Thursday, March 28, 2013

A round-up of curiosities

Just some things.

  • My love/hate relationship with Facebook continues. A woman I'm friends with posts an adorable photo of her daughter crawling and one of her friends comments that he hopes the floor is clean. I mean. Why? 
  • Oh boy, you guys. Word on the street is Vicky (of Real Housewives of Orange County infamy) has gotten a chin implant! I really cannot wait. It premieres Monday.
  •  Attitydinkontinens: A Swedish word that describes one's inability to keep one's opinion to oneself. I wish there were an English version. 
  • Another issue with Facebook this week: the inevitability of ignorance and intolerance rearing its ugly head as a number of people changed their profile photos to equal signs and voiced their support for gay marriage. One friend's family member compared gay marriage to bestiality. Words fail me.
  • Here's something I think is weird. People who want to adopt kids have to undergo rigorous mental and physical health screenings, and pay an ass-ton of money. But people who can have kids naturally can be broke-ass crackheads. I'm not saying people who want to adopt shouldn't be screened, I'm just saying something is jacked. 
  •  Justin Bieber is crashing and burning so hard right now. How strange to have peaked at 18 and be having a total drug-addled breakdown at 19. My prediction is rehab for our little Bieb, soon.
  • Ok, riddle me this. The sleeping selfie. People who take photos of themselves ... "sleeping." And then post to Instagram or Facebook or whatever. What the ...?!?!?! I am once again at a loss.

Monday, March 25, 2013

libros

In no particular order, here's what I've been reading lately.


 
Oh, yes. That's right. I'm once again reading novels intended for teenagers. But hey. We all read Twilight and The Hunger Games, right? This isn't quite The Hunger Games good, but it's good! Leagues better than Twilight. Nice and meaty, good plot, good characters. Yeah, it's about witches, blah blah. The only issue I have with it is that every time I see "The Book of Moons," I keep thinking it says "The Book of Mormon." But what can you do.

They also made Beautiful Creatures into a movie that came out on Valentine's Day, but it seems not to have gotten the same kind of hype Twilight did. I don't see how this movie could possibly be any worse than the Twilight films, which are some of the worst garbage I have ever seen. But yes, I have seen them. Will be adding BC to my Netflix queue, and have already started the second book, Beautiful Darkness. Yes, I am just that damn entertained!

(Also, these books are pretty cheap on the Kindle -- only $4.74 for BC and $6.88 for Beautiful Darkness.)



Here's another really solid book, and it's a true story. I know. Look at me, venturing into nonfiction. This book drew me in for a couple reasons -- firstly because the dude who wrote it is a journalist, and comes from a long line of journalists. The second reason is because this book is all about one big-ass family secret, and that is: What the heck happened to this dude's dad? He died, but supposedly no one was sure how, where, or why.


So I related in two ways. One: I used to be a journalist. Two: I am pretty sure my family invented the whole notion of family secrets.

I really enjoyed Hainey's investigative journalist approach to uncovering the truth about what happened to his dad (which he does), and I found some of the details surrounding the cover-up pretty shocking. I'm a little surprised that at no point does Hainey write: And then I punched that dude in his face.

And it even made me a little teary at one point. Good stuff.

The only fault I found with it was his description of the journalism world. In no way was it inaccurate, it was just annoying to remember it -- at the big papers it has always been and still is a good old boys club. But those are my own personal demons.




Wife 22 ended up being a book I was a little regretful of paying $11.99 to read. I found it a little simplistic and was pretty sure I'd figured out the ending in the first 20 pages. The plot goes: This woman and her husband have a couple kids, they're having a rough patch in their marriage, and she starts participating in an ongoing online survey about marriages, except she sort of starts to fall for her surveyor. It was slightly dumb. 



 

Of course the whole reason to read this is to figure out how to rid yourself of all your bad habits and start new, good habits, right? Well, this will help with that, and I think it does offer some genuinely good, if not extraordinarily novel, advice in that arena. But even more interesting is the information about how various companies have used information scientists have gathered about people's habits to get them to buy their stuff, or just to improve worker productivity. Target may be the creepiest one ever. So, certainly an entertaining read; I gave it a solid four stars.


