Wednesday, March 2, 2011

I started writing a novel

So, i started writing a fiction novel.

It's always been a dream of mine and I finally came to the conclusion that it wasn't going to write itself.*  One day a few weeks back I opened up Microsoft Word and started a new document.  That document sat there for a couple weeks, totally blank but it was a notice to myself to start typing.  Any time I logged off of my computer or restarted it, the first thing I did was reopen that blank document.  i knew the hardest part going to be that first sentence.  As soon as i typed the first word I was opening a new door for a failure.  What were the chances I was going to type out 300 to 500 pages of fiction?  Not too mention, typing out 300 to 500 pages of relivent, thought provoking reading material???  At time of the blank document, I would gander it was a 1% chance.
Well I am 2 pages in and feeling pretty stupidly confident, I say there's a 50% of finishing it.  :)

*I like to think it does write itself but someone need to type it.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Thai Mai Shooz


Okay this is heavily borrowed from Mark Sisson's cookbook but I made a couple additions and omissions and also made note of what I would change on the next go around.  Sorry no pictures....

Ingredients:
1 can of coconut milk (14oz) - Use the full fat version... NEVER use low fat or no fat versions of anything!
3 cups of chicken stock - We used FreshDirect's brand of chicken stock but you could use any brand
1 pound fresh fish, skin removed, cut into 1 inch cubes - Mark suggest  a cold water, oily fish.  In the book, I think Salmon was pictured.  We used Cod, which didn't hold together much but was totally fine as well.
Juice of 1 Lemon or 2 Limes - If you can use one of those mesh nets so the seeds don't make it into the soup.  I didn't, learn from my mistake.
2 teaspoons of fresh Ginger, peeled and grated or minced - Didn't have any Ginger so this was left out.
1 - 2 carrorts, sliced into thin coins - I used 5 pre-peeled baby carrots, easier imo.
3 inch section of lemongrass - We were fresh out of lemongrass so this was left out.
1 head of cauliflower, seperated into florets and steamed - I'd use a big head since this is an important part of the dish... oh yea, we eat low carb, so that means small to no amounts of starch, sorry taters...  So I took the fresh head of cauliflower, quartered it, cut out the dense stalk and broke up the florets.  Then I put them in a bowl with a little water and microwaved them until soft.  You could steam them anyway you choose, bagged frozen cauliflower would work just as well.
4 basil leaves chopped - I used dry basil from the spice rack
Thai Red Curry Paste 1/2 teaspoon or more - I used more, start her and then go from there as per your
taste
Sea Salt, Pepper and Tabasco to taste, you can leave out the Tabasco if so desired
This was listed as optional BUT I feel it really helped to make the dish, so i would say if you can and want to add 1 pound of peeled uncooked shrimp.  FreshDirect delivered the shrimp peeled and cleaned which worked out perfect.

Instructions:

In a 2-4 Qt sauce pan, I used a stock pot, place the Coconut Milk, Fish, lemon or lime juice, ginger, carrots, lemongrass and cauliflower and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat.  Reduce heat until gently simmering.

Stir in chopped basil leaves, red curry paste and sea salt to taste.  Taste it, make sure it has some flavour.

I added some Curry Power here as well, you don't need to but I had some so I put a few dashes in there.

Soup is ready when fish is cooked through, about 10-15 minutes.  DAMN THATS EASY!!!! :)

If you're going to add the shrimp, nudge nudge, do it... add the shrimp to the broth after simmering for 10 minutes and cook for additional 5-6 minutes.

Removed lemongrass and serve hot in a bowl with some basil as a garnish.

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The 2nd and 3rd bowls were even better than the 1st.

Plans for next time.... Ashley asked me the next day if i could make it again, so it was a hit...  but how to make it better?  I think I would add some onion for one.  I am not sure if that's in line with this type of soup but some thinly diced yellow onion would add to the dish.  Also, I think subbing lobster for the fish would really be effin good too.  I've never cooked lobster so I would guess it would change the instructions around some but some properly cooked lobster meat would add some great texture to this already good soup.  Ashley also suggested some red bell peppers cut into thin stripes, I'll definitely add that next time.

The recipe comes mostly from this book, i am not the best cook in the world (did you think otherwise????) but I am top 99th percentile in following directions so I do well with cookbooks.  Anyway, this is a good one:

Enjoy and let me know how it goes.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

What's your Prince like?

 I recently jacked up the music on my iPhone.  Long story short, I jailbroke my iPhone so I could just drag and drop music to it from various computers without using iTunes, which I despise.  All was going good until I accidentally sync'd it with iTunes and it blew out all of my illegally obtained music.

