Thursday, December 17, 2009

operation santa

this year the post office made it way more difficult. i completely understand their reasoning. last year i had the name and address of my gift recipient, and i google earthed it. crazy, i know, but i wanted to know where my boxes were going. during that time, the postal service suspended their policy, shut down the operation for a few days and changed their strategy. now i can't go to the neighborhood post office (which i wouldn't do anyway, i go to greenpoint) but must head to midtown to mail gifts with a "process number" and the post office sends to the recipient. this year i took a letter from a mom with wishes for her kids. thankfully eben and his office friends are helping out.
however, i must mention the first letter i read. she wanted a 40gb ipod, not white, but black. she made drawings and specifications: not itouch, not ipod, not mini. this girl was on a mission. needless to say, i passed her 2006ish wish...
here is the letter i chose in its entirety, and once again it breaks my heart (verbatim, including spelling, except i don't know how to put circles over i's):

"Dear Santa
I am writing this lettr in hope that you can bring some happines to our home.

I am Mother of 2 children.

Cruz is 8 yrs. old, he is a size 9 in clothes in shoes he is is a (size 3) he wants the following board games Sorry, Monopoly city, wheel of fortune and rotating globe light. toys pokeman pokedex, uno, hot wheels playset helicopter. Backpack of Mario, books Diary of a wimpy kid.

Evelyn: is 6 yrs old she is a size 7 in clothes. in shoes she is a (size 13) wants the toys, Barbie princess castle, cinderella Doll of Hannah Montanta, Hello Kitty she wants the board game of let's go fishin. Book: of Hello Kitty. Back pack of violin.

I am extremely greatful your cooperation in helping us have gread christmas.

Thank you for taking your time to read this."

i'm hoping we get everything on this list. if not, i will be crushed. but i've already purchased stuff for the mom. cause everyone needs a christmas now and then.

Thursday, November 19, 2009


although it gets kind of great towards the end.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

the wire.

10 minutes of goodness:

comedy records.

it's no secret that i have a huge crush on zach galafianakis. i could watch between two ferns on a loop for hours. so, i was watching his live at the purple onion on the netflix and began thinking back on old comedy albums i used to listen to as a kid. as i remember it, and perhaps my memory is a little shady, eddie murphy's delirious was the first full length comedy video i ever saw. it was hilarious. i loved it and it changed comedy for me forever. but all this got me to thinking about the albums i loved listening to as a kid.
first of all, i must credit my father (and my mother for allowing it) for letting us watch and listen to comedy that was totally inappropriate for children. i still remember sitting at the bottom of my parents bed watching SNL on their crappy black and white tv and laughing until i was crying, not because i totally got the humor, but because i knew it was funny. george carlin, richard pryor and, of course, steve martin were huge highlights of my early snl experience. it also helped that we watched it as a family, and listening to my father laugh was like manna from heaven. (let it be noted that he also took me alone with him to see the shining, which scared the crap out of me. i was 12.)
some of my favorite holiday and birthday memories are from comedy albums that he would buy us as kids. we would all sit in the family room and play them over and over, laughing until we pee'd ourselves. a few years ago i was given a gift of bob newhart's book, i shouldn't be doing this and a cd of his comedy recordings. it was brilliant. again, i listened to it over and over and now i have no idea where it is.
i miss the days of listening to comedy, sitting with friends or family and just busting a gut over how funny a comedian is. i would rather burn my finger prints off than go to a comedy show, but i would give up what is left of my liver to listen again to the likes of let's get small or live on the sunset strip.

i love him.


Wednesday, November 11, 2009

what i want for christmas

cause it's never too early to start my list to santa.

also not a mannequin


just this morning i was looking on line to buy one of those mini-electric frothers for milk. it's getting chilly and i love a hot latte or a home made hot chocolate with foamy milk on top. i don't like paying 3 bucks a pop. then i saw this on seriouseats.
we can do this people!

