Sunday, January 29, 2006

500 books in 52 weeks

Inspired by the initial here LHB and YP, I started January off thinking of doing this '52 books in 52 weeks' thing. Being an avid reader from birth (hahahahahaha and a little gross), or from youth, let's say, and living a block away from the public library, at twelve, I once could have read like 30 books in a week, biyatch. Or something ridiculous. Even through college, I read a lot both for classes and otherwise, you know, when I wasn't getting trizashed at the frizat hizzouse. God, I gotta stop doing that. Talking like that, I mean - not the getting trizashed. (Ha-ha-ha! I am such a joker!)

Now, in slightly more aged terms, I am no fine wine, no stinky cheese. My reading has fallen not simply but precipitously. First of all, there's Job (not biblical), and other gold like TV (fool's), and Netflix, and People (well, sometimes). And I find that my reading skills have diminished. I'm less focused, too skimmy and impatient and near-ADD-addled, and plus, I can't sit down for extended periods just to read. There's random subway time, random lunch hours, too much randomness, not enough hours.

But with this project, the lightbulb. I was like Edison. Eureka! Actually that was Archimedes. 7th grade science really paid off. Ok, anyways, lightbulb! Maybe I will read more! And errrr learn things!! And you know, those people on those READ posters at the library are always smiling and happy and ... enriched! I, too, want to be smiling, happy and enriched.

Still, since I'm a cowardly lion - oh wizard give me courage! oh! i already have it! - I feel that I won't make 52 in 52, ratio 1:1. So if I say.. FIVE HUNDRED in 52 weeks, no matter what number I get up to, I will say, well dagnabbit, I tried my durndest and besides 500 is just crazy talk anyhow. So, everybody wins! Silly? Maybe. Crazy talk? Sure.

And unbeknownst to you, I've already begun. #1 was VS Naipaul's In a Free State. #2 was Ali Smith's The Accidental and I'm working on #3 which is Camus The Stranger (en anglais). So stick around chickadees, I am entrusting upon myself the duty of writing at least a little about them (proof!) and the rest of the line, all the way up until (500-n).

Friday, January 27, 2006

best vanilla blob ever

pannacotta.jpg


Click on over to robyn for more fooding adventures. She should start a series of Choose your own Food Adventure. I bet they'd be super popular. But I guess if you are like me (ie. cheater), you'd just read ahead and 'choose' the right one.

Yesterday's adventure included a stop at Taralluci e Vino, one of my favs. And there was an inexplicable black out, as if the electricity just didn't feel like shining anymore. Sometimes I feel like inexplicably mentally blacking out. Oh but wait I already do. But who cares when there are lots of these little jelly-wobbley like vanilla panna cottas with raspberry centers and sprinkling of vanilla bean things. Vanilla was never, say it with me teen girl squad, SOOOOOOO GOOD.

(pic from roboppy's flickr)

Afghan Grill

afghangrill.jpg


Last weekend, I was in DC. And that only means one thing. Fill-my-stomach-buster. Ohhhhh. That was pretty awful, even for me. Too bad fill-my-stomach-busters do not prevent Bush from appointing his boyz to the Supremeizzle Courtizzle.

We did go back to last visit's discovery of culinary gold, Belga Café. But one of the nights, a party posse of fourteen (it is easier putting pants on an octopus) had reservations at Afghan Grill in Adams Morgan(?) for dinner at 9:30pm.

If you will permit me to use that young-ish internet parlance – OMG. We waited like a million years. Because this place is the size of your living room, or a New York apartment. And there was another large octopus party. And it was our fault for choosing a small place with a many legged party. In conclusion, my judgment might have been a wee bit skewed by the stomach acids digesting itself.

The owner guy was very very nice and very very apologetic about the wait. After we were seated, he offered us a prix fixe of appetizer, salad, and main course that would nicely cover the range of the menu for $25. Our brains had also been digested along with our stomachs. We nodded. Or our heads sort of flopped around. In hindsight, or more like ten minutes after this, we realized it might have been cheaper to not do this. But we pished and poshed and waited for salad and appetizers.

