Friday, November 12, 2010

sorry, sleepy part deuzzzzzzzz



For a person who loves sleeping, I'm also a night owl. Rare that I want to sleep before eleven and I'm about to blue screen and shut down. (Do computers still do that?) Sorry Nablopomo is turning daily status updates about how I am tired. Though not so far from my normal routine.

Okay, so here's a link:
asians not studying. I believe I am fulfilling that riggghtt nowww yawnwnnn.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

the gift of sleep


I feel like Gromit looks at 0:46 and 1:11


Too tired to string words together coherently. Definitely do not need a snoozatron. But do need awesome Gromit. The end.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

book ladies

llibreria - bookstore - Amsterdam - HDR
photo from MorBCN


Sorry this will be another short filler kind of entry, as unsurprisingly, I'm running behind in my life and very tired. Also today, I consumed three different baked goods. Just roll me out of this chair thanks. A rolling Janet gathers no moss.

Shortie short short. Just wanted to mention that I've come across three reading lists in the past week - random links on twitter or one of those email things I subscribe to that I haven't yet been able to hit unsubscribe because it is funny or informative just often enough to stay in my good graces but not good enough to heal the wound of noticing another e-mail in my inbox but then realizing it's not a personal email. Although rolling moss Janet would like to take an email vacation please, super good graces or not.

Anyways, these lists. I shouldn't even have looked at them. They had zero to two female writers. For lists that numbered from ten to fifteen. What the hell is up with those odds? Stupid lists. All this crap, etc. etc.

[Plus other book-related sidenote gripe grr arr is about humor in fiction. I think it's incredibly difficult to write funny. Errrr. Write funnily? That just looks plumb dumb. Write humor. Anyhow, it seems like such a rare quality in literature with writers just falling over themselves to be super serious and/or super sad and/or the next best super writer. It's so tiresome to read a mediocre book where you can feel the writer dressing to impress. I'd even just rather read plain mediocre. Hehe that sounds like "plain yogurt."]

ANYWAYS, I thought I'd just skim my woefully short memory for female authors that I've read recently or writers that I just really love for you to check it. If you, like, still read and stuff and haven't turned into an internetworkingmediabot-ravaged zombie. In which case, please go elsewhere for brains. Mine are gathering moss. And are not chewy and delicious.

My quickly drawn up list, no particular order: Lan Samantha Chang, Jennifer Egan, Nicole Krauss, Zadie Smith, Lorrie Moore, Elaine Dundy's The Dud Avocado, Elizabeth Strout.

That's all folks. Live funnily ever after.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

and now, an impression of the dormouse in alice in wonderland

Murder Mystery Night
Murder Mystery Night


I am too tired to think of anything to blog about. Today I went to school and did school stuff. I ate dinner cobbled together from Whole Foods. Attempted to eat their two-bite brownies but found pieces of what may be nuts or monster boogers, so I stopped eating them. Did you know you can return anything at WH, even without a receipt? Handy. I watched part of the TV show, Raising Hope. I've only seen it once before but I don't think I'll ever be able to escape remembering how I was once in a bar on the Upper West Side and Martha Plimpton was there. I think she was doing a show at Lincoln Center Theatre at that time. And my friend was drunk and then went up to her even though he didn't know who she was and said, "I love your work" and I was very embarrassed. I also watched Running Wilde, which has its moments of funniness. My favorite character though is Peter Serafinawicz as Fa'ad because he gets to do ridiculous things and be hilarious.



That is about all that happened today. This entry exemplifies exactly what I think blogs should not be about, because it is like what I had to do in Korean school to write about what I did one day and then they were all extremely prosaic, whatever things because I didn't have the vocabulary to express anything more than, today I played with my friends and ate such and such. It is like being forced to overhear an extremely boring cell phone conversation while stuck on a bus which makes you wonder whether you'd rank mindlessly boring under enragingly annoying and then you decide, yes, you do.

And now, hopefully later forgiven for swiping one his picture above despite his rights reserved. I will lead to you my friend vijay's photography site and flickr for some cool shots. They will be awesomer and prettier than my boring day.

Right now I feel like Mr G blockhead. Early sleepytimes for me tonight!

Monday, November 08, 2010

the city



One of my new "academic year" resolutions was to start trying to like DC more, on the likelihood that I will be including "DC" as a potential suitor for a future employment relationship. I don't know why I'm speaking as if I made multiple academic year resolutions, when I only have the one. I guess I have the additional two of graduating and passing the bar, but those aren't really resolutions so much as gauntlets I must pass in this obstacle course we call life. So there's the one.

