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July 14th, 2009

Well, it's a day late, but whatever. Yesterday was Jean-Luc Pi... I mean Patrick Stewart's birthday. So of course this vid was popping up everywhere:



God, I unabashedly adore this show. Ok, fine, the first season was pretty terrible but it was 1987. EVERYTHING sucked in 1987. And subsequent seasons rocked. Just rocked. The Inner Light where Picard lives an entire lifetime with an extinct people in the span of a few minutes has to be one of the best episodes of anything I've ever seen on tv ever. It's gorgeous and poignant and just freakin' fantastic. Chain of Command was also an excellent episode, again featuring Picard, except this time he's been captured by the baddies and is being tortured (psychologically and physically). His captor keeps illuminating four lights and asking Picard how many there are. When Picard says, "Four," he's shocked and told that there are five lights. Then he's asked again, and it goes on and on. Finally, unable to take anymore, it seems that Picard is going to say that there are five lights but he's rescued just in the nick of time and he screams at his captor that, "there are four lights!" An amazingly tense and painful episode.

Ok, I'll stop geeking out on you now. But if you can catch Next Gen on... some channel is playing it in the early evening, I forget who - but you should catch it. Esp if it's a later season.

I think I'm going to have to break out my ST:TNG DVDs when I get home.

July 12th, 2009

Just me an the Wife

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washing water
The Wife and I had an evening alone tonight. This will be the last we'll have for a while because we'll both be in rehearsal until late until the 25th. She's music directing, I'm stage managing. God help these people that I'm their stage manager. I'm trying to remember what every awesome and what every crappy stage manager ever did so I can do what they did and avoid what they did, respectively.

So anyhow, dinner. The Wife, as you will remember, got certified to scuba dive for the trip to mexico. She loves it so much that she want's to seek advanced certification. Last weekend she did the first two of her 6 open water 2 checkout dives. One was a "drift dive." Cozumel was drift diving. A Boston drift dive is what a gentle spring breeze is to a hurricane. Anyhow, the main point of drift diving in Boston is to harvest scallops. That involves floating along with your tow line and a mesh bag and picking up the scallops that are lying on the bottom. Once on the boat they showed her how to shuck and cut them down.

The long and short of this story is that she came home with a ton of scallops. We ate some of them tonight.

I started by making an orange scented saffron risotto:


A prettily staged orange. It was soon mangled beyond belief, all its juice squeezed out and its zest... uh, zested off:


Next I put on the orange saffron mixture that needed to reduce to a nice, thick glaze:


Then I took care of The Zombie Pug's dinner. It's not brains, but marrow bones will do in a pinch:


Next came Ninja Panda's dinner. I almost didn't get this pic because she'd already caught the scent and was coming to get them:


Then I went outside and clipped off some broccoli and cauliflower. I trimmed them up and put them in a container to steam:


That done, I rinsed and patted down the scallops:


Over a pretty hot fire I got the EVOO hot and then added the scallops to the pan. A minute in I added a little butter around. A minute after that I flipped the little dudes over and let them cook for another scant minute. Mmmmm:


Georgia refused to move through the whole process, even though she kept getting splattered with hot oil and butter. I shooed her away three times but she kept coming back and finally she looked up at me with this expression on her face and a pathetic meow that said, 'This is the only place on the whole planet that I want to lie. Why do you deny me this one joy in life?' So I let her stay and continue to get splattered. Here she is cleaning the splatter off:


And the finished product. Note the classy paper plate. Seared scallops with an orange saffron glaze on a bed of orange scented risotto with garden fresh vegetables:

July 11th, 2009

You may have heard, but a bill that has been languishing for years has recently gotten fresh blood. The bill would repeal Don't Ask, Don't Tell (DADT) and allow gays and lesbians to serve openly in the military. A recent Gallup poll showed that 69% of Americans support letting queers serve openly. Interestingly, the largest increase in support was in church goers!

Anyhow, this guy is being discharged for being gay. There's a campaign to stop it in order to highlight the issue. Go sign the petition!!

http://www.couragecampaign.org/page/s/RepealDADT

July 3rd, 2009

Of vacations and irony

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why die?
So, the weather's been utter SHIT. 5 sunny days in June (one of them on Gay Pride. Apparently God Loves Fags, not hates them.)

Any how, the Wife and I decided if we're going to be stuck inside, we might as well be stuck inside somewhere not our house. So we decided to come up to the White Mountains.

The weather yesterday was shit but we're staying in a nice place that has a nice restaurant attached, so we ate until we were in pain and then rolled around our room.

