Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Ill-advised things that I have bought because they had pictures of mountain goats on the label but in reality were not as cool as actual mountain goats and, parenthetically,the reasons why they were poor choices:
1. A warm 12 pack of Schmidt Ice (Duh, Schmidt Ice isn’t even good cold).
2. A tin of organic mints made by Paul Newman (Chalky texture, suspicious grey hue).

Things I have bought with mountain goats on the label that were exactly as awesome as actual mountain goats:
1. Several six packs of Scapegoat Ale. Hoppy and delicious.
2. Multiple cds and tickets to events where John Darnielle played music (full disclosure, no pictoral representations of mountain goats involved).

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Sunday night Kim invited me to Heron's fish-painting party at The Center for Wooden Boats. Fish painting, which I didn't know about before, is a Japanese tradition by which fish patterns are transferred to paper or textile with, well, a fish and paint. The evening started when Kim and I met at three different grocery stores looking for likely appearing fish. We finally settled on some gutted trout and two bottles of sake and headed down to the lake. There were several people there who were not only very nice, but also suspiciously good at making fish prints. I was very jealous of their red and coral and teal colored tilapia outlines on deep navy swathes of cotton. I, on the other hand, named my fish "glitter fish" and ruined a perfectly good t-shirt.

Also, line of the night;

Person one whose name I don't remember: "Who the hell thought of putting paint on a fish?"

Person two: "Someone who thought, 'Man, hippies are going to love this.'"

Monday, November 19, 2007

This weekend, I saw friends and cleaned my apartment and cooked. I also watched a lot of tv. The breakdown is reflected below.

Movies I watched and will return to Netflix today:
1. The Lookout - As excellent as the reviews promised.
2. Bad Santa (Badder Santa Version) - I queued this up because my favorite review of Fred Claus went something like this; "If this movie were actually funny, it would have been Bad Santa. But it wasn't, it was Fred Claus."
3. Radio On - I'm not sure why I had this movie sent to me, but the best part was the ten minute version of "Heroes" that played during the credits where David Bowie sang in German. The film had a phenomenal soundtrack, but I just couldn't watch it. I guess I'm not alienated enough from society yet.

Movies I watched independent of my Netflix subscription:
1. Atonement - Kim took me as her guest to the SIFF screening of this film. It was easily one of the best I've seen all year. Even better than Superbad. It was so good I even stopped minding all the close-ups of Keira Knightly looking beautiful and pensive and chipmunky.
2. The Departed - First time I'd seen it since watching it in the theater last winter. Still good. The cast? Still suspiciously attractive.
3. The last 45 minutes of She's All That - No comment.
4. The middle 80 minutes of Stick It - Even worse than I possibly could have imagined. Actually, no, because in my imagination, this movie was funny and cheesy and a little bit clever, a latter day Bring It On. In real life, it was just mean spirited and clunky and painfully not funny.
5. Say Anything - Still not as good as good as Better Off Dead, except for the boom-box scene.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

If anyone genuinely wants the recipe Cody used to make Scotch Eggs last weekend, you probably are an eclectic enough cook to just go out and buy your own copy of The Joy of Cooking. If for some crazy reason you think that is not a good use of your money or resources (independent of your specific feelings about Scotch Eggs, which I am still skeptical of), then we probably won't be friends, but I'll give you the recipe anyway.
Also, we went to a party, and now our cooking is famous. (I made the guacamole, my lap is in the picture.)

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Last month I took an extremely horrible cooking class for French Pastries with Julia and Anne. Technically, it wasn’t painful or intellectually insulting to be there, but I couldn’t help but feel cheated that I was paying a lot of money for two sessions of essentially watching a woman make mediocre desserts in the common room of a depressing apartment complex in Everett. I hate Everett so much. Looking at the class fee, I had mistakenly assumed that we were paying for an experience that involved a commercial kitchen with plenty of counter-space for everyone to try their hand at lemon custard and crème brulee, when in fact, the seven of us were huddled around an island taking notes on a flaky pastry recipe that, frankly, was vastly inferior to the recipe my grandmother passed along to me years ago. But the real rub was revealed ninety minutes into the first class period when the teacher decided she had done enough teaching for one day and that we would have a better time watching a Rick Steves video about Paris. She claimed she’d seen it and that it was a really good way to learn about French food, but she was clearly lying because aside from the video beginning when Mr. Steves emerges from a Parisian butcher shop, there was not a single mention of food or technique. Not to outdo herself in ineptitude, the following week she was done cooking again before the allotted two hours had elapsed, so we watched the video again. From the beginning. Again. The same video. And her crème brulee didn’t set up and her cream puffs tasted pasty. Thank god there was wine.

In the end, I’m walking away from that experience over $80 poorer, with no recipes I would reprise to impress my friends and family and having wasted 5 hours of my life that I’ll never get back.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

pumpkin photos, as promised! (thanks, Julia!)

My pretend boyfriend, pumpkin-face Harry Potter. He looked creepy before the googly eyes; googly eyes are the second best craft invention after glitter.

Nice boys carving pumpkins.

Robot-face pumpkin.

The slimy insides of that white pumpkin led directly to Cody not being interested in carving anything on it. He was also inspired by Seth, (red blur to the right) who purchased a large green gourd instead of a pumpkin and cut a hole in the top and called it a beer cozy.

Last night I went to an information session on the Master of Science in Information Studies program at UW, had the most delicious pumpkin beer at Big Time Brewery, ate Swimming Rama with prawns at Thai Tom and went to go see Jens Lekman in Fremont. All amazing things. Jens, oh, Jens, even with my overdeveloped English major vocabulary I don't know enough synonyms for the word "magical" to do that show justice. Jens was traveling with a giant band of attractive Swedish girls with hip haircuts and orchestral instruments and Floyd's Swedish doppelganger dj-ing from a laptop. Jens sang and told anecdotes and danced and played guitar and keyboards and I swooned and swooned and swooned over and over again. Towards the beginning, it looked like Cody and I were going to be stuck standing near a group of awful talkers, but the crowd shifted around and instead we were right next to an adorable girl that friendly and under five feet. The girl and her friends seemed charmed that we were worried about her being able to see the stage, and we danced together, and she told me about the time when she and Jens walked around an art museum in Chicago together. I imagine it was just like in Ferris Bueller's Day Off. (True story, I have never been to Chicago and have absolutely no idea which or how many art museums are there, so as far as I'm concerned, they were listening to instrumental Smith's melodies and looking at Seurat paintings.) The best stage banter came after Jens had played a solo-version of Paul Simon's "You Can Call Me Al" but omitting all the choruses; he said that he liked silly songs like that, but that he hated the chorus, and that he also hated Chevy Chase's stupid face. Total magic.

Other highlights of the past week include a crisp fall walk in the arboretum with Megan, the illustrious Toby Shuster, finally seeing the Pipettes with Elisa.

Tonight I'm making my first bolognese sauce from scratch, improvised from Mark Bittman's instructions. I doubled the recipe, increased the meat, and used turkey and lamb with beef instead of ground pork. I substitute ground turkey for most recipes, and I had some frozen ground lamb that I figured would give the sauce a little more of a Greek twist.

Hello, November!