Sunday, July 31, 2005

Being The Thing Is Not Fantastic

WARNING: The below may contain spoilers.

I saw Fantastic Four on Sunday. Towards the end of the movie The Thing became human again and then faced a dilemma. Should he stay human or should he go back to being The Thing and help out his friends? This guy had already had a sucky couple of weeks. First the cosmic storm turned him into this human boulder and made him look like a freak. At least everybody else got to keep their looks. And in the case of Chris Evans (aka the Human Torch), I'm so glad he did. Wow, what a major hottie. Then The Thing's fiancee broke off the engagement. And then he can't eat or drink anything because he keeps breaking the cups and silverware. At least a blind woman befriended him eventually in the movie and even became his date. But I thought that was so cliched. Of course a blind woman is going to be the only person who would go on a date with The Thing.

Anyway, at the end, his friends are in trouble and he decides to go back in Dr. Doom's machine and change back into The Thing. I guess he realized his higher calling as a superhero, and of course he wanted to save his friends.

After the movie, my friend said there was no way she would have ever gone back into the machine to change back to The Thing. She said "Oh well. I guess they'll just have to take care of it themselves."

Well I guess when I form my superhero troupe, I won't be inviting her.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Food Tattoos

There seems to be a weird trend of printing words or text directly on food. First are the Trivial Pursuit Pringles.

I never thought of potato chips as reading material. This is literally brain food.

Then the NYTimes reported that Fruit Tattoos are coming our way.

Permanently disfiguring food with a laser seems to me to be a bit of an overkill. The NY Times article mentions that these new tattoos could be used as advertising space in addition to containing vital information about the origin and type of fruit at hand.

The article, itself, is very amusing, especially the story of Jean Lemeaux who went to hell and back while taking off fruit stickers. Who knew those stickers could wreak so much havoc on your life?

But all of this sounds a little creepy and science-fiction-y to me. Before you know it, all of our food will have barcodes on it for tracking. And then soon, I'll have a barcode tattooed on me so people know where I'm from.

Get a Room

Luckily my office building makes our lobby area frigid, which is more than welcome on hot days like yesterday. It felt like 100 degrees outside and going out for even five minutes was like walking through a volcano. The heat was just so oppressive.

I came back yesterday after lunch and got into the elevator with the rest of the lunchtime crowd. In weather like that, all anyone is ever to talk about is how bad it is. We were all panting for water, fanning our flushed faces and wiping the sweat off our brows.

Pretty soon, the elevator car just contained me and two girls who were talking about how sweaty and gross they felt. They were comparing battle wounds (in this case, sweat stains) when one girl said "Here, smell my armpit".

Was it just me or was this a little weird? I was thinking, "Ew. Get a room."

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Godiva Saved my Day Today

The heat has been almost unbearable today. I can't focus; I'm tired, cranky, irritable. I need a pick-me-up. So I walked to Grand Central in search of a Starbucks. Instead I walked by Godiva first and saw a sign for their new Chocolixir. Being America's dream consumer, I just had to go in and try it. This thing is awesome! I got the dark chocolate flavor and my drink had little bits of chocolate floating around in it. The drink is very similar to a Starbucks Frappaccino, but Godiva's drink is much more chocolatey and much smoother (although this Godiva just might have had a really good blender to chop up the ice).

So now those of us who live a posh lifestyle now have a posh frozen slushy drink to go with our posh way of life.

New York's Subway Saga

What is up with the subway? I arrived at work today drenched in sweat because it was about FIVE THOUSAND degrees on both the 2/3 and the S shuttle to get to work since the A/C was not working today on either train I was on. I was already sweating because I had to wait for two trains to pass by in the inferno station before I could get on to a train. And so much for those random bag searches. After seeing a Search Table set up at literally only one train station (Grand Central) and only seeing it in the mornings, now I don’t see them at all. Another half-hearted effort from the morons who run the MTA (ok, I know it wasn’t entirely the MTA, but it’s easiest to blame them).

