.  Maritime Mist is a tea blend from the Great Lakes Tea and Spice Company, with an Earl Grey base combined with creme and vanilla flavors, and mallow blossoms.  I know, right?  Full of nummies.  I only fear it might be TOO sweet -- tomorrow will tell.  Also recently made, a lovely vegetarian shepherd's pie for a veggie potluck that people in Kevin's program do.  The 'meat' was mushrooms and lentils, a wine reduction, and the requisite carrots and celery.  In hindsight, some balsamic would have gone well, and I forgot to add any bloody garlic (which borders on the unthinkable), but it was still an unconditional success.  Oh, and just to prove I still have meat cred, I made some savory oatmeal with a bacon base for dinner this evening (I used the recommended 'heart-healthy' serving size of oatmeal for extra irony).

More words. Many more. On varied subjects. )
yrmencyn: (food)
I'm feeling fairly relaxed right now, which is good; the day started out hectically.  I decided that I definitely needed to be at dance guild today (after being, you know, sick.  for a quarter.), so I got up fairly early, made myself a fried breakfast of ham, egg, and bread, and headed off.  Unfortunately, there was a bit of behindness floating about, so I ended up driving to campus, dropping off Kevin en route.  It's far from my favorite method of getting to campus, but eh.  I'm happy to report that I didn't get there too late (and I remembered accurately where Royer is -- thank God I used it as an emergency bathroom stop a couple months ago), and that the guildian dancers are during a god job with Jenny Pluck Pears, which is, honestly, quite a tricky dance.  The division of the 6/8 meter switches from duple to triple partway through, and it can mess you up if you're not careful.  Working Title (the group of veterans I'm performing with: me, [livejournal.com profile] knightvln, [livejournal.com profile] pyralis_phyre, [livejournal.com profile] talyr, [livejournal.com profile] whisperwheel (and [livejournal.com profile] merodi_no_yami!)) performed the piece that we're doing for Madrigal, which was well-received.  This is nice, since I think I speak for all of us when I say our four-week break over the holidays had us all a little freaked.

Returning home, I made chicken paprikash, which I've been wanting to make for a while.  Kevin and I went to Penzey's yesterday (or the day before?) with [livejournal.com profile] bustysinclare (another convert!).  I picked up the spices that I was lacking for Kevin's fabulous dhal recipe, some shockingly sexy Vietnamese cinnamon (no, seriously), and two types of Hungarian paprika.  Specifically so I could make chicken paprikash.  I can't explain it, I've never had the dish before tonight, but it's so good.  How can you not like chicken in a paprika- and onion-flavored sour cream sauce?  It's usually served over spaetzel or some other kind of egg noodles; I used couscous, because that's what I had around.  I think they're just as creamy as fresh spaetzel, so that was nice.  Anyway, a definite success.  The two types of paprika were handy, since they meant I was able to do a 1:2 mixture of half-sharp and sweet paprikas, making the dish a little spicier than usual (and thus right up my alley) without overpowering it or ruining the flavor with something like cayenne or chili powder.  Plus I bought this random sour cream at Giant Eagle that turned out to be ridiculously thick, and that was a big boon.

After dinner what did I do?  Mostly I watched things that had been DVR'd: NUMB3RS, 30 Rock, Law & Order: SVU, Iron Chef America.  Also read Thomas A Vogler's "When a Book Is Not a Book" for Art seminar (it's an article on art books and book-objects).  And now I think it's time for bed, now that I've drunk a couple glasses of wine and caught up on my preferred slices of the popular culture.  Tomorrow's a day for a lot of reading, I think.  Lots of poetry to read -- including an issue of The Journal -- and some Middle English to read as well.

