Sunday, December 31, 2006

Garage a Trois*

As Wendy noted in her blog, tonight we went to a Lincoln Stars USHL hockey game against the Sioux City Musketeers. There were two goals by the Nougat Candybars in the first period; then the Stars got two goals in the second period with another by the Nougats, making it 3-2 in until late in the third period. When the Stars scored a goal with 1:42 left to tie the game. This was great! until the 'Teers scored the go ahead goal 42 seconds later, and then an empty-netter with 9 seconds left.

I really appreciated the fickle wenchness of the game though. How the fans could go from feeling great to not feeling great at all in such a small period of time, just because some Scandian teenager put a black puck in the net. This was my first ever hockey game, and while I enjoyed the experience, I don't need it. Actually, I was quite relieved that the game didn't stay tied as that would have mean another 15 minute intermission and possibly another 20 minutes of hockey. I had plans for after. That was my main complaint, the rest between the periods was almost as long as the periods themselves. Don't get me wrong, I love watching Zambonis as much as the next guy, but thirty minutes of break and 60 minutes of play seems unbalanced to me.

I know that football is, as George Will says, a combination of America's two favorite things--violence and committees. But they only have a twenty minute halftime, and if not for the seven TV timeouts required each half would have plenty of rhythmic action.

Self-Promotion: I've started to have more frequent posts on my Word Hoard blog. So I would appreciate it if my efforts there were witnessed. They don't have to be appreciated, just witnessed. I'm also willing to take suggestions to increase readership over there. Thank you; you may now resume your regularly scheduled programming.

*The title comes from a band that was playing on Wendy's XM radio.

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Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Who's Next?

"What James Brown was to music in terms of soul and hip hop, rap, all of that, is what Bach was to classical music," Rev. Al Sharpton.

Was he eugoogolizing Brown or Bach?

And tonight Gerald Ford, the Godfather of Unelected Football Playing Michigan Alum Omaha Born Presidents, died.

There is a superstition, Catholic and otherwise, that things happen in threes, including deaths. Who is next?

UPDATE: Turns out Ford was number three, with Peter Boyle dying last week. My favorite role of his was the Frankenstein monster in Young Frankenstein.

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At December 30, 2006 7:55 AM, Blogger Voth said...

Now Saddam is gone. Does that start another cycle of three? Maybe it doesn't count if you are hanged.

Today is gunna be awesome. Think we should get tix earlier in the day?


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Monday, December 25, 2006

Joyful Boxing Day

So, we, myself, Marcy, Wendy, and Wanda, celebrated Christmas today at 1. Last night, a late addition to our Italian Christmas bill of fare came up as my sister and I were talking about what we were missing: a vegetable. Lasagna, check. Risotto, check. Dessert, check. Apertif, check. Vegetable, no check. So today, (and from this point on I toot the horn that is my own for a bit) I put a couple smaller butternut squash into the oven for an hour to roast while I took a nap, on the account that I woke at 6 AM for some heretofore unknown reason. When I awoke from my nap, I removed the meat of the squash from the skin and added (now I pause here so you can get a pen and paper) a quarter cup of brown sugar (Why does it taste so good?), two tablespoons of butter, two dashes of cinnamon, and one dash of nutmeg. Mash it all up and you have an unequivocal success. My figgy pudding was a hit too. Warmed, my rice pudding, with freshly ground cardamom, would be better. It stiffen'd a bit too much after the cooking and chilling; served fresh, it could be really great.

Last night I had a dream where I had to kill with my hands either a small dog or cat that also happened to be a zombie. Let's just say they don't die easily.

Fact of the day: Les Schtroumpfs is French for The Smurfs.

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At December 31, 2006 1:39 PM, Blogger Randomness said...

Just for the record I told you to make squash, and it was very good.


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Saturday, December 23, 2006

Deep Thoughts

Have you ever been walking to school and a car drives by and splashes you, and you can't decide whether to go home and change and be late for school or go to school all wet and dirty? While he was thinking about it, I drove by and splashed him again.

Tonight I made one of the seven varanike/cottage cheese pocket/kaseknoefla recipes in my Harder at Heart Cookbook. The Harders are Mrs. Cheryl Kaiser's maiden family. Let it be a lesson to you that "Large Curd Cottage Cheese" is not the same as "Dry Curd Cottage Cheese" which is what the recipe called for. The other lesson is that anything fried is delicious. The recipe is essentially a cup of cottage cheese, an egg yolk, and some salt mixed together for the filling and a dough of two cups of flour, another egg and the egg white, and a half cup of cream. You then make your little "hot pockets" and boil them and then fry them. You serve them with sour cream or a cream gravy (one recipe of which calls for the melted fat of a pound of bacon or sausage, mmm mmm good).