I've been trying to repopulate my iPhone with a usable music cache but I have just become so sick of music I once really enjoyed.  So getting to the gist of this blog, I was doing a "best of *" search on my favorite download site and came upon a Best of Prince.  I wouldn't say I am Prince's biggest fan but he has some great songs, do a google seach, you'll notice you like more than you thought too.

SO

Remember his song 1999?  Tonight, we're gonna party like it's 1999.  That song came out in 1982, I was 7.  I was primed for pop music and that song was primed for it too.  It became on of my favorite songs.  I'd daydream about partying in 1999.  It was 17 years away and my mind ran wild with what that would look like.  I pictured lots and lots of neon.  Robots carrying cocktails trays.  Flying cars would be zipping around while we all danced on a platform high in the sky.  Picture the rebel alliance partying on Coruscant and you'll get my drift.  Side note, don't Google "star wars celebration" if you have any deep seeded fascination with the Princess Leia Bikini...


Alright, so for 17 years, that was the mental imagery conjured up by Prince's 1999.  


What does that song do for me today?  Tonight, we're gonna party like it's 1999.  As we both know, no flying cars. But 1999 was great, everyone had a job, everyone had money, terrorism was something that happened in our countries, not ours.





Prince has given us an interesting inflection point.  As I impatiently awaited the oncoming of floating travel, roads, where we're going we don't need roads some may pine for the glorious bubbles at the conclusion on the 20th Century.  


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1999 notables:
January 1 – Euro is established. - I wonder what Germany think's about that song...


March 21 – The 71st Academy Awards are held at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Los Angeles, California with Shakespeare in Lovewinning Best Picture.


March 26 – The Melissa worm attacks the Internet.


April 20 – Columbine High School massacre: Two Littleton, Colorado teenagers, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, open fire on their teachers and classmates, killing 12 students and 1 teacher, and then themselves. - I never realized this happened on 4/20, f'n stoners...


May 3 – 1999 Oklahoma tornado outbreak: An F5 tornado slams into Moore, Oklahoma, killing 38 people (the strongest tornado ever recorded in world history).


May 7 – A jury finds The Jenny Jones Show and Warner Bros. liable in the shooting death of Scott Amedure, after the show deceived Jonathan Schmitz into appearing on a secret same-sex crush episode.


May 19 – Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace is released in theaters. It becomes the highest grossing Star Wars film. - destruction of the Star War franchise begins


June 1 – Napster, a revolutionary music downloading service, debuts.


June 12 – Texas Governor George W. Bush announces he will seek the Republican Party nomination for President of the United States.


June 19 – Horror author Stephen King is hit in a car accident on Route 5 in North LovellMaine by Bryan Smith.


July 16 – Off the coast of Martha's Vineyard, a plane piloted by John F. Kennedy Jr. crashes, killing him and his wife Carolyn Bessette Kennedyand her sister Lauren Bessette.


July 25 – Lance Armstrong wins his first Tour de France.


October 12 – World population reaches 6 billion people, as the 6 billionth person (according to the UN) is born in SarajevoBosnia and Herzegovina.


October 31 – EgyptAir Flight 990, travelling from New York City to Cairo, crashes off the coast of Nantucket, Massachusetts, killing all 217 on board. When the pilot leaves the cockpit, the co-pilot causes the Boeing 767 to enter a steep dive, resulting in impact with theAtlantic Ocean.


November 18 – The Aggie Bonfire collapses in College Station, TX, killing 12.





Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Amazon Readers from the Moon : Part I

Long story short, I find my self looking at the book "What Women Want Men to Know" by Barbara De Angelis on Amazon.  (I think this is the book that was made into that Mel Gibson/Helen Hunt movie...)

Anyway, I think to myself, I wonder what the reviews are like for this book, more specifically I wonder "Who didn't like this book and why?".  I don't mean to stereotype here but I would gander the fella who orders this title and reads it, is either a) a guy with a bad track record in the relationship department OR b) a guy with a bad track record in the relationship department who doesn't realize he is a  guy with a bad track record in the relationship department he's just been with insane women.

So "Sal" from Indiana informs us that contrary to my belief this book is in actuality targeted for women, he writes "I can see why any woman needing a ego lift would love this book and rate it 5 stars."  Not satisfied with unmasking the author's true surreptitious motive for writing the book, Sal decides to shed some of his personal insight "[the] problem with this book" he continues "is it assumes men can't communicate as well as women, when the reverse is true." 


"Ry" from parts unknown titles his review "My girl friend sent me this book - I dumped her".  Ry doesn't give a great deal of information, I think he just wanted us know that he will dump women and let the world know about it.