That reminds me.  I don't believe I've done the quarterly round-up of courses.  This quarter I will be taking
  • Graduate Poetry Workshop with Hudgins
  • Literary Publishing and Editing with Fagan
  • Later Medieval English Lit with Green
  • Seminar in Studio Art: Word and Image with Silver
Interestingly, Green directed me in Tartuffe oh so many years ago, so that's interesting.  That course scares me a little... It's an 800-level seminar in which I think most of the other students have taken prior coursework in the period; I haven't.  I'll be fine, especially leaning on my French experience, but it could be hard going depending on which way it all goes. Plus Dr. Green kept singling me out the first day as someone who has less experience in the field.  Now, this is true, but I don't need reminding, and I especially don't need it in front of my classmates.  Let no one tell you grad school is noncompetitive.  Oh well.  A couple of them are my officemates, so they've already judged me for better or worse :)  Word and Image looks like it's going to be terribly fun.  I think it'll be mostly discussion, and about really fun subjects.  And the final evaluation is either a project (I'll be doing that) or a 3-5 page paper.  Scary.  Lit. Publishing... hmm.  That one may be the hardest of all my classes in terms of work... or it might just seem that way since I missed the first class session and got caught up in about 10 minutes, so I'm still a little unclear as to what, exactly, I'll need to be doing.  Workshop is workshop.  Andrew runs his differently than Kathy did last quarter (as is to be expected), but I think it'll be good.  The only things that freak me out are the couple of blank verse assignments.  I have nothing in particular against meter (although it's definitely not my thing), but the line length freaks me out.  I've been progressively paring down my line, and the concept of a ten-syllable line... it's honestly a little scary.  I revised my poem for submission this afternoon, and my longest line was 6 syls, because any more sounded... verbose.  Wordy.  Excessive.  And then to write 30 lines of blank verse, like we'll do for next week's assignment... Jesus.  Jesus Christ.  Wish me luck, y'all.

Anyway.  Wow.  I just managed to get myself all worked up.  Jeez.  Bedtime it is.
yrmencyn: (food)
There's something ironically satisfying about sitting here, watching a vaguely Thanksgiving edition of Iron Chef America (with special guests Giada De Laurentiis and Rachael Ray paired up with Bobby Flay and Mario Batali, respectively, whee!), and eating a mug full of instant Stovetop stuffing (don't worry, I'm having real Thanksgiving dinner later, this is just to tide me over).

It turns out I don't have strep after all.  My nasty, pussy throat is apparently not a secondary infection at all, it's simply an effect of the bloody mono.  Lucky me.  So now instead of the ibuprofen (somewhat effective, but I had to up my dosage, which was going to give me an ulcer) and the lidocaine mouthwash (pretty much ineffective), I have prednisone (a steroid) and Tylenol 3 (with CODEINE!).  Very exciting.  The steroid is already helping to reduce the inflammation (thank. god.), and the Tylenol 3 actually let me sleep through the night last night (well, except for having to get up to pee, since I'm drinking... probably a couple gallons of aqueous liquids a day).  So yeah, I'm thankful for that.  Also thankful for the wide variety of herbal teas on the market nowadays, since black tea (and even maybe green) would just dehydrate me.  Further thankful for a wonderful boyfriend, who came over last night and made dinner, then sat with me and watched TV until all hours of the night :)

Parenthetically yours,
Mike
yrmencyn: (qc - drunk)
Oh god.  Most depressing thing ever.  I'm sitting here reading blogs and chatting to Kevin, and I'm fading fast.  So finally it's time to go to bed, and I turn around to see... crap strewn everywhere, leftovers from me sorting through mass amounts of old stuff.  I have nowhere to sleep.  Guess it's time to put on an ep of Sports Night (season 2!) and clean this shit up, ugh.

Brief notes: 

-- I have 15.5 boxes of books, notebooks, class notes, and class handouts.  Actually the latter three categories are only 1.25 boxes.  The rest is just books, plain and simple.

-- Farewell dinner with Lafayette (read: CBC) folk tonight at Café Habana City.  Mm, vaca frita.  Mm, tostones.  Mm, rice and Cuban red beans.  Double mm, mojitos.  Nice to see the world there.

-- Gas price in Lafayette?  $2.69!  So exciting.  So depressing that it's so exciting.

-- So THAT'S what happened to my pretty wooden cat statue!  I've missed you!

-- I can't figure out whether to throw out some old pairs (yes, plural) of eyeglasses.  They're pretty beat up and I have no idea of the prescriptions, but... shouldn't I donate them?  But to whom?

-- I have put about a ream's worth of paper in the recycling bin today.

-- I think I'm getting better at this strange skill of "actually getting rid of things instead of hoarding every random scrap of paper for years and years."