Tuesday, March 19, 2013

le goings on

bullet points!

  • Realized over the weekend I have never eaten funnel cake. I had the opportunity on Sunday but once again passed it up. I may regret this decision. Actually, I already regret it.
  • Girls, with the ear thing? And Adam and the girl ... I mean. So uncomfortable.
  • Which, actually, cutting your own bangs is a bad idea 98% of the time.
  • I made corned beef over the weekend, and then last night had this corned beef sandwich that was, like, the best sandwich I've had in ... possibly years. Asiago cheese sourdough bread, dijon, mayo, corned beef, lettuce, red onion, heirloom tomato. Get inside of me.
  •  I've been coming slowly to the realization that all of my clothes are The Worst Clothes. 
  • I began watching Top of the Lake last night. Sundance Channel. I think it's gonna be a good one. Unfortunately I don't get it in HD, and I have become quite a large HD snob. But I shall make the sacrifice. Elisabeth Moss from Mad Men (Peggy) is in it. So is Holly Hunter in the weirdest role ever. It's set in New Zealand. I haven't watched the whole thing because I'm gonna do a re-watch with my husband (it's my job to critically analyze all new shows to see if they're worth a watch. Things not worth watching: Vikings and The Following. I'm going to be investigating Bates Motel soon.)
  • Today I am wearing a sweater my sister gave me before she lost some weight. You know what that means. I am wearing someone else's fat clothes.
  •  Babysat my niece on Saturday. My sister and brother-in-law warned me of a wall vent Ava once stuck her finger into and cut herself on. So what does the kid do the second they walk out the door? Tries to stick her finger in the wall vent. I was like: "No. No. No. You know that's a no-no." And she laughed her ass off and kept leaning toward it like: "I'm gonna put my finger in there!" She thought it was hilarious.
  • Paleo is obviously out the window, if you noticed the aforementioned asiago cheese sourdough bread. Life is too short not to enjoy the occasional slice of bread, man.
  • Oh! House of Cards is really good, too. What a fabulous cast. We had to order Netflix streaming just to watch it. 
  • I actually did order some new clothes online. And had a realization afterward that I had, once again, ordered a shirt with cats on it. I am now that woman for whom it is not enough to simply be constantly covered in cat hair, now all my clothes must also have drawings of cats on them.
  • That cat thing will be a nice detail for my obit.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

chicken, green bean, and cucumber salad

It's been a heckuva long time since I did a food post. I enjoy doing them, but usually by the time I'm preparing a meal, I'm hungry and then I dive into my meal as though I've never seen food before.

It's a problem.

Anyway, this meal is so stupidly simple and sounds really dumb but is really easy, fresh, and delicious.

You poach a little chicken, boil some green beans real quick (but let them stay semi-crisp), chop up some cucumber (seeded, and I can only tolerate English cucumbers) and parsley. (And basil if you have it but who wants to buy a whole package of basil so you can use two tablespoons and then the rest rots in the fridge? Not I.) Mix with some lemon juice, olive oil, capers, a little salt and pepper. Top with the piece de resistance -- chopped toasted almonds. They really make the dish. Ridiculously easy and yummy.

Forgive the crappy phone photo.

Recipe here. I doubled it for dinner for my husband and me.

Something I made last night and didn't photograph because my mouth turned into a vacuum and I inhaled the whole thing post-haste: Spicy sweet potato fries with avocado dip. Crispy, tangy, spicy, utterly delicious. And good for you! They're baked in the oven with olive oil. Just delightful. I could eat them every day.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

The Bachelor, Ep. 12: Finale

Finale, finally!

Spoilers immediately ahead.

I will try to make this brief since the finale was three godforsaken hours long.

  • We started with the girls meeting Sean's family. Sean's dad is a very nice guy and has both girls in tears.

You'll recall Catherine's dad is kind of a wacko. So she's really into this normal family stuff. Sean's dad says he would love her like a daughter and she looks to be restraining herself from curling up in his lap for a good cry.