Today, however, the weather was only kinda crappy, so we decided to take the pug on a hike. Feeling a little giddy because we'd actually seen the sun during breakfast, we decided to hike the ammonoosuc trail. This is a totally gorgeous trail that leads past the Lakes of the Clouds AMC hut before heading up to the Mt. Washington summit. Since we had the pug with us and we're both in the worst shape of our lives (I noted that it's a sad state of affairs when your pug is in better shape than you, and she's definitely the fittest in the family) we decided to just make the 2 mile hike to the Gem Pool.

The weather was not awesome as we started, but we know this trail and we were sure we could survive in the unlikely event we got stuck over night. Please witness how sexy my Wife is when she uses her teeth to open things like a monkey rather than using her opposable thumb:


The Pug posed for what was, unbeknownst to any of us, the last photo of her alive:


The first river crossing. The Pug was not amused when, after she refused to cross, I picked her up by her harness and tossed her from rock to rock:


On the way up. And sorry. THIS is that last pic of The Pug alive:


The weather, looking really, totally awesome:


The Gem Pool. I'd had fantasies of taking a quick dip, but once I took off my boots and realised the water was bone achingly cold, especially with no sun, I revised my plans:


We hung out for a little while, caught our breath, tried valiantly to pretend the flying, biting, nasty bugs weren't swarming all over our sweaty skin, and then decided to leave. Coming down the mountain, while certainly less heart pounding than ascending, is generally more difficult and tiring than the ascent. Certainly more knee-grinding. Mine are going to be pissed off tomorrow.

About 30 min from the parking area the sun, provisionally, came out. We were in this little magical pocket of beautiful weather while the surrounding peaks were still surrounded in gloom. We started sweating in earnest, just standing there, and that's when the pug finally laid over and was ded:


The Wife and I took a moment to mourn her and then we looked around because, seriously, SUN! And then the irony of coming to Mount Washington, of notoriously TERRIBLE weather, to find blue skies while the rest of the world apparently languishes in shitty weather made us chuckle. When our chuckling tapered off into uncomfortable silence, we got on our way because, yeah, the black flies are out.

Due to a miracle on the way back home, The Pug was reanimated. She is now Zombie Pug. Here is Zombie Pug recovering from a bath. You wouldn't believe how hard the stench of death is to get out, but the free oatmeal soap provided by the B&B did the trick:


We celebrated the end of our White Mountain hike in the traditional manner. Pizza Hut from the Littlefield PH and martinis in our room. This is the best way to get rid of your aches and pains. Maybe not the best way to get fitter than your pug, but...:


Maybe some of you noticed that that's a plastic fork in my martini and that my martini is in a "wine" glass. The glass was provided by the B&B (thank you Sunset Hill House Inn). And, though I packed a shaker, olives, and booze for the martini, I did not pack olive picks. This is an almost unforgivable oversight on my part, but the wife hasn't even threatened to divorce me over this, so WHEW. But we still had the problem of how we were going to fish olives out of our martini without picks (and holy cow, this is a firstworldprob if I ever heard one)? Pizza Hut gave us plastic forks. They have tines. I'm using a plastic fork to pick out olives from my martini. If you've been in a situation like this you know that you just have to do what you have to do. Just struggle to get by, y'all. Struggle to get by.

:)

June 29th, 2009

So, we made this a little while back when we were all in the mood to cook and all in the mood for junky food. We decided that mac n cheese and chicken strips totally fit the bill. This was fairly quick to whip up and while we ate, we watched Wind Chill because the wife had never seen it. If you're a fan of ghost stories, you will like this movie. It's great!


But anyhow, we started by soaking the chicken strips in buttermilk:


While that was soaking, I chopped the shallots and garlic for the roux for the mac n cheese:


And then we dumped it in a pan with some butter and flour. norwichtoboston made roux-ed jokes. I'm sorry that was lame:


I should have taken a pic of the ridiculous amounts of cheese we shredded. We use a proprietary mix of cheddar, gruyere, and something. I can't remember right now. But here's the cheese sauce, almost ready to go:


Meanwhile, norwichtoboston started on dessert:


Noodles cooked, cheese sauce ready, we mixed it together. Mmmm ready to bake:


Now it was time to start on those stips:


I used a fabu technique I just learned - drizzle some buttermilk into the flour as you stir and it will form little balls of flour. Those stick to your chicken strip and make it super crunchy and delish!

Here's the progress on dessert. It's some kind of super reduced apple thing of awesomeness. It gets served over greek yoghut:


I fried up the chicken strips and couldn't have been more pleased with how they turned out:


Then the mac n cheese came out:


As I lifted it out of the oven I thought to myself, "Holy crap that's heavy!" So I decided to weigh it. That's 10 lbs of mac n cheese, y'all:


And, finally, the completed plate. Not a vegetable in sight!