EDIT: It should be noted that "clean[ing] this shit up" consisted almost entirely of me picking things up, looking at them sorrowfully, and then setting them down in places that weren't my bed. I say almost entirely because I did put some papers in a large manila envelope. Go me.
yrmencyn: (armadillo)
Wow, I'm just really not normal, am I?  I was sitting here, and I thought "I'm still hungry, but not enough for a whole 'nother meal" (take that, Taco Bell's so-called Fourth Meal!).  So what did I do?  Did I... run to Taco Bell anyway?  Heat up some leftovers?  Go hungry?  Eat jellybeans?  Or did I go into the kitchen and make a little tiny portion of lentils?  If you guessed the lentils, you know my madness too well.  I dunno, I just LURVE LENTILS.  They're so filling, and they cost almost nothing, and they're absolutely delicious, so nutty and fantastic.  Throw in some minced onion, a little cumin, maybe some curry powder (or hell, just straight up turmeric and coriander)... you've got a party.  A delicious, nutritious, economical party.  I am such a dork :)

So, the weekend's events.  First off, since I know everybody's been wondering, the brisket was amazing :)  It was so tempting... a vegetarian even ate it!  In my defense on that count, I didn't even pressure him, I just turned around and he was eating it.  As he said when I questioned him, "It's a brisket made by a Texan, how can I not?"  I can't say I disagree.  The party was also fabulous!  The rain played nice, and though it was overcast the whole time it only sprinkled briefly, so we still boated, grilled, and swam, huzzah!  And then a large portion of Jägermeister seems to have disappeared over at Angélique's house, which was good times.  I think I may have taken... 6 shots?  I don't know.  I'd had quite a lot of beer at that point, plus swigs from a bottle of mezcal (the cinnamon-flavored magic that Michele brought me from Oaxaca).  Other highlights?  Black bean pupusas, crawfish pies right off the grill, fresh cracklins (read: still warm from the fryer), seeing quite a large number of my friends, staying up talking to Gél until quite late.  Lowlights are composed entirely of injuries: I cut my fingers a couple of times on twist-offs (did they start putting those on tighter or something?!), and I burnt my arm on the oven coil as I was warming the brisket: there's a really cool dark-colored blister full of liquid on my arm!

Failures, however, happened today.  Mainly these failures are sartorial.  See, I went through my clothes and got rid of things I no longer wear.  The thing is... I now have no cold-weather clothes.  I can list the cold-weather garments I have: a few pairs of jeans, a hoodie, a flannel, a weird cowboyish double-breasted corduroy shirt, and a couple of fleece jackets.  That's it.  See, two things have happened in the past few years.  First, right toward the end of undergrad, my arms grew a little bit.  This means that quite a lot of dress shirts just don't fit right, but unlike down here, I can't pull off the "look at me, I'm so casual with my rolled-up sleeves" look throughout most of the year.  Second, my style changed (for the better).  I've become much more comfortable and happy with my body in the last couple of years, and thus I've gotten away from wearing baggy clothes.  So I've got a lot of clothes, and not really bad ones, but they all need to be, like, a size smaller.  And I'm done growing.  So away they go.  I was really quite frustrated by this earlier, now I just find it ridiculous.  I'm going to be spending a lot of time in thrift stores.

Still, the day was not a complete loss.  Tasty pasta happened for supper (leftover brisket and carne asada pasta with dry gnocchi), the girls gave me a very sweet going-away gift (giant picture collage), and I finally bought a hands-free kit for my phone, thus enabling me to drive and talk at the same time without feeling like I have one less hand than I need for phone, wheel, and stick.  Plus I watched an inordinate amount of Sports Night, did laundry, and boxed up books (I have 14 boxes of books, total -- that's ridiculous).  And of course my tasty lentils :)
yrmencyn: (qc - drunk)
Hmm.  I seem to be working on my third glass of wine, in a rather more-than-standard pour.  Thus we get some stream of consciousness, interrupted with bursts of Project Runway commentary.  I shall put the rest of the entry under a cut, just in case you don't want to get spoiled (assuming I actually give any spoilers).  If you haven't seen the ep and don't want to be spoiled, well... you miss out.  Or you get spoiled.  Pick.

