Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Chicago Readers

Hello Chicago readers (all five of you) I'm in a bit of a quandary...I want a hair cut and to update my highlights...but on the cheap...and within the next three days...where should I go?


I think I mentioned, at some point in the past, the politics of our building's laundry facilities. But in case that's not true, I'll do a little recap...The machines stopped working. The management company said it was due to vandalism and that, due to the locks being (seemingly) intact, they could only assume it was a resident who was doing the vandalism. The machines would break, the company would fix them and then within days they'd be broken again. The latest letter on our building's door said that two out of four of the washers were fixed and I believe two out of the four dryers as well.

Now that I'm in the home stretch of getting ready for this big European vacation, I thought it was time to do a load of laundry. So I did, using the two working washers. Then I put the wet clothes into the two working dryers, just to realize that one of them wasn't working-its coin slot was jammed. So I loaded everything into the one working dryer, knowing it was going to take a huge amount of time to get everything dry (the boyfriend's clothes were also being washed). The boyfriend came home and I strongly suggested he go get the clothes out of the dryer. When he came back he said that he had to put more money in, I sighed and we began to watch a movie. An hour later the boyfriend got up, went across our courtyard and into the basement then he came back up with all our clothes...which were still wet, you see, because the one 'working' dryer works only in that it will take your quarters and spin your clothing but won't actual dry them. So now our living room is strewn with semi-damp laundry. Urgh.

Reel Paradise

The other night the boyfriend and I watched Reel Paradise, a documentary about an American family living in Fiji. The Pierson family's patriarch is John (I think) and he's some sort of big deal indie distributor type...he brought Spike Lee and Michael Moore to the masses, I think. So he decided that it would be cool to bring his family to the most remote movie theater in the world which was/is on the most remote island of Fiji. So he and the fam packed up and moved to Fiji to show free movies to the locals for a year. The film's footage is all from their last month being on the island. The Pierson family includes Janet, the mother, Georgia, the sixteen year old daughter, and Wyatt, the thirteen year old son. I found that by the end of the movie I wouldn't want to be friends with most of the Pierson family...and yet their story is strangely compelling. Watch it and try to figure out which one you'd want to be friends with (I think Wyatt).

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Memorial Day

On Memorial Day the boyfriend and I joined forces with: M.Lady, Exploded Viewer, Mousehead, Words-She Has Them and a few blogularly challenged others including but not limited to She-who-has-no-blog and went to our local beach. The above photograph is not our local beach, it's a beach much farther south. But the area surrounding our own beach (which was a lovely less than a mile away) was quite jam packed with families and frisbees and little white dogs and balloons and sand and policemen. We had a pot luck picnic that ended with a good number of dips and chips to go with them. Along with some pasta, fruit and potato salad. The boyfriend and I brought fixin's for cheese/hummus/cucumber/tomato sandwiches. Bocci ball was played. I won two dollars from Exploded Views for fully submerging myself in the lake, which was very very cold. We also played hearts and generally sat under a tree on the grass by the bike path. It was good.

Then we went home and I watched Nanny McPhee...which was actually far better than I expected it would be...though it wasn't no Harry Potter at all.

First White Hair

On Saturday the boyfriend and I, along with most all of the usual suspects, went to a graduation party of a 'dude' from our program. He and his girlfriend called it the 'dude-a-thon' and played movies with dude in the title whilst serving white russians and cake that looked like a hamburger. At some point during this party I went to the bathroom and as I was washing my hands and checking my face out I noticed a white hair! A white hair! I found this both exciting and appalling. And I feel like a number of people either made comments or faces to the effect of: she's making a big deal out of one white hair, what the hell is she going to do when we tell her they all go that way eventually...still, this is a sure sign of my impending doom. Doom...DOOM! Or not.
When I googled 'my first white hair', none of the images on the first page were very interesting nor on the next seven. It wasn't until I found this site, that I felt I had a winner. The site is filled with photographs of some guy's dogs having confrontations (none bloody that I saw) with mountain lions, thus the photograph above. What it has to do with the hairs in my head is irrelevant. Also, just for the truth of it, there's some guy in my building who is either an opera singer or really wants to be one and what, with all our windows open, we can regularly hear him singing his's a little weird.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Ramble Ramble