I don't really know how I'm doing except that I haven't quit yet. Part of the resolution involves doing more cultural things, as that is one of the aspects of life I miss the most about NY. So I've bought a mini subscription for some classical music, went to two theater performances, tried to do more fooding, got to try one of those trendy food trucks at the Curbside Cookoff, where the "cookoff" consisted of a contest of one, since it was near impossible to brave the lines to even get to a second. I had fun glimpsing Stewart & Colbert on screens on the Mall over the shoulders of painfully tall and broad people and reading funny rally signs. I finally got myself to the opera for a perfectly okay show (or, as Baltimore Sun's Tim Smith called it in his review "generally effective"). "Generally effective" doesn't sound too exciting though does it? But my attitude toward DC still hasn't sweetened as I wouldn't call DC even generally effective (hello, metro). So, I still don't love DC yet, but it's a process.

I had just been thinking the other day how it doesn't even really make sense that I miss NYC. Though I had some lovely times, I spent a good amount of time being excessively lonely as well as lost in terms of life's directions. Even if I move back, as I'd like to do, many of my friends will have flown the coop for other places. I haven't had many chances to actually live in other cities or towns or, sure, countries, and yet as an old lady homebody soul, I'd like to feel rooted somewhere so that I can grow upward and outward instead of inward. On the other hand, I know it's more really about the people who you find to surround you that make up these kinds of roots, but as a (single) individual, the only thing you can kind of control about the future is location.

For some reason, I guess NY and by extension, my home girl New Jersey, has always been where I've felt most like myself and where I've felt a kind of beating heart that I've never felt here. And Tony Judt's op-ed My Endless New York captures some of that feeling and inspired this post, which is lucky because I had not a jot of another idea for what to write about today.

Sunday, November 07, 2010

eggcellent


here's lookin' at you


Recently I borrowed from the library Niloufer Ichaporia King's cookbook of Parsi recipes, My Bombay Kitchen. Parsis settled in India from Persia and make up a dwindling population that UNESCO estimates will number 25,000 by 2020. King's book aims to preserve Parsi culture through its awesome-sounding cuisine, a party-mix of flavor influences from its Persian and Indian Gujarati roots. Parsi cuisine is also something you don't find easily at restaurants because it's family-based. Intriguing, no? There's a treasure chest of a cornucopia of a bounty of exciting recipes in the book, and King's voice is friendly and encouraging while weaving in Parsi history, personal stories, and helpful, detailed suggestions. It's totally at the top of my cookbook wishlist. (More on King and her book here).

Still, my lazybones prevented me from actually cooking from the book before I had to return it. But I knew I couldn't pass up trying out the eggs on potato chips (Wafer Par Ida) dish because come on, potato chips & eggs - howsoever can you go wrong? Add in the savoriness of onions, garlic, garlic and ginger, and the fresh bite of cilantro, and all of a sudden snack food becomes a meal!

So tonight I guess I felt super-eggy and decided to make both wafer par ida AND shakshuka. Shakshuka is both fun to say and delicious! It's originally a Tunisian dish that is very popular in Israel. (Here's another recipe adapted from NYC's Hummus Place.) They are like culinary cousins. Both have onions, garlic, chiles, some veggie based thing (I'm gonna count potato chips as veggie based), and soft cooked/kinda poached eggs. Deliciousness abound! They actually go quite well together and take to any variations your creative culinary minds come up with. I threw in some sad, lonely-looking kale that I had in my fridge to the shakshuka. And I'm not quite sure whether the potato chips are supposed to retain most of their crispiness or not. I'm a klutz and ended up pouring in a lot of water at the end. Either way, yummy.

Fun times! Go forth and make some eggs! Or share your favorite egg recipe!

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Lily Bee - Daydream at Midnight



There are two shops in NYC that always cheered me up to no end. One is a hat shop where it was so fun to try on all the hats and their fab, feathery accessories. The other was a tiny, cute-as-a-button tea shop in the east village that has since closed. Both places often played fun, jazzy music and were just so nice and cosy, like those comfy furry slippers that I seem to coveting as the days get colder. Anyways (and here's the connection!), listening to Lilian Bui's Daydream at Midnight gives me a similar feeling jazzy furry slipper feeling. Right now I'm also imagining a horrible combination of pajama wear crossed with 20's flapper style. It's too late to turn back - I have 15 minutes left to write this.