Read more... )
yrmencyn: (armadillo)
Work today pretty much blew, to put it simply.  There were an inordinate number of charts to file, and I did nothing else from the time I got there until the time I left, discounting lunch.  I made a dent, but not a big enough one; I'm going to have to work like crazy to get somewhere close to caught up tomorrow.  There should really be more than one person filing, for this volume, ugh.

So by the time I left, after my usual quittin' time, I was beat.  There was, of course, but one thing to do: go home to change, and immediately adjourn to Chelsea's to read a book, drink a beer, and consume an entire plate of cheese fries (and those of you who've been to Chelsea's know how big those plates are!).  I felt completely gross when I was done, but in a very satisfying way.  Sometimes it's completely appropriate to abuse your bodily systems in retaliation against ill-defined blandishments.

I read the first half of Tobias Wolff's Old School this evening, and I'm quite enjoying it.  The reason I'm reading it is because it's the common book for OSU freshmen, and I volunteered to lead a session in one of the survey classes discussing the book; Michelle Herman of the CW faculty has been harassing faculty and staff to lead them :)  In addition, and here's where this gets interesting, I've also volunteered to be on a related question panel on Coming Out.  Old School deals with the narrator coming out as a Jew to his New England prep school classmates, and Michelle and Janice Miller of the Statistics faculty thought it'd be an interesting idea to do a separate session, outside of class, to further explore the concept of coming out -- as a Jew, as gay, as an addict, as bulimic, what have you --, and I volunteered to do that as well: in for a dime, in for a dollar.

In a sterling burst of meta, it functions as a furthering of my own coming out process, which is interesting.  It's only in the past year that I've really started acting on my sexuality, so I feel almost like this panel is a bizarre form of non-film cinéma vérité/reality tv: see it as it happens!  Like CNN, but live-action and at Hillel!  So odd.

Um... I'm bad at conclusions.  It's a failing.  I'll leave with a couple of entertainment-related items.

1.  There is a channel out there that I recently found through [livejournal.com profile] queenmargot, called The Tube.  It's wonderful.  It's what MTV should be: they show videos, and that's pretty much it.  I've seen a couple of PSAs on there, but I don't really have a problem with PSAs, and a couple of promos for WAFB, the local network affiliate, but those aren't too annoying.  AND: they play videos from all over the timeline.  I've seen a few current ones, but also a whole lot of stuff from the 80s, 90s, even the 70s (concert footage, mostly), including a lot of stuff that isn't really MTV fare anyway, which is nifty (though don't worry, mainstream vids have a strong presence, too).  It's wonderful.  Baton Rouge, you can see it on Cox Digital channel 120.  Columbus, you can see it on WOW 140 or Insight 834.  Other markets, you can check the site.  Highly recommended.  Seriously, they're playing David Gray's "Babylon" right now, and it's (a) one of my favorite songs ever (b) never, ever, ever on the radio or the tv.  Score.

2.  Thanks to the inestimable [livejournal.com profile] puppetoflove, I can now share with you a link to the video of the Dixie Chick's "Top of the World" (originally by the fabulous Patty Griffin).  I strongly suggest you all watch it, even if you think "Ew, country music."  Reasons?  Well, first off, it's a great song.  Patty Griffin is by far one of the most talented songwriters of our time, and the Dixie Chicks are very talented performers, and this is a standout track from Home, their best album to date IMO.  If you've ever wondered what it is I see in the Dixie Chicks, this should answer.  Second, the video itself is beautifully done.  It's artful and technically skilled, and it actually adds a layer to my understanding of the song, which is something that I can say for only a tiny minority of music videos out there.
yrmencyn: (qc - drunk)
Blah.  I have stayed up to my bedtime now, eating out at Chelsea's with French Dept. people, drinking beers at same Chelsea's, watching Buffy at Erin's, drinking too much Danish cherry wine stuff at same Erin's.  Mandatory meeting (rescheduled from Wednesday, bah) tomorrow morning at 8am.  Boo.

I'm leaving straight from work sometime midday and driving to Austin for a family reunion.  So... there were a couple of folks I was intending to speak to tonight, and I didn't, and I apologize.  Y'all should know how to get in touch with me, but if not information is in the usual places.  I'll be coming back Sunday; probably back in the evening hours if everything goes right.