Monday, November 9, 2009

my exhaustive review

last night's concert may have been one of the most exhausting musical experiences i have had. granted, i did not sit down the entire 3 plus hours and that, in and of itself, is a miracle. i'm an old lady. i don't like standing at venues anymore, but when you have the sexiest 60 year old strutting, jumping, growling, screaming and rocking on stage to a sold out show, you better keep your ass out of that seat.
first, i have to remark on the seats: vip box seats, just above the floor, to the left of the stage with our own waitress. (thanks eben!) we were close enough to see bruce's sweaty underbite. HOT!
second, i have never seen so many white middle aged people together since a barack obama rally.
now, i knew it was going to be a long night. i mean, the river is 20 frickin songs long and bruce usually plays a long show. well, last night, he did not disappoint. it was long. and it was awesome.
there are a few tracks on the river that i had planned as designated pee breaks, but i found that even the less than stellar ones like crush on you left me standing and singing at full volume. i love this album, but will admit i have skipped over a few on the itouch. it does have a few of my very favorites, and they are, of course, the sad lonely songs that inspired his writing on nebraska: independence day, (so beautifully performed- quiet and simple), stolen car and of course the titular song. (one of my favorites cause it references my hometown, johnstown) i also totally lerve the ties that bind, hungry heart, cadillac ranch and ramrod and crowd pleaser, sherry darling. he started off with wrecking ball, written for his last shows at giants stadium, which i kind of enjoy. it's not on my top 20, but a great way to start the night.
bruce set up the evening with a short story about how the album came to be and the reasons they were doing these album nights and then just launched right in, no protracted set-up, no nostalgic trip down memory lane. they just shot out like a cannon and did not stop until the album was over. the dude didn't rest once. a few water breaks between cuts and that was it. hell, even patty left the stage for awhile, i'm assuming to do her hair, or to check on bruce's life insurance policies. i'll save my patty rant for another time.
well, of course it didn't stop there. a truly eclectic selection and some crowd favorites. but it wasn't all rabble rousing. he did one of my ALL TIMERS atlantic city and then closed the night with can't help falling in love and higher and higher. i will admit that i ducked out during dancing in the dark to pee (which i thought was suitable).
we walked out through the crowds with our ears ringing, our voices shot and just wandered midtown for about 10 blocks before we realized where we were.
it was truly an amazing night. i think it was THE BEST CONCERT I HAVE EVER BEEN TO IN MY LIFE.
and i'm pretty sure that while i was dancing my old white lady dance, bruce pointed to me and smiled and told me that he loved me. he made sure that patty had left the stage. he ain't no dummy.
and the end.

Thursday, October 29, 2009


i love this story. it is one of my favorite children's books. it is right up there with the giving tree. saw it opening night on my birfday. we got there late and ended up in the second row. but somehow, that was a great place to be. here are my thoughts:

1. i like spike jonze
a. b/c of his name, which may or may not be based on the awesome hollywood composer and satirist spike jones, a compatriot to ernie kovacs who i grew up listening to.
b. his chris walken video.
2. SJ fought long and hard to make his vision happen.
3. dave eggers, who we can normally hate for his mcsweeney's hipsterdom, does a damn good and simple job here
4. catherine keener. she has the most thankless job; she's got to be the angry mom. but she does it in the best possible way...she is frustrated and embarrassed, yet you can feel her love for that kid like crazy.
5. Max is totally believable. a real kid. not an actor. and i like his name: MAX RECORDS.
6. there is something deeply sad about this boy's fantasy. maybe this is not a film for kids.
7. i cried like a baby.
8. even before max left the island.
9. the reconnection with his mom. (did not miss the whole thing about him never leaving the room)
10. WHOOO...HOOOOO...WHOOOO...that is me howling like max and the wild things....

Monday, October 12, 2009

my new favorite

website is regretsy. these are actual items found on the website, a usually lovely site that offers homemade crafts for sale. just terrific, here is one of my favorites:

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

another delicious way to stop your heart

skillet mac & cheese. wow. i think i may have gained 3 lbs just looking at the recipe.
(via and
i'm pretty sure mine will include bacon.

the informant

i had high hopes for this movie. i really like soderbergh's movies (except the girlfriend experiment, which was total, total garbage). i had listened to an interview with MD and soderbergh on fresh air, and then i listened to this american life's episode they did years ago. turns out, this episode inspired the making of the film. it's a fascinating story of greed, conspiracy and total lunacy. however, the film, underscored by a twinkling marvin hamlisch soundtrack, tries to mix whimsy with a hard-cutting look at worldwide price-fixing. i find the whole tongue-in-cheek approach to be pretty annoying. it only became interesting toward the end, when we see the degree to which damon's character just spins out of control. but do yourself a favor. save the $12.50 (!) and download the podcast for free here.