On Friday night the boyfriend and I watched the two netflix movies that have been sitting on top of our television for a few days. The first movie was picked by the boyfriend and it was called The Acid House. It was not very good. Or, maybe it was good but not at all appealing-which, to me, is pretty much the same thing as not being very good. There were lots of gross yicky things including, but not limited to, old people having incredibly dirty sex, vomit, poop, animatronic babies saying dirty things and ick.
The other movie was my choice and compared to The Acid House it was a freakin' masterpiece. Compared to, say, a lot of other movies, it was just okay. It's very much in the Indian Summer/The Big Chill niche of friends reuniting in a beautiful house over some problem or another and rehashing then resolving issues. There were a few funny one liners and that's all I can say.
It's a very hot day here in Chicago. Or it was a very hot day and now it's a very hot night. I meant to go to the beach today to train up for tomorrow when I will triumph over exploded views and win two dollars for fully immersing myself in Lake Michigan. But it's so hot I never quite went. Now the boyfriend has gone fishing and I thought I would do a little blogging.

Last night was a late one which culminated in she-who-has-no-blog, exploded views, the boyfriend and I having food at The Golden Nugget at 2 or 3 in the morning. I had the chicken fried steak as did the boyfriend. Perfection. Oh it's so hot. So very, very hot.

On Tuesday I'm going to call the camera place and see about the chances of getting the camera back before I depart in eight days.

I'm still looking for hats and a pair of white shoes.

I watched 60 minutes today and was made sad by all the Iraq veterans' stories of losing limbs, pieces of skulls and mobility. Very sad (duh, cc).

Very hot.

For dinner I used some of the barbeque sauce I made a while back on some chicken and steamed some brussels sprouts.

Very, very hot.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Stop, Drop and Freeze

This is the sheep farm I worked at...winter. Brrrrr.

The Search Continues

I am in the midst of doing a more thorough search of my completely disorganized photo files in the hopes of finding a few more Hudson Valley Shots. So far I found the below. Immediately below is part of the Dutchess County Fairground parking area during the weekend of the Sheep & Wool Festival.
This is a sandwich I ate at the Red Hook Diner, which was next door to my apartment.
And this is a photograph of the Red Hook Diner on fire....don't worry they fixed it.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Look At That

Today, as I was flipping through a Travel supplement of this past Sunday's New York Times, I came across this article. This is interesting because it's all about my old stomping grounds. Well, other people's stomping grounds too, but, like, I know the guy in the bakery photograph. I hung out at the Black Swan. That Gehry monstrosipiece's theater seats' upholstery have MY NAME on them (along with every other student who graduated class of '03). Still. I've been feeling nostalgic for the area Tivoli, Red Hook even, in a perverse way, Kingston. I will find a photograph from my external hard drive. Hold on.
You ever realize that you lived in a really pretty place but you actually took very few photographs of its prettiness? Yeah, I realized that just now. The above photograph is Poet's Walk and the below is one parade or another that went by my Red Hook apartment...the lady with the white hair and old dog was my upstairs neighbor.
I could have sworn I had a few more Hudson Valley Glamour Shots, but I guess not.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

So Funny!!

So, I had heard about this guy but it wasn't until I read spanish turtle's latest blog entry that I realized I could watch him...his face, about thirty seconds in-after the lady introduces him-is priceless.

Living Large

So, yes, since school ended I've been without much purpose other than shopping and reading. Though in the last two days I've made some strides in creating a syllabus for the class I'm teaching next semester. By strides I mean I've chosen the Phillip K. Dick stories I want the kids to read and the essay assignments that will go with them. I've also, usually this happens right before I go to sleep, thought of a number of other what their research paper topic will be and what a fun break assignment might be (create your own science fiction prediction story) etc. Leaps and bounds of progress. And shoes. I've bought some shoes. I bought the above pair then I found the below pair and now I'm struggling to decide if I should return the above pair or keep them because they're comfortable, even if they won't be worn on any of the racing days. Ah, decisions...yes I know I'm lame for having nothing better to do than read, write and shop...and break cameras...and blog...and make iced tea...yeah.