'Til then,
Mike
yrmencyn: (qc - drunk)
Whee!  I'm excited.  I was futzing around the internet just now, and it occurred to me to check to see if the English translation of Sergei Lukyanenko's Nightwatch has been released yet.  Well, it hasn't, but I've now placed a pre-order.  And here's the great part: by the time it's released and shipped in late July, I will have TOTALLY forgotten about it, so it'll be like magical book manna from heaven!  Squee!

Tomorrow I shall get scrubs and check out 1.5 mountains of books to read.  Thus let it be written, thus let it be done. On the list at the moment are:
Western Wind (Nims) - a poetry intro text, recommended by my advisor for next year, who perceptively noted that I don't know thing one about the practice and mainstream of poetry, except to write it (which is certainly handy, but it's nice to have some perspective, ne?).
The Milagro Beanfield War (Nichols) - Owen's fault.
The Namesake (Lahiri) - It's one of those everybody's-read-this-why-haven't-you books.
Children Playing Before a Statue of Hercules (ed. Sedaris) - Been meaning to catch this since I saw him read last... what?  May, June?
On Beauty (Smith) - Oh, Zadie Smith.  All the cool kids are reading you.  Plus your novel is an update of Forster's Howard's End, and how crazy is that?
How to Be Good (Hornby) - Uh, it's Nick Hornby.  Hello?
Independent People (Laxness) - This one is the New York Times' fault.  I was just browsing around, and suddenly there was Jonathan Franzen saying that this book set in the back country of Iceland had inspired wanderlust in him.  How can I not?  I'll listen to a lot of Björk while I read it (maybe).

Also, I recently downloaded eps 1-8 of the first season of Sports Night. Why, oh why, oh why was this show cancelled?! (other than Sorkin kinda wanted to do West Wing instead, but let's gloss that). I've watched 6 eps now, and I can safely say that I am deeply invested in the characters. It's a fabulous show.
yrmencyn: (Default)
I was going to write about the Grey's finale, but I figure each of you has at least one other flist person who will, so let's just say that I hyperventilated a lot and actually pulled on my hair. Oh, and. Spoiler )

What I'm actually going to bitch about is faux Early Modern English. This is sparked by me looking at TWoP and seeing this blurb for the recap of the 7th Heaven non-finale:
And so the Lord sayeth to Brenda Hampton: 'Whosoever cancels this show, so shall his network be merged with another struggling network to form one new network, and this new network shall resurrect thy show for thirteen new episodes and an eleventh season.' And so Brenda went forth and made a series finale that did truly sucketh, but was not the series finale after all
Christ, people. Look, I know what you're going for here, the whole ironic-Biblical-formality-through-archaism thing, but like so many people, you just suck at it.  Early Modern English was a distinct form of the language with actual rules.  You can't just make a shitty pastiche and run with it, you actually have to follow the goddam rules, for fuck's sake.  Let's break this down.

And so the Lord sayeth to Brenda Hampton
This isn't really bad, although I'd be more inclined to go with a past tense.  Yes, the past tense has a different form.  It's usually the same as our modern forms, i.e. 'said'.  If you really must have a hokey archaism, try for 'spake' (speak, now-obsolete past tense).  It even allows you to say 'unto' after it, which is always fun.

Whosoever cancels this show, so shall his network be merged with another struggling network to form one new network
OK, this is really mostly a question of rhetorical style, and sticking to tense.  You're making a hypothetical here, so let's maybe make the first clause not in the straight-up indicative.  Like... "Whosoever should cancel," or "Whosoever shall cancel."  Just a suggestion.

and this new network shall resurrect thy show for thirteen new episodes and an eleventh season
Actually, you managed to use 'thy' properly and you managed not to inflect the main verb (resurrect) following a modal (shall).  Good job.