Monday, September 28, 2009

peter coyote

maybe it's me, but i could listen to him read a phone book. and this show is his perfect medium.


1. the state of being old : the process of becoming old
2. the growth phase in a plant or plant part (as a leaf) from full maturity to death

i kind of love this word. just read it today in the this article. i had to look it up. i have decided i will only use it in terms of its 2nd definition because it truly is STILL a growth phase. i really do believe the following is true (even if i don't like her sentence structure):
..."But most women, I think, end up taking these feelings in stride. Most women in their 40s, however conflicted, however sometimes confused, aren’t actually spiraling into self-doubting despair, but are actually working their way toward some greater degree of self-acceptance. Many experience — along with the shift in body mass that pulls things down and pushes them sideways — a kind of psychic shift that frees up some of the energy that once went into external appearances. Many come into their own, creatively, professionally. And in motherhood, in friendships, in romantic relationships."

it has been my experience that the older my women friends become, the more interesting and sexy they are. this, of course, could also be my reaction to my friend brian's bon mot, "well, you had a good run."

Saturday, September 26, 2009

another common weight gain indicator

you own more black sweatpants than actual "pants".

Thursday, September 24, 2009

this is kind of great
the height of laziness. now if i could only find someone to go downstairs and open the door for the deliveries, carry it up, open the bags, plate it and feed me, it would be perfect.

Friday, September 4, 2009


this may just be one of my favorite films of the year so far. who knew VD was a great actor? he may be crazy as a loon, but he gives one of the most beautiful, hypnotic soliloquies that i have seen in a movie in a very long time. he's hilarious and he's heartbreaking. this guy can act. and he can still kick a ciggy out of some dude's mouth.

Monday, August 31, 2009

why i love the cod cont'd...

1. a 200 lb tuna caught by b. in the morning, then served sashimi style and also barbyqued steak style by dinner time. with plenty left over.
2. hootenannies.
3. chloe playing ukulele and singing cat stevens.
4. portuguese style chowder. (aka, butter and fish, including cod and pollock, which b. also caught)
5. a somewhat dramatic, but not threatening hurricane.
6. several found 1960's "pic" mosquito repellent coils.
7. newly discovered kettle pond.
8. another hobo dinner. just as good as last year.
9. new rafts that are kind of like a lazy boy. but in water. thanks stop n shop.
10. charisse. unbelievably great sausage.
11. an unruly, but totally entertaining squirrel.
12. cast iron skillets and pancakes. who knew?
13. beans is a water dog apparently.
14. the crazy, spooky, ghost-infested cottage that i will be seeing again next year. hopefully...

Saturday, August 29, 2009

why i love the cod cont'd.

pick a coffee cup:

pick a book:

water the flowers:

pick a chair

head to the beach:

do some shellin' at low tide:

build a beach fire:

and the end:

Thursday, August 27, 2009

closing time

while this has been the summer of cheever, it has also been the summer of biographies and memoirs. this was a gift from my dear v.
i've always enjoyed queenan's essays for their brutal and somewhat unreliable prose. but after finishing this book, i may not read anything by him again without a healthy dose of cynicism. while the writers of memoirs re: cruel and alcoholic parents have been part of my personal pantheon for years, i just can't admit queenan into this lauded circle. he writes much like a petulant child, angry at some points then whimsical at others. his vitriol for his parents (and deservedly so for his father) seems to wax nostalgic when it suits him. it also reads like several essays grouped together; he repeats stories, anecdotes and moments, sometimes living differently in another chapter.
his anger is palpable. and rightfully so. but i guess after reading this book, i was left thinking, why did you write this?