I first learned of Lilian Bui from the awesome Angry Asian Man. She is TWENTY-THREE. Insert joke about feeling old although am not really old. I think she was based in DC for a little while so basically she upped DC's cool quotient by 100%, though perhaps that's an admittedly easy task.

Daydream at Midnight is a self-released title and is a little sparkly gem of an album. You'll like it too if you're a fan of Norah Jones's style shaken up with a twist of a voice that kind of resembles the old-timey jazziness and rounded horn sound of Zooey Deschanel but is more nuanced. Many of the songs, even the slower ballads, are cheerful and full of light, which is nice right? We don't always need to be drearing away to Radiohead, not when there's copious ukulele and a bright springy tinge of musical theater to be had.

My favorite track is the boppy "Up." Bui makes lyrics like "Said I don't believe in magic/I don't believe in dreams come true/I thought the colors had faded and my heart was jaded 'til I fell in love with you" that could have ended up all saccharine-syrup work with the buzzy verve and open heart in the music itself. "Days Like These" radiates its quiet celebration of the sweeter moments in life in its bossa swing. Many of the songs are culled from her first collection of compositions, which she calls "Self-Entitled" (as opposed to "Self-Titled"), which you can find on Lilian's Youtube channel. She explains there that these particular songs "contain affirmative lyrics meant to remind us that we are all entitled to ourselves. To seeking happiness the way we define it. To be true to ourselves. To have space to do so, and to have fun along the way."

I'm all for affirming the need to give ourselves space to be ourselves, to try on funny, awesome hats, have tea with some sweet. Check the album out!


Friday, November 05, 2010

Arganica Farm Club


apple cider donut, king of fall donutry


I was close to not writing a post today since I have to cram for a test on being an ethical lawyer (and who reads blog posts late friday night and early saturday morning? not even ethical lawyers), but seeing as how I actually made it through 4 days straight, I should chin up wot wot. I was also a bit hesitant to continue this daily post thing because today I stumbled onto this site that was super pretty and about design and stationery and ladidah, except it was so poorly written, it made me afraid, that posts like my previous one would likewise just be a burden upon humanity. But I don't have a run-on in every other sentence (even though that last one there was super long!)! Urgh - run-ons make me Angrybot. Have I spared you some amount of suffering through some attention to grammar? I hope so. Wot wot. Why am I doing that? I don't know.

So two weeks ago, I signed up for a free trial membership to Arganica farm club. What the hell's a farm club? you may wonder. I know, I'm grumpy right now too. Imagine Peapod grocery delivery smashed with a CSA sort of idea and there you have it - Arganica farm club. You pay various levels of membership fees but you get to choose what you get. They curate a product list every week, highlighting any new products or yummy recommendations. You mark your order on this handy excel sheet, although eventually they'll have capability for customers to order online. They try to source their products from local producers. And they deliver to your door! Handy dandy.

My first order included an order of frozen apple cider donuts from Virginia's Carpe Donut, because really I can't turn down any opportunity to have apple cider donuts. I made the mistake of ordering a merely organic (rather than local) cauliflower. I had been envisioning beauteous cruciferocity, but it turned out to be a rather small one from Cal-Organic. Free-range, local eggs from Grass Valley Dairy have lovely, orangey-gold-sunset-colored yolks and taste great and this week brought me a great chewy yet crusty pain au levain from Albemarle Baking Co.

They have some local farmers' markets favorites like Polyface and Trickling Springs Creamery, as well as some suspiciously out-of-season things like strawberries. I can't really fault them for offering stuff like strawberries, avocados and bananas if they're vying to be a convenient, affordable, healthy, mostly-local grocery alternative. It's hard enough to be all those things at once.

Still, I don't think I'm going to continue after my trial is over. It was good timing to give Arganica a try because School, that evil Bitch, has made life a little busy this month, so it was nice to have this option to get local produce. But I miss going to farmers markets and taking in what the season has to offer and being able to see, feel, taste and choose stuff before buying. I'm also not very interested in all the prepared food (while they really do sound amazing and yummy) that Arganica offers as well.

It's an interesting concept and I'd be very curious to see how it does and whether other places have something like this in place. I'd be especially curious to see how it would do in places where it's hard to get to a farmers' market or even a grocery store. Like if they had something like this in my suburban hometown, I'd love it. But that's another story. I would recommend giving it a try to those humans in DC who like food. I see how it would be especially useful if you live in a group house with shared food duties or are cooking for more than one.