And so Brenda went forth and made a series finale that did truly sucketh, but was not the series finale after all
Oh, and you were doing so well.  OK.  Look.  You can't do that.  'Suck' (which, I'm pretty sure it's a purposeful anachronism, but you do realize that's not really in style/period?) can't be inflected here, because it's not the main verb.  No?  OK, let's do this in contemporary language.  Which of these sentences is right? 
    1.  This sentence did suck.
    2.  This sentence did sucks.
Yes, that's right, the first sentence.  Hint: it's the same damned situation!  The ending in -s is exactly the same thing in our language as the ending in -eth in theirs!  Just think on that.  You can't just slap -eth on the end of any random verb.  Oh, and sweet Jesus God, don't be like some people and stick it to nouns (yes, I've seen it).  Ooh!  and while we're at here's a tidbit that you may not have known:  -est works similarly, but for verbs where 'thou' is the subject.

You know, I started this all pissed off, and now I'm just being a pedant.  Sigh.  Look, anyway, People.  Your attempts to write in Olde Tyme Englishe are shitty beyond question.  Please learn how to use the fucking language, or just leave well enough alone.
yrmencyn: (food)
Because I am a slug, and thus less than productive, I am watching Jamie Oliver's School Lunch Project.  Jamie Oliver went on a sort of crusade to reform the lunches in the British school system.  A film crew went with him, and the result is a miniseries documentary that's airing on TLC. 

It's fascinating.

Not only is he running into the expected problems of cost per portion (37p/serving; ~$0.65USD/serving), he's running into problems that I didn't expect.  Now, all the parents in the room, in addition to all those who have dealt extensively with children's food service, will not be surprised, but: the kids won't eat a goddamned thing!  Zucchini focaccia, thai chicken curry (and remember, curry isn't quite so weird in the UK as in the US), anything that isn't ultra-processed and (frankly) scary.  I just don't get it... I mean, I eat all kinds of things!  I do remember a time when I wasn't so much a foodie, of course, and when my tastes were narrower, but I don't remember a time (certainly not in high school, at least) when I was so damned set in my ways that I wouldn't try anything new.  Or when, you know, I despised all things -- ALL things -- vegetal.  It just freaks me out, and annoys me.  Jesus, kids, eat some fuckin' chicken!  Don't tell me you don't like chicken, everybody likes chicken, most of it doesn't even have a taste of its own, it just tastes like whatever interesting thing you put in its near vicinity.  You, child, are merely being a prat.  He had more luck with the elementary age kids, so I guess they've still got time to be taught not to like crap.

Speaking of food, it's been a food day.  I first made red beans and rice, which came out SO much better than last time.  I dunno what I did last time, but let's never do it again.  This was a nice, big, thick pot of delicious beans, sausage, and ham (leftover ham bone from the parents!).  I ended up with 8 cups leftover after Shane and I each had a bowl.  I will be eating this forever, and... that's ok.

Then tonight I was reading David Lebovitz' blog, and he had a picture of three financiers he'd bought.  I had never heard of such a pastry delight!  And such a delight they are.

First, you make beurre noisette (browned butter) by boiling butter until the milk solids toast:
DSC00113

You combine it with nut flours (I used pistachio in addition to almond, because I am contrary), wheat flour, powdered sugar, egg white, and vanilla:
DSC00115

What, you don't know how to make nut flours?  Blanch the nuts, remove the skins, toast them, then grind them in a spice grinder.  Peeling almonds:popping nutty zits -->
DSC00114

You bake 'em for a while, top them with... whatever you feel like, really, and you get these.  Au naturel, with dried cranberries, and with chocolate chips:
DSC00118

So good.  To quote Shane: "Oh!  My God."
yrmencyn: (Default)
Ha!  So I'm sitting here watching Daisy Cooks! on LPB+, and she just said her bacalao fresco was so good,Makes you wanna beat ya mama!"  I've heard that expression here as 'slap', most famously for the "Slap Ya Mama"!" brand of seasoning.  It was just so surprising to hear it come out of her mouth, since she's usually so non-controversial, and that could really be construed poorly.  Are other people familiar with this expression?

Thought I'd mention the epilogue to last night's madness.  I decided that instead of going to bed I'd run a searing hot bath and just soak in it while reading.  Strangely, hot water plus articles on energy, foreign, and military policies equals relaxation.  I felt much better afterward.

The car saga continues, now with new and improved annoyance!  As I was driving home from campus, the car started shuddering.  And then a foul smell started emanating from the engine.  And then I would occasionally hear clanking noises, like metal hitting metal.  Unsurprisingly, the dashboard thinks I should check my engine soon.  Ya think?  I did have the presence of mind to check engine fluids, and they're all good.  And this has appeared all of a sudden, post-accident, so I at least have a strong suspicion it's related.