Thursday, August 13, 2009

the cod

packing my i come!

the perfect steak

via Brooklyn Based. i've always had an issue with meats. cooking them, i mean. i do have my grandmother's awesome cast iron skillet and sometimes my steaks are perfection, other times it's like i've cooked my shoe. i thought these were some handy and straightforward tips from brooklyn's most famous butcher, tom mylan. i totally agree about the fat. i would put butter on butter:

Butcher Tom Mylan completed his long tenure at Marlow & Daughters/Sons/Diner this Saturday. He’s on to the next episode, but thanks to our special access (Tom and our Senior Editor, Annaliese Griffin, will marry this fall!), you’ll find his meat wisdom here at Brooklyn Based in our occasional new series, Ask the Butcher. Email us with questions for future columns.

Dear Tom,
I love steak, but I never seem to cook it as competently as they do in a restaurant. My current method involves searing it on both sides and then putting it in the oven for about five minutes. The problem is in the searing. I can never get it crispy (is that even the right word?) on the outside, while keeping it nice and bloody in the middle. I can’t even get the crispy outside when I cook it that way thoroughly. Can you please describe the right way to cook a nice piece of steak rare? Also, what cut should I be buying?–Judy M.

Judy, it’s complicated. Variables like: how thick your steak is, what kind of pan you use and even how good (or bad) your stove are end up huge factors in cooking a delicious steak at home. That said, I’ll make as simple as possible for you:

Step one: Buy good meat. Pay a little more and get properly raised and well hung (dry aged) beef from mature animals (over 25 months old). The cut is not as important as the quality of the meat but you can tailor the cut to your desires. If you like more fat, buy a rib steak. If you like a lean and beefy cut, get a flat iron. Feeding a lot of people? Get a porterhouse.

Step two: Treat it right. When you get your steak home take it out of the package and let it be free. Salt and pepper it liberally and let it sit out for an hour or so before you think of cooking it. This will insure that the steak is warm and thus will cook evenly and not be overdone one the outside while staying cold in the middle. Last thing is to pat the steak with a paper towel to remove the moisture. A wet steak steams instead of fries when you put it in a pan. The number one key to a good crust on the outside is a dry steak.

Step three: Cooking, well done. Before you start, get your skillet very hot to help set up the beginnings of a sear. Cast iron works best for cheapest. Skip the raised grill pans unless it really important to you to get grill lines on your steaks, otherwise you’re just missing out on flavorful crust. Right before you throw your steak in the pan, toss in a few tablespoons each of butter and olive oil. This is a key to a pan steak on a New York City apartment oven: you don’t fry a steak you frrrry a steak. Using lots of cooking fat is key to that great crispy outside but without it seeming dry and weird. Fat tastes good. Use lots of fat. Lastly, you can skip the oven finish unless the steak is thicker than, say, 1 1/4 inches. Test for doneness by feel (Google it) or by sticking the steak with a paring knife and holding it to your bottom lip. If the knife is lukewarm pull the steak and let it rest for 5-10 minutes. The result (with a bit of practice) will be a perfectly cooked medium rare steak.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

i think this is kind of cool...

i wish every town did this.
hat tip: wc. otherwise known as godihateyourband and rrthur?

Monday, July 27, 2009


very funny and interesting bit. truly, truly incoherent.

here is a gem that is truly hilarious, via
"In the winter time it's the frozen road that is competing with the view of ice fogged frigid beauty, the cold though, doesn't it split the Cheechakos from the Sourdoughs?"

Gawker's critique: "It's like Peggy Noonan, Jack London, and William Faulkner wandered into the woods with three buttons of peyote and one typewriter, and only this speech emerged."

Monday, July 20, 2009

awkward teenage photo #1

suck it criss angel. that's david m.f. copperfield. and his popped collar. and a fern.

my new favorite summer cocktail

two parts cherry lemonade (recipe to follow)
one parts hendricks gin
one parts lemon/lime seltzer
over ice.

Cherry Lemonade

- makes 2 quarts of lemonade -

1 1/4 cups water
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 6 large lemons)
6 cups cold water
1/2 pound cherries, pitted and halved

1. Bring 1 1/4 cups water to a boil in a small pan. Once boiling, turn off heat, and stir in sugar until dissolved.

2. Combine sugar mixture, lemon juice, and 6 cups cold water in a pitcher. Add cherries and let sit in refrigerator for a few hours, until chilled.