Sean's dad tells Lindsay they prayed for Sean's wife and if it's her they will be happy.


  • Sean is like, I wanna be a polygamist and marry both of them! Like seriously. He's two days away from the finale and he doesn't know who he's proposing to yet.
  • This is when my husband gets bored and leaves the room, telling me to let him know when the deed is about to go down.

 So his mom is like, Then you have no right to propose to either of them. 
Which I kind of agree with. How can he not know?!



 
Date 1 with Lindsay and her short shorts.
They take a raft down a river. 
(By the way, I fast forwarded through all of the live audience stuff. Tell me if I missed anything.)
After the date Sean says: At this moment, I really think she's the one for me.


 Date 2 with Catherine. They ride an elephant (so cool). 


 She tells him: I just worry I'm being emotional for no reason. 
He says: It's not for no reason. 


 
She kisses him goodnight, says she loves him, and you can hear her heart beating hard in his mic.
She's upset because she looked at him, hoping for a "glimmer" that he felt the same way, and she got nothing.
She says "I feel like shit to be honest."
She guesses Sean is crazy about both her and Lindsay at that point. She's right.
Girl is a hot mess.

 Sean picks out a nice ring.

BTW I am sorry this post isn't very funny. But you know what/who is HILARIOUS? Kalon, from Emily's season. His tweets were KILLING me last night. There were too many to post here, just go check them out.
But here's one: "Even Neil Lane doesn't have a ring that compares to Tierra's sparkle."

I die.


 Sean: I woke up this morning and I just knew there was a woman I couldn't stand to live without.
*sob*
I'm just so full of joy and happiness.

Meanwhile, Lindsay is 100% it's her. Like One. Hundred. Percent.


 But she took it like a champ. 
(It wasn't her)


 Sean bawled like a baby, though. 


 "This is, like, really sad." Direct quote.


  • As for all the hullabaloo over Catherine's letter, it was just a nice letter telling him she loves him blah blah. Way to screw with us, Catherine!

 He gets down on one knee. She looks like she's gonna pass out. 
She had a really adorable, seemingly genuine reaction. 




  • Now time for After The Rose
 We have to do this whole song and dance.
When did you know?
What was it?
He should have just said:
I wanted to be a polygamist. But, laws.
But he said: God told me it was Catherine. 
And Kalon said: I'm going to convert so I can blame God & prayer when I break up with chicks

I die.


 The happy couple. 
They announced they will be marrying on TV.
Soon. 
Because Sean is a virgin and tired of waiting. 
That's what the Internet gossips tell me.


And our next Bachelorette is ....


 Desiree. 

Yeah. 

Whatever.

Her season starts this summer.

Now for my moment of gloating:
I picked Catherine as the winner on Day 1. 
And you may recall:
I picked Jef during Emily's season.
So basically I have ESP.

Episode 11 recap: The Women Tell All
Episode 10 recap: The Fantasy Suite Dates
Episode 9 was Sean's bullshit "tell-all"
Episode 8 recap: Hometown Dates
Episode 7 recap: YOU CAN'T TAKE MY SPARKLE
Episode 6 recap: You're gonna wife that?
Episode 5 recap: If I could be someplace else ...
Episode 4 recap: "Tierra-ble"
Episode 3 recap: Let's take this to the next level
Episode 2 recap: I'm a vegan but I love the beef
Episode 1 recap: Who does this, indeed

Monday, March 11, 2013

just things

bullet points!