As for this party of one, I should go plead brain to absorb some more studying.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

This post came out like the last bit of toothpaste

engrish
engrish


I just spent twenty minutes trying to write coherently about law school's effect on people, but it kept on coming out all stilted and boring. I think my brain is still recovering from the unexpected nap I took not too long ago and I have not fully regained human consciousness yet. (HA HA HA when do I ever!)

This writing a daily post has been an interesting experience. I can feel unused, dusty parts of my brain blearily waking up and going huh? what time is it? can I have coffee? Yes, scientists, I've isolated the blogging center of the brain. All it requires is coffee and it will awaken long enough to produce a not-too-long, inconsequential post about nothing.

Did you read the recent New Yorker article about procrastination? (Actually, this is not that much of a veer from my previous post, as the article is a book review, or whatever New Yorker articles about books are, about a book called "The Thief of Time." Yay themes! Blogging = thieves of time!!) Anyways, I thought it was a great little article about procrastination and how “Procrastination most often arises from a sense that there is too much to do, and hence no single aspect of the to-do worth doing. . . . Underneath this rather antic form of action-as-inaction is the much more unsettling question whether anything is worth doing at all.” SO TRUE.

Wow, this post is meandering like a line at the bank. I think all I have done is somehow connect blogging to procrastination to how nothing is worth doing anyway. That is much more bleak and hopeless than I intended. Anyways....

Maybe I've taken one too many trips on the shuttle with 1Ls freaking out or found myself too often in the cloud of 3L self-important personal kingdoms, but I want to get away from all that. So my mind turned to a pattern I started noticing right about the time before I entered law school of people who either went through law school or quit or were lawyers etc and then did something totally awesome. Like I took a tour of Murray's cheese caves and one of the cheese affineurs (affineuses?) — they see the cheese through the aging process — had gone to law school and then decided it wasn't for them and went into cheese. (What I want to know now is, does she pay her law school debt in cheese?!)

So I thought, along the way this month (and to give me a fallback on entry subjects), I'll highlight some people that are or were on the law path and also do something awesome. I hardly know anything about this first person, but she has a blog which I stumbled upon last year, probably on a link-clicking spree having to do with letterpress. I have no idea what her job is or if she's still in school, but she's creating stuff! She prints awesome menus for dinners and brunches! Yay creativity!!

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Kushi


beef, pork, pork, chicken


What the hell, Wednesday? Why are you playing time tricks on me? Oh, look, Janet's trying to study or do something productive. Let's make time pass a gajillion times faster when she takes naps or takes a break. Cruel cruel time. Someone is stealing time from me, and it's not one of those magically inexplicable romantic movies where my soulmate exists in another time period. Instead it's my MORTAL ENEMY stealing time so that he can play unlimited games of tachinomi, where you have to serve customers yakitori and sake, green tea, beer, or ... orange juice? While I play two games and all of a sudden it's like 2 hours later. WTF. (Apparently Tachinomi is a bar counter for a quick drink and snack. I believe everyone will be 100% happier if there were such things installed on every block in every city thanks.) I always mix up the green tea and the orange juice, because of my FAT fingers. And then they get so angrryryryryrrrrr arrrrrr.

So anyways, a few weeks ago, I actually used my first Groupon to Kushi, an izakaya and sushi restaurant. Their website tell me it's in the heart of Mt Vernon Square, but in my mind, it's that weird area near Chinatown where the new Busboys and Poets is. Now there's a branch of Taylor Gourmet next door and Kushi too. So that neighborhood is starting to be a heart of FOOD, my favorite kind, so DC can call that neighborhood whatever it wants.

Kushi impressed me, even though it also felt like it was trying to be all these different things at once. I guess that's not even a bad thing, but it was kind of a different experience than going to the izakaya places in NY which are a bit more cosy-casual. This place was more like business-casual. Well, actually the place kind of screamed, I am trendy and cool yet understated! In any case, the food was pretty good and the service was dismissive (I don't think I got my rice for my order which is like a sin in Janet world) and I think it would be a fun, yummy place to go to again.

Lunch has some great deals. I ordered a set of 3 grilled skewers - chicken meatballs, pork belly, and wagyu beef - which came with some sushi. I know, not very adventurous, but lord, sit me down with some of that pork belly, which was ever so slightly crispy and then just melted in my mouth like magic peace and love, and some rice (and some kimchi) and I will never complain about some weirdo evil anti-soulmate stealing my time again.

