Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Cooking & Drinking

So I believe that I have more or less redeemed myself in the realm of the culinary arts. After some much needed counseling from my organic food guru Emily, I was able to concoct a hearty and may I say slightly delicious quinoa and chicken salad, seasoned with a homemade basil pesto. I also bought a baguette from the restaurant and made some garlic toast that wasn't too shitty either. Kevin said he enjoyed it as well, so A+ to ME.

Last night a friend of Kevin's invited he and I to the restaurant she works at in Princeton to a beer tasting and six-course sampling menu. It was quite wonderful and I must say that I got quite toasted. The beers were a wide variety of flavors and tastes that ranged from the very sweet to the quite...well...not sweet. I have come to the conclusion that I am a wimp when it comes to alcohol and either want mixed drinks with only 5% alcohol max or my standard beers (Yuengling or Rolling Rock). Some of the beers last night were a little too big on the hops, which I am instantly repelled to. Just give me some fruity tasty little drink and I'm set. One beer, I believe it was called Berry Weiser, was absolutely delicious and I don't care if that makes me look faggy or not.

Whateva', I drink what I want!

Friday, August 15, 2008

I've got my rock moves!

So P!nk has a new single out and I must say that I think it is fantastic. "So What" has the funky spunky attitude that her past songs "Stupid Girls" and "Trouble" had and I think it is kind of brilliant. What I love about P!nk and her music is that she is so often labeled as one of the female pop singers that are pimped all over the radio, but there is an edgy and risky twist on all of her tracks that really lets her stand out. Any music elitists that pigeonhold her as just another brainless pop twit sshould seriously take a listen to her. There is a depth, whether she is being humorous or serious, that a lot of modern day pop severely lacks. But what I love about P!nk most of all, is that she simply doesn't even give a shit about any of this. Call her what you will and categorize her how you will, she will just keep doing her thing and pay the rest of the world no mind.

Oh and I saw Tropic Thunder last night. I hope it's not bad that I actually found it quite awesome and funny and entertaining. I know all the tightwads in the world are up in arms about it making funny of the mentally challenged, but I see it as so: It's in theaters and there is nothing that any petition is gonna do to stop it now. Sure, it's a little offensive, but what isn't nowadays?

Monday, August 11, 2008

What to read, what to read...

I've been around for nearly half a century, yet still I'm afraid of everything and everyone.

I just finished David Sedaris' latest book When You Are Engulfed in Flames and I must say that I am pleasantly satisfied. Though having been an English major, I feel that I am in no way a critic of literature, yet I still feel well-read enough to praise this collection of essays for being both humorous and sometimes outwardly hilarious yet still subtly moving and thought-provoking. What I really admire is Mr. Sedaris' ability to examine situations of extreme normality and point out some of the ridiculous aspects of everyday life that we sometimes forget. Of course he has a handful of very flamboyantly bizarre and outrageous situations, like when he tried to use a catheter or when he observed with a medical examiner the disemboweling of dead corpses, but its the stories where the "common" is turned on its head that really got me. Simple things like traveling an airplane or dealing with pests like birds and flies are what makes his book(s) so incredibily entertaining. "I understand completely" I found myself thinking several times, and while books are often praised with opening one's eyes to something they never thought of before, Sedaris instead brings the reader so close to the familiar of both situation and emotion, that its relativity has its own special spark to it. I also enjoyed the several stories about his boyfriend Hugh, finding them both wonderfully entertaining yet still whole-hearted and honest. I found "Keeping Up" to be one of the best, and founding it moving enough that I even forced Kevin to listen to me read it.

So now I am onto my next list of books to read. I have three more books by Sedaris to read, but I want to take a break from the short story genre and take a look at some longer fiction. I have six potential books that I'm thinking about. And here is my analysis of each (why I want to read it and why I'm hesitant) in an attempt that doing so will help me pick which one to read next.

Contender #1 - Ordinary People by Judith Guest

Why I want to read it: I remember watching this film in my high school Modern American Lit 2 class. Not sure why we watched it as opposed to reading it, but I found the story to be compelling and thusly asked for and received it for Christmas the following winter. I always meant to read it (duh) and I actually recall getting three pages in before getting distracted. It seems like a more refined precursor to The Perks of Being a Wallflower which every person within five years (older and younger) of myself has read and thusly thought defined them an "active reader". And while the buzz around that book irritates me worse than a mosquito bite on your back along your spine, just out of scratching nails, I still enjoyed it very much. Thusly, I am compelled to give this book another shot.