Last but certainly not least of the 3 people who gave this book a one star review is Pennsylvania's own "N. Morris".  N.'s review entitled "This book is troubling to me." is so long and thought out I had to take a peek at his other Amazon work.  He gave 5 stars to Laura Schlessinger's "Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands (CD)".  In that review he extends this advice "You are a disgruntled wife? Huh? Then read this book, it will HELP you."


So let's see what N. had to say about "What Women Want Men to Know".

N.'s biggest issue, i think, with the book is his disdain for women trying to control the relationship.  He says that "Men have a natural fear and resistance to "control". The reaction is either "fight" or "flight". Men have an honour code not to fight women, so what is left is "flight"'


In a much appreciated attempt at a real life example, N painfully scribes "If you ask your employee to redo a report, and then when he does, ask him to redo his cubicle, and then he does, and then ask him to redo his drawers, and then he does, and then ask him to redo his computer, and then he does, and then ask him to redo his report again because it wasn't perfect, and then he does and then ask him to redo his cubicle because it wasn't facing the right way, and then he does, and then ask him to redo his... bla bla bla... then is that considered controlling? Ok, well... that's what wives do. They are never satisfied with a redo, or a re-redo, or a re-re-redo etc.... it goes on for ever."  I may be totally wrong here but I think N has his wife confused with his coworkers? 


Also, pardon my language here, but where the fuck does he work that the boss has people repeatedly "redo their drawers and computers"????


Just when you thought N.'s review hit rock bottom, he starts another paragraph "If you read the book of Genesis".


I will just paste this last paragraph and offer my very own insight into N.'s thoughts in [brackets]...


If you read the book of Genesis, Adam and Eve were given paradise in the Garden of Eden. They had everything. It's interesting that the serpent chose [easily duped] Eve to deceive, not [good natured, smart] Adam. Eve had paradise, but she wanted MORE.[ungrateful whore!] It was her insatiability that put her over the edge [and not my impotency]. After eating,[women are ALWAYS eating] she found that it was "good" so she tried to improve her husband [controlling wench] by offering it to him. [The rest is so insane I can't even comment] Ultimately Adam was condemned because he "listened to his wife and ate". Interesting... part of what God faulted Adam for was "listening to his wife". The point of the story is: Eve had paradise, but she was not satisfied, and Adam heeded her suggestion for making them happier, even when it went against God's law. 


Hug your significant other tonight and have a good one.


C.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Long time no see

Well been kind of busy becoming a DAD and all... :)  Sweet little Ruby Carol (aka Birdie) was born on May 25th and it's been amazing!  She is the most precious beautiful thing I have ever seen and all I do is think about her, I miss her right now :(  My wife Ashley has been amazing as well, as have I....

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All we needed was the Flyers to win the Stanley Cup but alas that was not in the cards, they lost last night in game 6 to the Chicago Blackhawks.  For an often under performing team, they over achieved to only lead their faithful following back to the familiar shores of the Land of Heartache and Disappointment.  Being a Philly fan (not counting the WS win 2 years back) disappointment and heartache are as common as soft pretzels and tasteycakes.  We'll get by, we always do...

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I think I saw a person from the future the other day.  I was walking south on Park Ave and leaning on a sign pole on the corner of 49th and Park was this man that I shall now describe.  He was a portly gent dressed in all black.  He had a fedora type black hat on, black pants which were tucked into black snowboot looking boots.  He also had a large black poncho on....  seriously, the guy had a black poncho on.

He had a dark mustache and sitting high on his pudgy nose were these mechanical goggles which protruded about 2 inches from their base.  These goggles appeared to move, turn i should say, as a camera lense would to focus...  I thought about grabbing my iPhone to snap a few pictures but this mysterious man from the future was definitely "aware" of his surroundings.  I don't know how to explain this but I think if i was standing on the other side of the street and aimed my camera at him, he would have known it.

Some sketches of the mysterious man from the future...




 

Friday, May 14, 2010

Friday Links:

I see some weird shtuff walking around town, this morning while walking to work I saw a big pile of salad on the sidewalk.  There were a couple bags laying around it and in the middle of the bags was this mound of salad, lettuce with tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, onions and crutons.  Besides that there were 3 or 4 forks stuck in it... was some group of people dinning on this salad on the sidewalk the night before???  Probably, weird.

An in-depth Lost fan's theory - "The whole scene reeked of midichlorians."
The 30 second hiccup cure - this works for me every time
Maria Valtorta - the grey areas of Christianity are an interest of mine
A Man's journey from amateur to pro pool player (based of The Talent Code)

Thursday, May 13, 2010

My Thursday Photo Blog

These are some pictures I took this week around town