76139_568132565642_2100293_33027131_7089071_n
my friend's chirashi - isn't it pretty? like a jewelbox of fish


The sushi was just okay but they had some interesting combinations on their menu, not your typical dragon roll and cream cheese business. We got a sea salt gelato to share which came with an unnecessary heavy hand of crystallized ginger. The gelato was kind of strangely addictive. Sweet, salty, creamy. Seeing that lemon opal basil sorbet was on the menu clued me into the fact that it was a Dolcezza creation. So pretty much anything on that gelato/sorbet dessert menu will be awesome. Next time to try - MOCHI! Just saying "mochi" enlivens my mood.

Yay food! Yay I finished this in time before Wednesday finished. VICTORY over TIME THIEVES! GIVE ME PORK BELLYYYYYY!!!!

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Zombie Brain Sickness Post



You know what is horrible about this November daily writing of anything? It must produce so much waste. Yet here I am struggling to come up with waste to talk about. I went through various ideas about what I could write about in this humble space of mine and promptly lost my own attention and then I ate dinner and watched an episode of Chuck online. Am I exhibiting what those doomsday news articles predict about shortened attention spans? A twitterized brain that can is no longer capable of being a full entrée for zombies but only light hors d'oeuvres? I even had to look up how to spell hors d'oeuvres just now. You're invited to a Zombie Party! Please R.S.V.P. Bloody cocktails and "Janet's brain" canapés will be served. Black tie. Hahaha. Zombies in black tie. That is pretty funny. At least anyone who eats my brains will be classy living dead folk.

Lessee, most of this blog in my whippersnapper days had to do with books and music and food and stuff. I haven't cooked or baked anything fun lately. I guess I could write about some new music or something, which has sadly become so much less a part of my life these days. But I've downloaded a bunch of stuff without listening to records all the way through. Maybe it's the twitter zombie brain sickness. Or just 2010. Or I am now like Don Draper and only like the beginning of things.

Perhaps that can be a November project - going through those new tunez. Okay I just remembered a few other things I can write about. Oh yes, this is exhilarating, no? Like a rollercoaster for ants. Perhaps ants would really not enjoy an ant amusement park, because they are all work and no play. I was definitely not an ant in a previous life. Although I do not enjoy rollercoasters because of that I'm-about-to-die feeling that other human beings find fun.

Even this crappy post took me a long time to write. I bet ants could have written something better more quickly.

Monday, November 01, 2010

NaBloPoMo PoMoFroYoWhoa.


You know what's insane? I had this idea that I would try to wake up earlier in the mornings. And then I had this idea that I would try to do something with a ridiculous name, like NaBloPoMo. And then I found out flickr is all different, I don't remember how to do basic html, and NaBloPoMo makes me cringe every time I have to type it and say it out loud in my brain. Cringe cringe, ugh. Also their website is so un-fun looking. And apparently I can hear in my brain. Can't youuuuu?

In any case, maybe I'm trying to remember how to blog or something of that sort. Work on the 2010 entry count up from its grand total of one. Also this is way easier than doing Nanowrimo, which I've always wanted to do. But Law School, that tyrant, would not be happy about such frippery. So, I guess this is where I try to kill two birds with pebbles and end up annoying them so that they lose some feathers and squawk and not wake me up early in the morning even though that would be an unexpected boon to this whole thing and I know the birds were metaphorical and this sentences is way too long. This is so much more fun than legal writing. I have full control of this space! MWhahahahahahahahHHHAaa!!!!


Thursday, August 19, 2010

Creaky Fingers

shroom

Wow. One post in 2009 about garlic as a barometer of my mental and emotional health. Maybe that whole year can be signified by carbonized garlic. So, hey, hi! I guess I'm going to try getting back to this blogging thing. Look, I'm already on the cusp of surpassing last year's one-post record. I feel accomplished already. Pat, pat. I dunno, I guess I missed rambling to mostly people I already know on the internet. Verbal rambling to invisible people, not as socially acceptable. Also, I'm afraid that law school has turned my writing into unseasoned mush, so I get to practice here again. Look at this paragraph! "Wow" is not my topic sentence!

I took a brief look over some of my archives (which, by the way, are all weird after the transfer transmogification or whatever it's called between platforms) and was like, whoa, what's with all this... doing stuff?? Attending concerts? Writing reviews? Remember when I loved Grey's Anatomy? Haaa. So I guess I've regressed and lost touch with humanity and current events. Or maybe that's just law school. (Hm, who am I going to set up as the big, cackling villain in this story?) So I have to admit I'm kind of at a loss about what I'll be writing about. Third year of school? What leftovers I'm bringing to lunch? Why cupcakes are still trendy in dc? I know it sounds totally enthralling, yo.