Ah Ha!

The photographs below are from the special rolls the boyfriend and I had Tanoshi a while back. You can look at them while I tell you what we had at Sushi Luxe the other night...alas, no photographs--this makes me so sad. Sushi Luxe. I had the bento box d (I think it was d) which included one soft shell crab, three dumplings, a salad, miso soup, one order of california maki, one piece each of salmon, shrimp and tuna sashimi and that's it. A meal and a half and quite good. The sushi wasn't phenomenal but the Bento box was. The boyfriend had the chirashi and the tako su salad. He was not overly impressed by any of it.
The guy on Fresh Air right now really freaks me out.


To read my latest (and somehow html challenged) Chicagoist post go here.

Books, Books, Books

Some of the books I've read as of late include Sara Paretsky's Fire Sale...another very satisfying V.I. Warshawski mystery. Warshawski takes on a family that is, I can only assume, based on WalMart's Walton family. Not to say that I think the Walton family has had anybody murdered or anything just that the family in this book is like the Waltons and they do have people murdered...or do they?
I also read two books by Carol Anshaw. Carol was one of my professors this semester. I'm pretty sure she doesn't read my blog (though I know her 'mom' does) but just in case I'm not going to say any thing much about these books for fear of making myself sound like more of an idiot than I really am. What I will say is that I liked them both. So there. Book reviewer I am not.

Match Point

This past weekend the boyfriend went to Madison and kayaked around a lake. I did more sedentary things like watching movies and reading books. One of the movies I watched was Match Point. Last night the boyfriend also watched Match Point and it seems that he and I had rather different percepetions of Alex, the character played by Jonathan Rhys-Meyers.
I thought that, from almost the opening scene, we were being subtly told that Alex is a hustler...that he doesn't really like opera and is only reading Dostoevsky because he knows that the rich father loves it. I have many other thoughts along this line. The boyfriend thought that he wasn't such a calculating scumbag and that's what made the movie interesting to him. Have you seen this movie? Did you feel like Alex was, at the beginning, just lucky or hustly?

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

I'm Scared

So I just called the camera place and the amount of money it takes to fix the camera isn't so horrible (minimum $85, maximum $195...good thing I put my tax return into a savings account) but they cannot %100 guarantee that the camera will be ready by the time I leave. I'm going to go ahead with it, what more can I do? But still, what a freakin' bummer...and I have only myself to blame. Idiot.
I google imaged "I'm Scared" and here are a few of the returned pictures.

Monday, May 22, 2006

The Worst

On friday M.Lady and I went to the mall. I bought two shawly wrappy things and a necklace and a few other items. When I got home I was all ready to take some photographs, but instead I dropped the camera on the floor. The photograph below is not the camera in question, the camera in question is far nicer than this camera...but it was the first image when I googled 'broken camera'. The camera still works, kind of. Its zoom has gotten all stiff and wonky which results, three times out of five, in blurry non-focussed images. Today I dropped it off to get an estimate as to whether or not it can be fixed and if so, how much. This is a drag for many reasons. Here are a few:

1)The camera isn't actually mine
2)I really want to take photographs on the big boat/Europe trip and if the camera can be fixed I wonder if it can be fixed before my departure date
3)Can't take photographs of the food I eat, thus update this blog in the way I like
4)Um, it's dumb and stupide
5)Can't make super cool Chicagoist posts on how to make food
8)Sad and lame

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Just For The Record

Well, just for the record, if I was at a racetrack (or if my parents, who are at the Preakness, would answer their cell phone) I would bet a $2 trifecta box on Barbaro, Like Now and Bernardini. Or...Barbaro, Diabolical and Brother Derek. Or, well some other combination that does or does not contain Barbaro. But that first combo, that's the one.