It is important to me to clarify that I do not endorse the use of cottage cheese in any form. I hate cottage cheese. I don't know how anyone can get behind a food stuff synonymous with cellulite. Everyonceinawhile, I will try it again by itself to see if my aversion has changed, but I am firm, unlike the rotting dairy product that is cottage cheese.

Tonight was just the beginning of my culinary indulgences this Christmas weekend. Before it is done, I hope to have also made bread pudding with mission figs (a figgy pudding if you will), rice pudding, pumpkin ice cream, and risotto from a box (I'd try it from scratch if Ellen gave me her recipe).

May you each have a Merry Christmas, a Happy New Year, and a Fair to Middling Martin Luther King Jr. Day.



At December 24, 2006 10:28 PM, Blogger Michael Covarrubias said...

Have you tried Michigan brand cottage cheese? I'm not a fan of any other cottage cheese. I do like Michigan brand. It's dry with a ricotta consistency/texture.

At December 25, 2006 7:18 AM, Blogger Daniel said...

No I haven't. Have you seen it places besides Michigan? And if I don't find it around here, my feelings won't be hurt. It isn't a need of mine to like cottage cheese.

At December 26, 2006 4:39 PM, Blogger Michael Covarrubias said...

I've seen it way down in Indiana. I'm not sure how far it roams.

And though you may not need to like cottage cheese I know you appreciate a good food regardless of the label.

At December 27, 2006 2:18 AM, Blogger Daniel said...

Thank you for what I take as a compliment. It's going out on a limb like saying I don't like eating putrid food. But I will do my diligence and maybe if I visit out there, we can convert me.


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Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Make Yourself.

Make Yourself.

What do you think of when you read that phrase? Now hold on to that thought, and we'll get back to it.

I just finished watching The Devil and Daniel Johnston which is rated PG-13 "For thematic elements, drug content and language indicating a sexual reference." Can anyone give me an example or explain what the heck "language indicating a sexual reference" is? It reminds me of the Far Side comic by Gary Larson with a caveman sitting in front of a television and the screen says something like: Caution The Following Program Contains Language.

MPAA warnings aside, the movie is an excellent documentary, in that, as a documentary should, it documents its subject very well. It is helped tremendously by Daniel Johnston's exhaustive cassettes recording much of his life; there are also many home movies he made with his Super 8, including his muse for many of his hundreds of songs. Aside from the slight discomfort from witnessing his manic-depressive behavior, I was oddly compelled by his music. He manages to distill each song into an emotion, a lyric, and a tune. That is all, and while this seems simple, it is the essence of his genius. Each component isn't always great by itself, but they combine wonderfully.

Alright, back to the matter at hand: Make Yourself. I used this phrase once as my Peanut Gallery slogan/motto. I liked the album of the same name by Incubus, and I was fresh off an Early American Lit. class that talked often of the Rugged Individualism (nothing to do with carpet baggers of the same time :) proponed by those late 19th century authors. I also liked the concept that you are responsible for your life and who you are. No "victim t-shirts" allowed.

So that is how I used to interpret the phrase. The problem I've ended up with, though, is that I don't shirk responsibility, but I'm too tolerant and accepting with my condition. I'm kinda like George W. Bush in that way; I take responsibility for getting in the war, but that doesn't make it a good thing. So my new take on the phrase is "make yourself" the imperative, force yourself. I hope to find some willpower and internal motivation in this revised reading. Wish me luck.

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At December 21, 2006 3:23 PM, Blogger Voth said...

Oh baby, I'll give you an example of language indicating a sexual reference. Just call me. I don't know if I can keep it PG-13 though.

At December 22, 2006 12:20 AM, Blogger Ellen said...

what are you going to do? we talked last night and you didn't mention anything about making yourself.

At December 22, 2006 12:23 PM, Blogger Daniel said...

The reason I didn't mention anything about making myself when we were talking was that my thoughts weren't fleshed out yet; that happened around 3:45 AM when I was writing a letter in response to a christmas card.

In answer to your question though, I hope to improve the condition of my life that I have been settling for. Baby steps like cleaning my room, going to bed early, exercising, eating better, reading more, stuff like that. Kind of my psychological New Year's Resolution.

At December 29, 2006 12:18 PM, Blogger Wee Katie said...

I'm so glad you blogged on this, because I was trying to remember this very phrase the other day, and failing. (I guess I should have looked up Incubus, cause I did remember that.) I really love this idea/resolution. This is one way you have affected my life positively.


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Sunday, December 10, 2006

An Opportunity Taken

Since I last talked with you, I've seen A Very Long Engagement, Barry Lyndon, and Apocalypto; oh, and the National Football League contest between the Baltimore Ravens and the Kansas City Chiefs, at Arrowhead Stadium. I also saw two wrestling duals, Nebraska versus South Dakota State and Northern Colorado respectively.