3. Stir and serve, scooping a few cherries into your drink after you pour.

fun ways to waste time

when the weather is not cooperating. some of my favorites are on the list. you decide. i especially love this one.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

the memorial

i'm embarrassed to say that while i was in midtown i ducked into chevy's to watch the mj memorial service. it seemed kind of fitting to be in a grotesquely designed tourist trap to watch this spectacle. and what's not to love about a $16 dollar plate of nachos?

now, having been to my fair share of funerals (i have a well stocked closet full of black dresses), i would like to offer my critique of today's festivities.

things not to do at a funeral/memorial service:
1. you are not allowed to chew gum at your dad's funeral.
2. if you are the father of the deceased, you should take your damn hat off, asshole.
3. sunglasses are not acceptable inside darkly lit auditoriums.
4. don't fake cry. it's totally embarrassing. and you will go to hell.
5. you are not allowed to pose for pictures, red-carpet style, before the service.
6. you cannot make claims that are not true (see al sharpton's line about Live-Aid).
7. back up singers are not to be used as a substitute for the deceased's performance.
8. if you are going to go on stage and sing the lyrics to the deceased's songs, know the fucking words.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

summer of cheever.

i decided after being a huge fan of john cheever's work, to read the pseudo-authorized bio by blake bailey. i've read cheever's collected short stories and his journals, provided by his family. did i need to read more? yes. i've always had a prurient interest in his life. it was gratifying and horrifying to read 800 pages about a truly tortured, vain, selfish, brilliant and, at times, cruel man. it left me thoroughly depressed. in a good way.
this is a writer that i have held in esteem since i was 13 and read my father's copy of collected stories. that big red book is one of the only books that i have taken with me in all my moves. it was heartbreaking to find that i had lost it somewhere between moves. but luckily amazon came through with a much nicer copy than my old one.
i also picked up his collected novels at the library a few weeks ago, and just finished falconer. although it contained some beautiful and hilarious passages, it felt "lite". it was written shortly after he taught at sing-sing, and i believe many of the characters and situations are loosely based on his experience there. the novel read like a self therapy session in advanced latent homosexuality. perhaps, after sobering up and taking stock in his life he felt it was time to write this.
after my disappointment, i picked up the big red book again, hoping that i was not wrong about this guy. could it have been youthful folly? did i like him just cause my dad liked him?
after re-reading the first sentence of The Enormous Radio, i knew why i loved him; this was a man who knew vitriol, knew the corrosive, knew the deep sadness and the hilarity of the american dream. and don't get me started on The Five Forty Eight, The Sutton Place Story or The Swimmer. my advice: get the big red book.

Monday, June 22, 2009

my kind of exercising

this is what i'm talking about. also, the website has some amazing footage.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

awkward family photo #2

this photo was taken right before my father blew my head off with that musket.
and those were my real glasses.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Thursday, June 11, 2009

interview project

this reminds me of the avedon american west photos. except in color and they speak. beautiful.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

"must stop leaving the house in sweatpants."

this made my day. worth the 2 minutes. click on the video.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

slap shot

i've been re-watching alot of 70's films, and this one is absolutely one of my favorites for myriad reasons. here are a few:
1. filmed in my hometown.
2. i was alive when they filmed it.
3. paul frickin newman looks hotter than ever; a washed up, blue-eyed lothario, desperately trying to save his livelihood and his team's in the worst way possible.
4. the carlson brothers (well, at least 2 out of 3) who played the hanson brothers in the film. all of these guys played for the johnstown jets (the true-life hockey team that the movie was based on). the third brother was played by the real life dave hanson, originally slated to play dave "killer" carlson. i had seen all these dudes kick ass as jets players at the war memorial ice arena.
5. the war memorial shots. i grew up learning to figure skate here. i saw my first rock concert here. i watched the jets play here. i watched my hockey playing brother kick ass here. i can still smell the lingering odor of ben-gay.
6. rampant and unfettered sexual content.
7. my sister is in it as one of the skating rockette girls.(and paul newman winked at her in real life during filming.)
8. paul's awesome leather trench with fur collar.
9. the overwhelming sense of pride and shame mixed together. it's like watching any minor-minor league team go through the motions of doing their job.
10. paul frickin newman.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

awkward family photo #1

this photo has everything: hillbilly pompadour, wary hydra headed cross-eyed baby and a 4 year old flashing gang signals.
and yes, i am the baby. and why am i not wearing shoes? or even socks?