Yesterday I made a bacon, egg and cheese sandwich before heading off into the scary world of suburbia for yet another shopping adventure. M. Lady also went on this adventure to the 'before Mall of America, the biggest mall in America' mall in Schaumburg, IL. I got two wraps and a pretty necklace. I will take photographs at a later moment in time.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Man Enough

After dinner and drinks we went to Simon's for more beer. She-who-has-no-blog and I became very curious by the bottle you see before you and so we asked the bartender what it was all about. I, for whatever reason, supposed it might taste like cinnamon...she-who-has-no-blog suggested it was a kind of rum. The bartender said (and I quote) it tasted like "dirt and medicine" then proceeded to pour us a shot. I took a sip and it was far worse than dirt and medicine, it was like dirt, medicine and yucky all combined into a sip of gross. So, no, I'm not man enough to drink their two fisted liquor...and believe me, you may think you are....but you're not.

Edgewater Lounge?

Yesterday afternoon I spent most of my day reading the latest V.I. Warshawski mystery (which I will finish after this post) and generally being a layabout. Mousehead and she-who-has-no-blog gave me a call and invited me to join them at Edgewater Lounge...I'm not actually sure that's the place's name, it's at Ashland and Bryn Mawr. When I first arrived in Chicago with my parents, we stayed at Heart O' Chicago Motel which was relatively near this little we had dinner out on its patio one night. The outside of the place makes it seem run down and possibly closed but inside it bustled with business and not scary clientele. She-who-has-no-blog had a $4 burger and I had the chicken satay (I'm not sure why I thought that was a good idea, but at the time I did). The burger seemed to fill the friend up and the chicken satay was okay but nothing to write home about. The atmosphere and beer, on the other hand, were quite nice and I'm sure we'll all go back.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Movies, Mmmmovies

With school out for summer I've been watching my fair share (and somebody else's as well) of movies. Here is a run down.

Rumor Has It, romantic comedy with slightly funny The Graduate reference. Overall not very good but if you're into romantic comedies you might as well watch it. Shirley Maclaine seems a little overrated.
The New World. Cinematically and narratively interesting, you don't exactly get a feel for who the characters are or what, exactly, makes them tick. But it's pretty and quiet and subtle in its way.
TransAmerica. Funny. You kind of forget that Felicity Huffman is a woman, which is, I guess, the point. The actor playing the son was okay but not fantastic. Of this slew of movies I liked this one best.
A Kurdistani (I believe) film with a loose narrative and dramatic landscape. Quirky and quiet.

Salad For Lunch

Yesterday I had a helping of left over chicken pot pie and the above salad. Salad included avocado (man it's really raining outside), tomato and artichoke hearts in a goat cheese balsamic vinaigrette. Mmm.

Splinters Plucked

These two suckers were removed, by me, from my own foot yesterday. Stupid cactus. My foot feels much better now. Their re-entry into the air was kind of amazing...but kind of gross, so I won't go into detail.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Party I Can't Go To

So Chicagoist is having a bit of a bash for their second anniversary. Unfortunately I'll be in NYC that day and on a boat the day after. But you should go because the venue is good and the people are funny.
The boyfriend made stuffed eggplant for dinner last night. This is the best picture I took, but it's certainly not the best picture I've ever taken.


There was an Einstein's Bagels across from my high school lo so many years ago. I enjoyed their cinnamon bagels and the fact that they would give their bagels away at the end of the day. I had sort of thought that Einstein's was strictly a Pennsylvania thing until I saw one near my old home in Silver Spring. Then I thought it was an east coast thing, until I found one near my current domicile. For breakfast yesterday I enjoyed a toasted everything bagel with salmon cream cheese. It's no bagel shop bagel but did the trick nonetheless.