Perhaps you, like me, have not had Afghan food before. I didn't really know what to expect. But basically, the flavors were full but mildish and not spicy at all. It was sort of a mix of Mediterranean, Indian and ummm I don't even know.. Persian?
We started out with bowls of 'Afghani Salad' (Tomatoes, Onions, Cucumbers, Bell Peppers With Mint Dressing) and plates loaded with different appetizers. There were some Bulanee (Leek or Potato Filled Turnovers Lightly Fried, Then Sprinkled With Mint), Sambosy Goshti (Lightly Fried Pastries Filled with Ground Beef, Chick Peas and Green Pege). These were very much like samosas....Bring on the fried foods!!!, she roared! And then there were Aushak (Leek Dumplings Topped with Yogurt and Meat Sauce) and Kadu Buranee (Sauteed Pumpkin with Garlic Yogurt and Meat Sauce). The Meat Sauce made everything look not so nice. But it sure was tasty. I was surprised that there was a lot of pumpkin throughout, but it's such a nice flavor and color, especially flavored with garlicky yogurt, you won't find me complaining.
Then there was rice and eggplant and spinach and more pumpkin (pictured above) plus this:

grillmt.jpg

PLATTER OF MEAT. Can't go wrong with Kabob. Man, I'm such a slogan master. Lamb, beef, chicken - oh my! The chicken was especially yummy and again, the spices and flavors and nice char-ry kabob tastes were strong and meld-y but not overpowering. I don't know why I thought the food would be spicier and maybe I should not describe food by adding the letter Y to everythingy.
Our tummies full, we didn't have room for dessert (which I was a wee bit sad about, since I'd heard raves about their cardamom and rosewater ice cream.) Plus by the end of the meal, the clock was striking midnight and we'd have to go soon for fear of our coach turning back into pumpkins (yum!) and our clothes to tattered rags. Well, more like there was further fourteen person party partying to be done.
(pics from a friend of a friend, both non-imaginary)

you know you've made it after you're a google graphic

mzrt.jpeg Don't forget to wish Mozart a happy 250th. Maybe your office is music-nerding out and having cake. That's right. You didn't know the Upper West Side was so hip, so cool. Dakka dakka dakka. Maybe you multiply this classical dweebiness by a million.

Forget the opera costumes and rock out with your boy Mozart with this t-shirt instead. And have some cake. C'mon. It's cake. And then think about how little you've accomplished at your age compared to him. But then think about how you will probably not die real young either. Errrr. Yay Cake!

(Graphic from glarkware)

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Welcome back to the scat-cave. Ya ba da zoo ee.

Hey! I'm back!!

Squeeeoooooo (siren sound)
The Hess truck's back and it's better than ev-er. Hey now, hey now, the hess truck's here! (song)

I never understood those holiday Hess truck commercials. Like, why. But then there are lots of things like that. You ask, Why? And there is no answer. The obligatory tumbleweed of social life passes by, there is making up for awkward silence by bursting into even more awkward and way more nonsensical chatter, and then somebody comes swinging wildly at you with a battered and much-loved toy truck which was made by fiscally battered and non-loving hands in China. So better to avoid all that stuff and eat some chocolate cake made with batter and a loving cook, perhaps even the muppets swedish chef so you may also be entertained with a couple 'bork bork borks'.

I can't believe it's already the end of January, of this even-numbered newish year. All those sparkly new hopes and dreams and wishes and fishes and plans have faded and lost their mall-bought sheen of bourgeois respectability. Their tags are still on and I've shoved 'em under the rug, snug as a bug, so people can trip on them and fall and hurt their leg before they go act in plays. Haw haw, so literal. Ho ho so ironic. Hum hum so delightful! so noir!

Maybe I should make this blog a practice in surrealist writing. Because that's what this 'new beginning' is starting out as. Words are just flying out of my keyboard in a dada-istic frenzy. And let me tell you, dada-istic frenzy is never pretty. Too many toilets and curse words and elephant poop.

I sort of lost my focus (what? no never!), about what I should do with this space. Those shiny intentions included like, thinking... or something. Because I'm the kind of person who actually doesn't have anything of much substance going on in the ol' cranium unless I can process it through writing. So hey, why not? But this is so effectively counterattacked with a rousing round of Laziness and Depression, these seductive enemies, trained in the subtle art of the path of least resistance, that I have to FIGHT! For the Right! To pa--a-aaaaa---ar-ttytY!!!

Who will win?? Me or me?? It's a win-win! Lose-lose! Go ahead! Talk more! My brain cells are being taken over by the persuasive tones of Catherine Zeta Jones and Hess trucks and the tragedy of the whale swimming by Big Ben and then dying and what would Herman Melville have thought of that? Would it have been a really short story?

This was all to say, that maybe I will try to write again tomorrow, or the next, and/or some number to the nth degree til the end of time. The End. Though Not of Time.

(ps. thanks to robyn for the css aid. Don't worry. It wasn't shady like that business with Kofi Annan's son. Hi I'm a dork.)

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

the very hush hush

Hopefully back with the new design and shameless babbling next week.

Latest cd review here of Mourir C'est Facile by The Very Hush Hush, Buffy references and all!