Complaining about the subway in New York is like talking about Manhattan real estate. It's a favorite subject of every New Yorker. The MTA is rife with inefficiencies and the moronic passengers on the subway increase the stress level ten-fold. So in honor of this, I’ve collected some of the best treatises on the New York subway that I’ve read:

How to ride the NYC subway...(this is my favorite)

What we DON'T need on the subway...

MTAs most hated

An Open Letter to the MTA

Subway Etiquette, a little lesson

90 degrees is the temperature at which the F train melts

List of People to Kill on the Subway

Thanks MTA! - I was overdue for a good mugging!

MC with Subway Etiquette

Subway Etiquette Clash: How I got kicked by an old woman

People on the subway that deserve to die

One of these days, I’ll have a Maybach to take me to work. Well, hopefully I won't be working if I can afford one of those.

Why I Do Not Heart New Jersey

So I broke my arm about 5 weeks ago and it sucks. It was a pretty horrible accident. It all happened on the NJ Turnpike while I was changing a flat tire.

I have lots of more stories to tell about my broken arm, and I’m sure they’ll be the subject of more posts later. But the point of this post is to declare “I Do Not Heart NJ”. I’ve always disliked Jersey. Driving through it is a pain because you can’t make a left turn anywhere. You’re like trapped on roads because of the barrier in the middle. Also NJ has the most idiotic, cheap and amateurish politicians ever. I don’t know where they come from. I guess NJ. Now, I’m not going to say any comments about people from NJ because I do have many friends from NJ. But to my NJ friends, I’m sorry, NJ is cursed in my book (or more likely, it just doesn’t like me, which is fine with me).

For more on the suckiness of New Jersey, go here.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Walking down the street...

Was walking to dinner tonight in Chelsea at The Biltmore Room and saw a very buff guy about a block away walking up 8th Avenue without a shirt on. He obviously worked out regularly. As he approached me, I saw that he was wearing a yamakuh! Now I have to say that I know nothing about what the yamakuh signifies in the Jewish faith, but I really have to say that the yamakuh made this guy look kind of silly, as if he was an overgrown, hairy kid.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Destiny's Child's Fall

Last week I read that a company was coming out with a Visa-sponsored Destiny's Child Debit Card. Oops. Bad timing. Now I have no idea what the benefit of a Destiny's Child branded card could be. Free music? A Date with Beyonce? Who knows.

The announcement that Destiny's Child's breakup was no surprise to anyone (hello! The title of their last CD is Destiny Fulfilled.) But I never heard the whole story. Did the two not-so-famous girls beg Beyonce not to leave them? Or was it a mutual decision amongst all three of them since the two not-so-famous girls enjoyed relatively modest success while Beyonce was off becoming Queen of the Universe? I actually think it was a friendly break-up and the girls will remain friends and embark on their solo careers, especially since Kelly is engaged right now. They've all made gobs of money anyway and are pretty much set.

However, thinking about Destiny's Child reminds me of the funniest thing that I have ever seen in my entire life. I was watching The Best Week Ever on VH1 last Fall and saw a clip of the least famous girl (Michelle Williams) trip and fall flat on her face while singing "Soldier" on some awards show. It really was a nasty fall on what I'm sure was a very hard floor. I felt so bad for her. But what was so funny were the reactions of the Beyonce and Kelly. Kelly looked down with a priceless look of "Dumbass, how could you fall!" and Beyonce didn't miss a single beat and just kept on singing and dancing away. I was in stitches.

Luckily Michelle picked herself up and the show went on. Meanwhile the commentator on VH1 imagined this whole conspiracy plot orchestrated by Jay-Z and Beyonce with Jay-Z saying to Beyonce right before curtain time "Yo, don't pick that bitch up." I was rolling on the floor laughing when I heard this.