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

my new favorite

website. just glorious. and horrifyingly painful.

Monday, June 1, 2009


i realize i do not watch much tv, but tonight i turned on my mom's old big samsung and adjusted my antennae, and the feature that came on was something on nbc, called, i'm a celebrity get me out of here. i thought maybe i would Live-Blog about it.
8:05: and the end.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

ersatz tagine

i don't have one of those funky tagine pots, but i do have my grandmother's trusty dutch oven. i originally found this recipe on serious eats but i tweaked it a bit. and by a bit, i mean alot. it fits nicely within in my "one pot" recipes. it also contains two of my favorite foods: potatoes and peas. maybe all my recipes will be homages to my grandmother's dutch oven, the greatest cookware i have ever owned.

spring tagine of chicken with potatoes and peas (or really just chicken with potatoes and peas...)
2 tbl olive oil
2 lbs boneless chicken thighs (i've found this is the best chicken to use for simmering for a long time)
2 pounds new potatoes peeled and cut into large cubes
1 large onion chopped
1/2 bunch cilantro chopped
1/2 bunch parsley chopped (you're supposed to tie these with string and discard later, but the only twine i have is questionable)
2 cups chicken stock
4 garlic cloves chopped
1 tsp each: turmeric, ground ginger, black pepper (i also threw in pinch of saffron i had lying around)
2 cups frozen peas
juice of 1/2 lemon, plus zest
1 1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup coconut milk (this i added to the original recipe for sweetness and thickness)
(side note: this recipe orignally combined all ingredients and baked in oven for about 55 minutes at 400 degrees, i just did mine on the stove top, which takes longer, but is more fun to play with.
also, i bet this would kick ass with some fresh lemon grass.)

brown chicken in dutch oven (5-10 minutes on high)

scrape up any bits of goodness on the bottom.

add stock, potatoes, seasonings, onion and garlic and stir

add greens and stir til combined. let that simmer for about 15 minutes.
add coconut milk and let simmer another 45 minutes.

when potatoes are cooked through, add peas and lemon. let simmer till done. serve with jasmine rice or just in a big bowl. yum.

ps. this is what my kitchen really looks like after cooking:

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

first aid kit

they're sisters from sweden. i can't get this cover of fleet foxes' "tiger mountain peasant song" out of my head.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

what lies beneath

a great article about what lies beneath new york harbor; totally interesting and totally gross. i don't think i'll be jumping in the east river anytime soon.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

ye olde reality tv

why are these idol/dancing shows so popular? here is my cultural report:
1. we like singing and dancing. we (and i mean "we" being those who grew up in the 70's and 80's) watched shows like lawrence welk, dance fever, soul train and mtv (in that order).
2. when things are really going to shit in our country's economy, people gravitate toward mindless entertainment. (see busby berkeley)
3. we get to vote. (see democracy)
4. votes are like buying a lottery ticket. (see every state)
5. it's possible that we might see a slipped nipple.
6. sequins.
7. the marginal chance that we can say as a country, "yes, we agree on something."
8. really talented individuals, who have worked really hard in their given profession, prove to the viewing public that they can bring it.
9. on-air squabbling about nothing. this is what i find most interesting. it's one thing to watch buckley v. gore, but paula and simon? carrie-ann and len... well, that is pure entertainment. and horrifying.
10. it makes us feel better about ourselves. because, clearly, we are above all of this. it is just something we watch on tv.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

can this really be true

if we don't talk about this, it is not true, right?
where was i during the super bowl (at j's, for half-time, just to watch BRUCE) and why am i just seeing this now?
oh, right, i watch tv 2 days a week. and i don't have cable. hooray june and my hd new conversion box. lots to be critical of then, yo.

the crossed leg pose

why do women pose like this? i know it has something to do with making one's hips look smaller, but this girl, whoever the fuck she is, looks like she has to pee. she clearly weighs about 86 lbs. is she really worried that she looks hippy? and i've noticed that it's usually the actresses, and NOT the models who do this.
ladies, please, stand on your own two, equally weighted feet. you look like a drunk 16 year old, standing in line for the ladies room at the holiday inn prom.