  • Creepy: How much Lindsay Lohan and Rose McGowan look alike, although Rose looks younger. Sad: Lindsay is 26 and Rose is 39. Crack is whack, yo.
  • I am mad that there's a new show called Vikings and it really sucks. Like so bad. Like almost The Following bad. And The Following really sucks. 
  • Have decided Paleo is from the devil and I hate it. So I quit. Some principles are good, so I'll keep those, but now I am basically doing the Sugar Busters! diet, except with no gluten or dairy. Purportedly.
  • I attend Neighborhood Watch meetings now, in case anyone is interested in the fact that I am 900 years old.
  • I still watch The Following, though. So what does that say about me? Although, I guess you probably already knew I have crappy taste since I watch The Bachelor.
  • Nurse Jackie = So much <3. SHHHH. Just started Season 3.
  • It's possible I watch too much TV.
  • Who do I need to sleep with to get Daylight Savings to die? Permanently?
  • Tell me your thoughts on this. A woman I met recently says she's going to Hawaii and since food is so expensive there, she is going to ship a box of food to herself. She supposedly receives some kind of discount on shipping, but is it possible this ends up being cheaper than a stop at Costco after you get off the airplane? I don't know. I think it's the stupidest thing I've ever heard. 
  • But I told her it was very smart. Because I am a liar and I smile and nod so people will be quiet.
  • Although The Following is terrible, Kevin Bacon is still awesomesauce. I forgive him for The Following because Bernie Madoff stole all his money.
  • I also confuse Erika Christensen and Julia Stiles. Kelly Pickler and Carrie Underwood. And loads of other people whose names I don't remember anymore because I am 900 years old now.
  • So glad The Bachelor is ending tonight. This is going to be my final review ever. I hope. Unless someone pays me to do it, in which case I will gladly continue to gripe about those idiots in print. 

Thursday, March 07, 2013

old

I went to this masquerade charity ball thingy a few weeks ago with some friends. It's a long story. I'm neither accustomed to attending charity functions or masquerade balls because 1) I am stingy 2) like, where are all the masquerade balls, anyway?

Anyway. Our friend's mom was there, and she's a retired art teacher with this very open, bubbly personality that draws people in like so many errant cat hairs on a sticky-roller. She's not judgmental; she just lets people fly their big old freak flags and asks if they'd like more wine.

Which is a great way to be. Accepting. I am not this way. My husband speaks in absolutes: You hate everyone. 

I don't hate everyone. But some people are more trouble than they're worth, to me. I, unlike my friend's mother, become very impatient when I'm expected to invest time in troublesome chatterboxes.

This is not even what this post is about. This post is about ... Well I'm not sure, but I'll right myself here shortly.

One of my friend's mother's friends (this is beginning to sound stupid but bear with me) was also attending this charity masquerade ball, and wearing a large faux fur coat. Like, if a yeti were a real thing, this would be dreadlocked yeti fur or something.

She's, I don't know ... 60? Maybe older? I'm terrible with ages.

And she says, This is the coat I wear to Burning Man.

Which.

I don't know.

I've been thinking about that sentence for a few weeks now.

Because I spend a lot of time doing things people in their mid-30s do. Stereotypically. My alcohol tolerance isn't what it used to be. I can't pull an all-nighter and wouldn't try given the opportunity. I have a very close and disturbing relationship with my Tivo. "Adventurous" is not my middle name. My main goals at the moment are to have a child and remodel my house. I am a living, breathing stereotype.

And I have to believe that this woman in the yeti jacket, that her statement about Burning Man is really the tip of the iceberg. Don't you think? There's a whole other thing going on there. A whole other life philosophy and way of doing things.

Which is cool.

That's all. It's just cool.

And I see how maybe she's a living, breathing stereotype, too. But I wonder how it happens. When people choose their paths. What shapes that? And what's the more difficult path to choose? And who is happiest? Or is everyone equally happy?

Just wondering.


Here, by the way, is a very long and interesting and beautifully written article by a guy who took his dad to Burning Man this year.

Tuesday, March 05, 2013

The Bachelor, Ep. 11: The Women Tell All

Well, first of all.

I saw a spoiler. Totally by mistake. It was on Extra. I sure didn't expect them to blurt out, "Sean is rumored to be engaged to ....!" Two weeks before the finale. I guess they don't care because they're on NBC and The Bachelor is on ABC. Anyway, I tweeted something rude to Extra. I don't think they really cared, though.

So that's that. But let's get to the Women Tell All, which was, horribly, two hours long. Completely unnecessary.