My inhibition: I fear that the story of a misunderstood high school kid might get to me and make me depressed. I'm a sucker for crying over a book, but it's the summer, and tears should not be shed during such beautiful weather.

Contender #2 - The Book Of Salt by Monique Truong
Why I want to read it: Ms. Truong came to my college and did a reading as part of the Visiting Writer's Series. She talked in-depth about her work, and in particular this very book. Having been read by an entire creative writing class, she received many questions about the writing process it took to create it. She then some exerts and I found the story, told from the perspective of a private Vietnamese cook, to be quite intriguing, thus I got the book and it has been collecting dust while I finished the others in my lineup. On top of that, it has received a truck-load of praise from notable literary critics, which further solidifies my mind on its value and the guarantee that I will enjoy it.

My inhibition: The semi-biographical nature (the cook is employed by Gertrude Stein) I fear might be a little taxing on me. David Sedaris' book was autobiographical, but it also wasn't nailed down by a lot of historical context. I don't know if I'm ready just yet for something written in such a concrete time period and situation.

Contender #3 - Lullaby by Chuck Palahniuk
Why I want to read it: My sister Melody bought it for me, and I instantly trust her tastes on most things, be it music, movie or books. Having thoroughly enjoyed the chaotic brilliance that was Fight Club (the movie, not the book yet, sorry), I was quite pleased to finally get a book of his. I've read reviews online and many people are enthusiastically engaged by the story and the off-the-wall plot. It will definitely be something to keep my attention and I'm sure will be rewarding upon completion.

My inhibition: I'm not smart enough.

Contender #4 - No Country For Old Men by Cormac McCarthy
Why I want to read it: I found the movie to be incredible and thus am excited to see how the book compares. Just like with any film adaptation of a book, there always are some details that are misused or ignored, so therefor I feel that the comparison of the two forms of media will be quite interesting. Also, I want to see how some of the intense action scenes were portrayed in print.

My inhibition: I know I own the book...but do I really want to jump onto this bandwagon?

Contender #5 - The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
Why I want to read it: Being the oldest book on my list, I've long heard things about it and am quite disappointed that my high school English classes never prompted us to read it. I found an old copy of it buried in a dusty old box that my aunt had given me and I recalled hearing good (and incredibly depressing) things about it. It's the oldest book on my list and seeing as how I am starting to become interested in Ms. Plath's poetry, I think it would be also quite beneficial to read her first and only novel as well.

My inhibition: Kind of like why I'm nervous about starting Ordinary People, I fear that the somber/depressing/potentially suicide-inducing nature of the book will make me wish for cloudy storms instead of bright-summer beach-fun sunshine. Plus, and this is a completely obnoxious reason, the font print of the book is very small. Like mind-numbing in its 39 lines a page and squint-to-see intricate lettering.

Contender #6 - Sweeney Todd (edited) by Robert Mack
Why I want to read it: I loved the movie-musical and found the story and the characters to be quite unique and engaging. I lightly researched the character of Sweeney Todd and found that his story began as newspaper installments however some hundreds of years ago. This book, released after the film with Johnny Depp's disturbingly handsome puss on the cover, compiles the story into one (quite lengthy) telling that I am actually quite thrilled to read.

My inhibition: The length is daunting and I fear might become quite dry after awhile. Any book that begins with a chronological timeline of how the story has changed over centuries and decades puts my senses on guard in fear of me becoming bored to tears by fanciful writing and flowery imagery.

Which shall I choose. I don't know yet. I think I will sit down now and look them all over and make a decision. Here I go...

Monday, August 4, 2008

Points of Mention

Went to the gay bar last night and had one 50-something start proclaiming his love for us while a paunchy Michael Moore impersonator (or at least I assume was his schtick with his beady eyes and nerd glasses) offered to buy Kevin and I drinks. We said "No" and immediately left.

Last week we made a pizza and an apple/cranberry cobbler. It was delicious. Good for us.

Mamma Mia! was mediocre at best.

I'm pretty sure the rest of the world would agree with me that the Tim McLean murder was absolutely horrifying and disgusting. And being as one that doesn't become squeamish easily, I must say that I actually was quite rattled when I read about it.

Kevin is out of the shower and we are on our way to dinner at Moustache.

This entry was completely pointless unnecessary boring stupid whatever.