June 19th, 2009

Conflicted

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WTF - kangaroo
I... I don't know what to think about this. I like the idea of this group, but I *hate* this commercial. It smacks of the kind of xenophobia that I loathe. but... I don't know and I haven't had a chance to really look through their website. What do you think?

repoweramerica.org/

June 15th, 2009

Friday Night Dinner

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Ice cream is cold
Dinner recently has consisted of Tuna Helper (I KNOW! I know.), pizza, supermarket scrounging, or hastily prepared chicken or fish. The whole AU House has been retardedly busy. bostonsappho is getting ready for her enormous yearly convention, norwichtoboston has been getting spat up upon seven days a week, the Wife just started her summer program, and I am getting ready to be to descended upon by 250 high school students. It's a good time for all of us.

We finally took some time on Friday to cook together. The lettuce in the garden was ready for picking and we had some steak that needed to be cooked so we came to the very clever solution of making a steak salad.

I also decided to make strawberry shortcake, so I started by macerating the strawberries in balsamic vinegar:


I marinated the steak in some sesame ginger dressing, worcestershire sauce, crushed garlic, fresh grated ginger, chopped shallot, fresh chives, and fresh parsley. I didn't take a pic of it because, frankly, marinating meat never looks all that good.

When we were finally ready the Wife fired up the grill:

If you're astute, you'll realize that that's the pic from the kebab dinner I posted last. But it's a pic of the Wife grilling, and it's the only one I currently have.

While she did that, I went out to the garden to dig up some lettuce:


Bostonsappho made me pose with the lettuce:


Once inside, Bostonsappho took care of the lettuce and I toasted some pine nuts:


And sauteed some asparagus:


At some point, Bostonsappho made the outrageously good suggestion to turn an end of her wife's hommade baguette into garlic bread crumbs:


And then we toasted them in oven:


These have been added to the list of foods that I want at my last meal. Not on lettuce, because srsly, there's not going to be a vegetable in sight at my final meal, but somehow I will work these in. Yum. Holy cow. I actually had to slap Norwich's hand when I'd noticed she'd eaten half the tray.

We picked some peas from the garden, crumbled some feta, chopped some tomatoes, and waited for the steak to be ready. Once it was, I sliced it, and we assembled the salad:


Y'all, if there were going to vegetables at my last meal, it would be this salad. It was really, really good. And I made a fresh vinaigrette that turned out nicely. I didn't have anything to mix it in so I used the martini shaker.

After we recovered a little, I started on desert. First I made the dough for the shortbread and put them into the oven to bake. I thought I'd taken a pic of them, but I guess I didn't!

While they were baking, I made a port wine reduction and added the syrup to the strawberries that had been macerating for... a few hours, at least. While they sat a little more I made the whipped cream:


Really. Nothing beats a fresh whipped cream.

Once everything was ready I assembled it on a classy paper plate. For the extra touch of élégance I drizzled a little of the port wine reduction on the plate:

June 3rd, 2009

I almost forgot it was wednesday. Summer shouldn't be this busy, y'all.

I love this website with my whole body.


10 Coolest places to swim.

10% Shift. This is a site specific to New England, but the ideas can be used anywhere. And they have some resources that are national.

How to lie about books. I'm still giggling over this one. I hope you find it equally amusing or else I'm a higher order nerd than I thought.

Hopefully more multi-racial people will help bring about the end of racism. I imagine the day will eventually come that everyone's mixed race and people will be beautiful like all the colors of the rainbow!!1!!!1

What if science fiction movies used real science? Well, they'd be hella boring. But this movie is pretty funny.

I admit, I like the idea of running. I've even done some running and run in races, but I can never stick with it. Still, it's kinda one of my pie in the sky dreams that I'll run in a marathon one day. But not this one. Really? Like it's not hard enough already?

Pat Robertson is afraid that passage of the hate crimes bill will lead to sex with ducks. To help clear your head of the red haze of rage, I give you Sex with Ducks: The Music Video. You can also see the stultifying 700 Club segment.

The first thing I thought when I saw the headline of this article was that it's not really romantic to puke at your wedding ceremony and that they're almost guaranteed to do so. Indeed, the plane is dubbed "The Vomit Comet." That's the plane they use to train astronauts, y'all. But 8 minutes of weightlessness is pretty freakin' cool.

The Big Gay Ice Cream Truck is opening in Chelsea, soon. I don't really think I have to say anything else.

Shrimp, Arugula, and Caper Mayonnaise on Brioche. Yes, please.

I love Daniel Craig and all, but this is just creepy.

And finally, I leave you with:

June 2nd, 2009

Manhattanhenge

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I'm le tired
This is pretty flippin' cool!


one of only two occasions this year when the sun sets in exact alignment with the manhattan grid


^^Click for a great article by Neil deGrasse Tyson.

May 28th, 2009

This was too good to wait

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why die?
Great googly moogly, this is insane. This isn't just gymnastics. This is gymnastics on crack with shades of capoeira, parkour, and wushu.

CRAZY!!

Also, check out those abs.

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