another great tasting, one pot dinner.
2 tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 lb chicken (i used organic boneless thighs, cause it was cheaper)
1 lb-ish of andouille sausage
2 c chopped onion
1 c each, chopped celery and green pepper
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 c long grain rice
1 tsp each: salt/black pepper/paprika/red pepper flakes/thyme
2 bay leaves
3 c HOT chicken stock
1 14 oz can, fire-roasted diced tomatoes
1/2 lb shrimp, shelled and de-veined
1 tsp lemon zest
(you can also had smoked ham and oysters, but cooked oysters kinda gross me out)

first, salt and pepper chicken and brown in large heavy dutch oven

remove to cool, then chop into bite size pieces.

brown sausage in same pan. remove and set aside.

in the same pan, combine onion, celery, bell pepper and garlic. saute until tender, about 5 minutes.

stir in rice and seasonings and saute 3-4 minutes.

add hot stock, sausage, and chicken to rice, cover pan and simmer over low heat until the meats are heated through and the rice is barely tender.

fold in tomatoes, shrimp and lemon zest. Bring to a simmer, cover and let stand off heat about 10 minutes or until seafood is cooked. yum.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


i absolutely had to see this movie. i come from western pa and grew up in the 80's. the movie takes place in an amusement park near pittsburgh in the 80's. in real life it's called kennywood. it was filmed at kennywood. i have friends who worked at kennywood. why it is called kennywood i have no idea. but here are my thoughts:
1. jesse eisenberg is a menschy version of michael cera.
2. kristin stewart would be a great actress if she stopped playing with her hair. i also couldn't figure out why she was shivering all the time. however, if they shot off-season, western pa gets awfully chilly in september.
3. the director is a fan of eggleston. per the big star album cover presented as almost product placement, and the shots of sad, lonely suburban homes and cars. (love him too)
4. great soundtrack. i love a movie that opens with the replacements.
5. absolutely no western pa accent for anyone. and they had a dialect coach. disappointing.
6. the return of martin starr, whom i love from freaks and geeks.
7. totally unbelievable set of characters who might work in an amusement park:
a. a beautiful and rich nyu student
b. a brainy, menschy oberlin grad, en route to columbia
c. a poor young jewish intellectual who reads gogol
8. ryan reynolds didn't make me want to puke.
9. not nearly enough t&a.
10. nothing particularly original at all.
i would have to conclude that this is a mash-up of the following films:
nick and nora's playlist, flashdance, the squid and the whale, freaks and geeks, the funhouse, and pretty in pink/16 candles.
final thoughts: buy the soundtrack, although you probably already have the singles on your ipod.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Sunday, March 8, 2009

finally. the perfect gift.

i've been looking for one of these for years. i can put it right next to my "i'm a cutter (but not really)" gift box.
(hat tip: sully)

Monday, February 23, 2009

a much better r.i.p.

than the oscars. check this out. shame on you oscars. terrible. just terrible.
hat tip skl.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Saturday, February 21, 2009

food porn

i love food blogs. i could read them all day. restaurant reviews like eatit: the brooklyn food blog or recipe blogs like not eating out in new york.
so i am going to attempt my own entry. here goes.
when i was in college i had a friend from the ivory coast. he had a dinner party one night and made this amazing meal. i made it a few times after that, but had totally forgotten about it until today. apologies for my lack of photographic talent.
"west african peanut chicken"
ingredients (i'm more of a guess-timater, so take these amounts with a grain of kosher salt):
3 lbs chicken breasts or any other part(skins removed)
1/2 cup veggie oil
1 large onion
3/4 cloves garlic
1 can chicken stock
1 can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
1 cup creamy peanut butter
cayenne pepper
red pepper flakes

in a heavy dutch oven or stock pot, brown chicken in oil. set aside.

drain out any excess oil. add garlic and onion and saute. scraping up any chicken bits left in the pan.

add chicken stock, tomatoes and seasonings. bring to a boil.

add peanut butter and stir. add chicken breasts and let simmer covered about 45 minutes?

top with parsley and serve over white rice. yummy.