Wine Night Chez Nous

On Monday the boyfriend and I hosted wine night and it was, I believe, a success. I made cookies. The boyfriend made 7 layer dip. People came. Wine was had. Indeed.
There were even deviled eggs.

Monday, May 15, 2006


So, along with my many other addictions (soft shell crabs, television, crack cocaine) I am addicted to scrabble. I've been playing a lot of scrabble on line and welcome any of you to join up and play the occasional game. It's easy as can be, here's the link. My 'handle' is carikube and I'm not all that good but I'm not all that bad either.

Okay, I've been procrastiblogging long enough. I'm going to start cleaning the house, shopping for food and baking cookies for tonight's wine night. You're jealous, yeah you are, unless you're coming then you're excited.

Sushi Death Match...Not Really

I've been trying to upload two additional photographs of the other Mike's Special roll the boyfriend and I had last night but blogger's being a bit of a bitch, so you only get to see the second roll we ordered. Oh yes, the boyfriend and I went back to Tanoshi last night. Tanoshi and Hama Matsu both do this thing where you specify what kind of fish you like and a certain level of spicyness you like and then the sushi chef creates a roll tailor made to your specifications. One integral part of these rolls is the sauce that comes with the roll. I understand this as the sushi chef's attempt (understandable) to dissuade the eater from rote usage of soy sauce. So last night we had one special roll with white tuna and salmon in a mild sauce. The sauce was surprising...olive oil, soy sauce (I think) and herbs that included oregano and sage, drizzled over the white tuna/salmon roll. The fish was on top and the inside of the maki was very similar to (if not actually) a California Roll. The second roll we ordered was a spicier one, I thought we were ordering another white tuna roll but there was something lost in translation (if you will) and we ended up with straight up tuna. The photographs below are the spicy roll. On top is a spicy mayo sauce (much like what they mix tuna in when you order and spicy tuna roll) that he first spread on a piece of aluminum foil and toasted. There was also a slightly sweeter (and yet still spicy) sauce as well.
The boyfriend and I differ on which restaurant does the best 'creative roll'. I thought that the sauces at Tanoshi were far more interesting and gustatorily pleasing. While the boyfriend thought Hama Matsu's sauces were the superior (with the exception of the red ketchup like sauce on the spicy sushi mold we ordered). My one drawback about Tanoshi's special rolls was that I felt that Tanoshi gives less fish than Hama Matsu. Now a few weeks back I complained about House Of Sushi and Noodle's large portions but poor qualities and so this could seem like I can't make up my mind, but that's not really the case. It's just that these rolls are pretty expensive, filling and worth it-yes, but nonetheless in Tanoshi's rolls the fish was solely on the top of the roll. Beautifully sliced and high quality (I think) yet I kind of wanted a little more.
Both places are great. But if you're looking for a really unique roll tailor made to your specifications I say go to Tanoshi. The boyfriend says go to Hama Matsu...who you gonna believe?

Dim Sum c/o Furama Part 24

Mother's Day dim sum had a crew of two, the boyfriend and myself. But we still ate our fill.
We even tried new things. I think this was called the seaweed roll. The boyfriend was not overly impressed, but I liked it well enough. Some sort of shrimpy filling wrapped tightly in seaweed and then sort of tempura fried.
They were pretty busy and so when the fun noodles came around they were out of shrimp so we tried the barbeque pork fun noodles. Different but good, shrimp still trumps it though.


To read my Chicagoist entry on soft shell crabs go here.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Catch The Hama Matsu Fantastic

Last night the boyfriend and I had an early dinner at Hama Matsu. The boyfriend had a squid salad.
I had the oysters sunomono.
The boyfriend had toro nigiri and I had ikura and wasabi tobikko. The sushi chef hadn't understood that I wanted soley the green stuff, so the boyfriend got to try the tobikko trifecta.
A close up on the toro.
We also shared two sushi spicy and one not with the main ingredient being white tuna...mmm, white tuna.
I liked the less spicy one better, their spicy sauce/accoutrement was not quite to my liking, though not overly spicy or hot eyes begin to water inducing.