For starters, I really hated Tierra's dress. I actually had a dream about this dress last night. I was driving past a construction zone, and a woman working construction was wearing it. So weird.

Tierra is still spouting her Tierra-isms. "I light up in a room ... I bring this joy and smile..." What the eff is she talking about, you guys.


Kacie B is like Oh hell no


 AshLee and Lesley were like, Which of us hate Tierra more? Hm.


 And then Tierra's like, Whatever, I'm engaged now. 
To her ex-boyfriend. 
Presumably not the dead one. 
His identity remains a mystery. He's said to run a lucrative business in Vegas. 
I'm thinking there is no way this person really exists.


 And then we had to talk about how dudes don't like Sarah because of her arm situash. 
Which is sad.


 And then Desiree was like, Yeah, my brother is a dick. 
Actually, she didn't say that, but she should have.
What do we think of her hair? She used to have bangs.

Then AshLee and Sean talked, blah blah. 
It's too boring to even talk about.


The outtakes were the most entertaining part. Here Sean popped a cork off a champagne bottle and the champagne is pouring onto his leg. This amused me greatly at the time.

Parting thoughts: 
  • I don't think Sean is engaged to either girl, despite Extra's "spoiler." This is because oftentimes at the Women Tell All or Men Tell All, Chris Harrison will confirm that the contestant is, indeed, engaged. This time he did not. He did say it's a dramatic finale. No idea. Plus there's the preview with the note Sean receives ... I think it's from Catherine, and I think she's saying Adios and she was the one he was gonna pick. Just a guess.
  • Who do you think the next Bachelorette is going to be? I happen to know because I googled it. Not too surprising, but maybe a little boring. 
  • My husband says: "I guess I haven't really been paying attention to this show!" This is as he's watching the final few minutes where they show Sean frolicking with Lindsay and Catherine. He thinks it's anyone's game.  (He only watched about a third of the season, often leaving the room in disgust. He's a smart man.)
  • Next week's finale is THREE HOURS LONG. Please god let it be mostly flashbacks I can fast-forward through. 
 
Episode 10 recap: The Fantasy Suite Dates
Episode 9 was Sean's bullshit "tell-all" 
Episode 8 recap: Hometown Dates  
Episode 7 recap: YOU CAN'T TAKE MY SPARKLE  
Episode 6 recap: You're gonna wife that?   
Episode 5 recap: If I could be someplace else ...
Episode 4 recap: "Tierra-ble"  
Episode 3 recap: Let's take this to the next level    
Episode 2 recap: I'm a vegan but I love the beef   
Episode 1 recap: Who does this, indeed

Monday, March 04, 2013

very fancy

We took a break from Paleo on Saturday night and enjoyed a dinner with friends at Baume in Palo Alto. And actually, aside from dessert and the bread basket, a lot of the food was Paleo-friendly!

I took pictures. I know. I am obnoxious. If it helps, I don't think anyone noticed.

You don't get a menu at Baume, they just show you a list of the ingredients being prepared that evening, and you sort of nod your head and indicate exactly how many vats of wine you would like to pair your courses with.


 Cauliflower foam thing, with carrot puree and mussels (hidden inside).



 Caviar on parsnip puree with parsley paper. My first caviar, and it was delicious.


 62 degree egg with shaved beets. My first 62 degree egg, too. Really good.


 Artichoke soup with "sponge" and salty foam? Yeah I'm not sure what a lot of this was made out of. It was my least favorite dish but my husband really liked it. 


 A palate cleanser. Champagne ice and ... I forget. Something fruity.


 Curried sea bass with spinach and green stuff. Yummy. I forgot to take the picture before I dove in.


 Probably my favorite dish -- filet with celery root puree (I think?). Perfect.


 Fromage course. I loved all cheeses except one -- too goaty. 


Dessert. That is not a real strawberry, believe it or not. There's creme brulee with meringue, fruit with pop rocks, cake. Very good.


 As we left we were given these tubes of chocolate hazelnut mousse. Yum.


Being fancy is fun every now and then.