A Very Long Engagement is a nice Jeunet vehicle for Audrey Tautou, Amelie herself. It also includes the smoker from Amelie and a couple characters from Delicatessen. If you need to see everything Tautou has been in, then you should see it. If you like her and your time is more precious, watch Dirty Pretty Things instead.

Barry Lyndon is also a novel by William Makepeace Thackeray, see Vanity Fair (not the magazine). Though I've not seen or read Vanity Fair, I gather that it is about a woman from a lower class who rises to a higher class in British society. Barry Lyndon is about an Irishman who does the same thing. I don't know how Vanity Fair ends, but Lyndon ends in a diluted tragedy, which isn't a surprise because the director, and maybe the author too, tells you so at the beginning of Part II, which is after the Intermission (yes it is one of those type of three hour movies, but not nearly so musical). The cinematography won many awards and nominations, which is tricky because it is part war and lots of scenery, so how hard is that. I guess it could be difficult to light and use the proper lenses, but the camera work never stood out to me. There is violence in this film but it is mainly in duels and has an element of amusement. This is notable because this was Kubrick's palate cleanser between Clockwork Orange and The Shining. Ryan O'Neal has the doughiest eyes he's ever had in the title role. Don't watch this movie.

Another director who really likes violence did Apocalypto. There is plenty of violence and many similar scenes between this and Braveheart. That is fine. SNL did a fun mock trailer for this in which the diseased prepubescent sibyl says "I smell bagels." Very funny.



At December 20, 2006 7:38 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bagels are neutral, denoting foods classified as neither meat or dairy and which may be eaten with either.

At December 20, 2006 10:39 PM, Blogger Daniel said...

Why didn't you just say Parve, or in Hebrew Pareve?

At December 21, 2006 3:24 PM, Blogger Voth said...

I wanted to know if you'd looked it up yet!


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Thursday, December 07, 2006

Beef It's What's For Dinner

or Eat Beef, The West Wasn't Won on Salad or Beef, Our Steak in the Future.

I like that last one; what else is going to be our steak in the future, ostrich?

The point is that tonight, the Seventh of December in the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand and Six, I prepared and ate my first steak for myself. It was a New York Strip Steak that I marinated in a marinade of basalmic vinegar of Modena and lime juice. I then broiled it in my oven for about fifteen minutes. Tonight I watch A Very Long Engagement. Review to follow, maybe.



At December 08, 2006 9:51 PM, Blogger Voth said...

I liked the movie. The ending was a bit, well, French, but other than that, twas well done.

I'm looking forward to young men in tight pants!


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Sunday, December 03, 2006

Post 178

Tonight I watched Stranger Than Fiction and The Fountain. I thoroughly enjoyed both, and surprisingly, they work well together thematically. I think the literati will appreciate Stranger Than Fiction, but there is plenty for the illiterate too. One thing I appreciated was the irony of the closing disclaimer at the end of the credits. Though the film is about an author who writes about a character that ends up being real, any resemblance of the film with real life is merely coincidental, so please don't sue them if you are an author whose main fictional character ends up being real, and someone made a movie of that (talk about play within a play). Zach Helm wrote a great film and his next, which also includes Hoffman, looks like fun too.

Before I get any further, this is for you Angela.

A lot of the snippets I read about The Fountain on from negative critics said it had too many ideas and couldn't do any of the ideas justice. That wasn't my experience with it. I thought it was a focused, inspired story. Hugh Jackman is in this movie, and in the last film I saw him in, The Prestige, he was criticized for a passionless performance. He has remedied that here. In my review of Casino Royale, I mentioned Jeffrey Wright. The other Aronofsky film I've seen, Pi, turned me on to Mark Margolis. Margolis is good in The Fountain and incidentally had a very small role in Scarface as a South American assassin, "Alberto the Shadow." Anyway, I still like him, and like Wright, he shines with each role. The other aspects--music, cinematography--of the film also shine.

Have a great week.



At December 07, 2006 5:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

At December 07, 2006 5:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


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Friday, December 01, 2006

Minnesota Mauling

170 to 22. That was the score after three twenty minute periods with the Mad Maxines of Lincoln and the Minnesota Roller Girls of St. Paul. The score was 66-9 after the first period and 121-17 after the second. That's the bad news. One of the explanations for the rout is that the MNRG have played longer (This is the last home game of the No Coast Derby Girls first season.) and have more people/teams to choose from for their travelling team.

The good news is that Karen and I had the fortune of getting two free trackside seats, so we had a great view of the action. Other good news is that Ceri can watch the same two teams play in St. Paul next weekend. Some good names from the Roller Girls were Pain Gretzky, Desi Cration, and Buffy the Vampire Skater.

That is all.



At December 02, 2006 9:53 AM, Blogger Cerise said...

Hmmmm... I wonder if I could tie that in to my research on the femme fatale...?

At December 03, 2006 10:06 PM, Blogger Angela said...

who are these creatures and what are they playing? i'm guessing you blogged about them before, but i don't remember.


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