Unfortunately no progress on the repair front.  I have contact info for his claim team, so I called them up when I got home.  They say they "are contractually obligated to make contact with the insured before we can being pay-out", which confuses me, since 'the insured' had called me to collect some more information on Wednesday prior to calling them, but hey.  OK.  The insurance guy was very polite and helpful, said he'd try calling 'the insured' again right away, and that he would call me just as soon as he made contact.  I just want to get this dealt with, especially since the sooner I get this started the sooner I can see about getting a rental; BR's a city where it's hard not to have a car, and I don't really want to drive mine right now, not while it's making the weirdness.

So yeah, that's me.  Garlic hummus from Whole Foods goes surprisingly well with "Fresh Made" Potato Chips from a surprisingly good deli in a gas station in Bardstown, Ky.  Yes, I'm still eating food from that drive.  What of it?
yrmencyn: (Default)
I live a wildly invigorating jet-set life, full of parties in exotic locales with sparkly people and witty conversation.  No, really.  I swear.  That's why I was sitting here at 9:15 dozing off to the end of The Silence of the Lambs.

Dinner tonight was strange.  There's a prospective student in town this weekend, and there's been no end of ridiculousness with her visit.  This is really not a good weekend to visit our department; not only is this the first weekend of our spring break, the vast majority of our students are out of town at conferences.  Not just events but even basic things like housing have been fraught with difficulty -- so why should tonight be any different?  Some of us were going to have dinner with her tonight.  I got to Parrain's, and Oana and Matt were there.  First thing Oana says to me: "Where's Vanessa [the pros. student]?!"  Oh dear.  Well, we each assumed the other was going to pick her up, and nobody had any idea how to get in touch with her.  About 4 billion phone calls later, we determine that she was dropped off to rent a car, and was going to find her way to Parrain's alone.  Her first time in BR, ever.  Riiiiiiiiiight.  Well, she never showed up.  But Oana, Matt, and I had a nice dinner anyway (I had the biggest fillet of barbecued black drum ever, and it was delicious).  Combined with a tuna salad at Zeeland St. Market for lunch (they know how to cook their tuna rare, thank God), I have spent far too much on food today, but it was definitely worth it.  And I kinda ended up keeping the Lenten meatless day, accidentally (well, except for some beef jerky; and the dirty rice that came with the drum -- I honestly don't know how Louisiana was predominantly observant Catholic at one point, I mean, even the fish dishes come with meat sides).

Aaaaand, just when I thought I was ready to click "Post Entry", the TV gives me more material.  Have you seen the new Pepto Bismol commercial that has three guys dressed in really bad hip-hop outfits -- like... from the 80s, all track suits and headbands -- rapping about the product?  They just rhythmically chant various gastrointestinal ailments: "Heartburn, acid, indigestion, diarrhea!"  It's... a little off-putting, frankly.
yrmencyn: (armadillo)
ARg!  OK, that PSA just galls me more and more each time I see it.  It's one in a long line of the White House Office on National Drug Policy's "Antidrug" campaign.  Like most of the recent spots, this one focuses on parents as the antidrug.  It features a young boy, probably between 10 and 12, going about his daily [urban] life.  Throughout it, his father (or, we're given eventually to understand, his son's mental projection cum superego of the father) gives him moral/safety direction: let the pregnant lady have the subway seat, slow down on the stairs so you don't trip.  But then, his friend offers him a joint and there's no guidance forthcoming.  Heavens!  Voiceover: "How will he know what to do if you don't tell him?"

I find that PSA to be amazingly insulting to kids.  It's utterly dismissive of both their inner moral compass and their independence as thinkers.  I get what they're saying: talk to your kids about drugs, give them some guidance.  That's good advice, definitely: you're the parent, after all!  But this particular PSA makes a truly horrible diction choice, equating children's actions with a mere parroting of parental instruction.  If you want your kids to act right, teach them, help them develop their own thinking skills.  Don't try to make them out to be little homunculi products of your fine moral education.  You do a disservice to them and to yourself.

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yrmencyn

December 2009

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