Now, you might think from this post that I'm Destiny's Child #1 fan or something. I really am not. I don't have any of their albums, although I do have some of their songs on my iPod. My favorite is that Independent Woman song from Charlie's Angels. When they started getting really big, I was really surprised because I remembered their first album and thought this group would disappear like so many other R&B female groups from years past (remember SWV, 3LW?) Granted, the original Destiny's Child went through 5 changes or something like that. I even saw one girl dropped on some MTV documentary following them around. At the beginning, the fourth girl was in the show, and then by the end she was gone! But I do think the girls of Destiny's Child are so cute when they perform together. They're always wearing cute coordinated outfits and their walks and dance moves are always very together. It's a shame they're breaking up because I think their last few performances that I've seen on TV (last one I saw was on the ESPY Awards) have been the best, especially because Beyonce has been sharing the limelight and hasn't had the need to always be in the center of the group (both literally and figuratively).

Anyway, good luck to the members of Destiny's Child and thanks for the catchy tunes that I listen to on my runs.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Nigella's Post

So I got an interesting email last week from BBC America:

Thank you for taking the time to bring this program to our attention. Unfortunately, at this time, there are no plans to air "Nigella Lawson's Cooking Shows" on BBC America in the immediate future.

However, please know that BBC America takes the opinions of our viewers seriously. Rest assured we will forward your program request [as well as your comments] on to the appropriate department(s).

We thank you again for your comments.

(name deleted)
Viewer Relations
BBC America

First, I often write consumer letters to companies or media outlets to make one of my friendly suggestions or more famously one of my well-thought complaints. I've written letters to airlines, sporting goods manufacturers, hotels, clothing stores, rental car companies, candy bar manufacturers, test prep companies, and the list goes on and on. My friends all make fun of me, but at least I get results.

Second, I am obsessed with Nigella Lawson and I had emailed a request to BBC America to air her shows, which I first saw on a plane to London. For those of you not in the know, Nigella Lawson is Britain’s answer to Martha Stewart for food. She’s similar to Martha in that neither are professional cooks and both try to make the best food look doable for us normal folks in normal kitchens. But she's much more down to earth than Martha and doesn't have that superiority complex that Martha can have if you aren't using the right type of salt. Nigella commonly says "if you don't have this, just use X or just leave it out." You can also see her running downstairs on her tv show in her bathrobe and slippers for a midnight snack.

Nigella actually started as a food writer and this is clear in her cookbooks and her TV shows. She uses the most descriptive vocabulary and imagery I’ve ever heard or read from any food personality. My favorite narrative of hers is describing figs waiting for syrup to be poured over them as "young birds squaking to be fed worms by their mommy." And her pleasant British accent makes her writing sound even better (which is saying a lot coming from me because I hate British accents and British speak)!

Nigella’s philosophy about food is that she believes food isn’t just for eating or satisfying hunger. Food, for her, is a means of communication and is perhaps the most symbolic form of speech out there. Food can mean a sense of empowerment because you’re cooking for yourself. Food is also expressed through many instances of ritualize eating symbolic of our most important holidays. Throughout her books, she takes the reader through a sort of culinary adventure describing the senses and actions that pique while preparing the food and then eating it. Her cookbooks read like novels and are sometimes next to my bed instead of my kitchen.

My favorite book of hers is Forever Summer In it are some of my favorite recipes like the Chocolate Raspberry Pavlova, Figs for 1,001 Nights (broiled figs with orange/rose/vanilla syrup), Soba Noodles with Sesame Seeds served with slices of rare tuna or salmon or steak marinated with the same sauce and a side plate of steamed Chinese broccoli or Moroccan Lamb. And the pictures in this book are great (I honestly do not understand cook books without pictures).

Nigella also just came out with a set of kitchen utensils and accessories. I bought the beechwood serving spoons, the citrus juicer and the Mezzaluna, which looks like a weapon from Raiders of the Lost Ark, but is actually a blade that you rock back and forth to finely chop herbs or vegetables. I would have bought the whole collection if I didn’t have some of the stuff already in my kitchen.

Anyway, I don’t understand why FoodTV has never picked up her show, while Style Network shows it at 7AM on Wednesdays! Furthermore, I have to pay extra to get the package with Style Network. Luckily there are other good channels in the package (like The Tennis Channel) because the other shows on Style Network suck. I really need to get Tivo, which is another topic for another blog entry…

Friday, July 08, 2005

My first post...

My new job means much more time to have hobbies. I've been thinking about starting a blog, so let's see how this goes...