Monday, November 12, 2007


(Kat and Lux--this is my parentheses blog. To others, namely you, Lux thought it would be neat to have a writing group. This is one of our topics. Hope you enjoy!)

I think the use of parentheses was ruined for me when in Math, we started using them for complicated math problems.



My hair (straight, brown) might have a dead mosquito in it since I've been swatting my hair and hitting my head a lot (thinking that it's trying to suck my brain's blood).

In conclusion, in text, parentheses rock!

Moving Books

So Jon and I started packing our books. We've a somewhat massive amount of books between us (and that's with a lot of my English requirement books at home too). This is just a sample of the books in L-11 (Livingroom, Box 11). There were 10 boxes before this one with more books (and I think mostly cookbooks).

The system we've developed is to 1) Pack books in box to estimate what exactly can fit 2) Remove items from box to photograph by labeled box 3) Photograph the books by labeled box 4) Bag the books (we've TONS of plastic bags from a variety of places) to protect from misc. weird damages 5) Reload the books into the boxes.

I like to think this project is somewhat eco-friendly since we're recycling boxes from FreshDirect (our own and those that people leave in the hall that aren't too skanky), packages (like from the tons of Frommer's luggages), and boxes from work, and recycling the millions of bags that we have stored under the sink. Though not energy efficient (our energy that is), since we have to pack, unload, bag, and repack, it gives me a sense of security that should it be raining that moving day our books will be able to withstand some exposure.

Anyway, we're still not done. We have our autographed books and our hard to replace books to pack still, and some other books that haven't found boxes yet. Though, at home, I have tons of boxes to bring over to load up with stuff.

As you can see between box 11 and 14, we made some dent in our library, though not that much. Our boxes end at L-16 at the moment, and we managed to pack those shelves you see with books in this photo.

Putting away all these various titles though, makes me kind of wonder what it would be like to be one of these books: packed in the dark with other strange books. It seems like anything can happen in a dark box--on the shelf, I can see that the books are shy so they just stand, but in the box, I imagine it like Gumby where they have rich interior lives. Though minus Gumby, and the books are personified. I'm not explaining myself very clearly...

So weird...there's another freakin mosquito in my apartment! And I failed to kill it, and it's probably going to bite me and Jon all night. It's freezing out--what are mosquitoes doing thriving in my apartment? Ugh. Remind me to tell you about the time a mosquito bit my eye. I have a photo too, but I'm going to be shy today and not post it just yet. It's a really scary photo--I wore sunglasses all day (and that experience at work was kind of weird too).

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Dan Dan Noodles (and no, I didn't stutter)

Dan Dan Noodles are delicious. They are noodly and spicy and nutty. How could that not be loved by everyone?

When Doris and I were talking as I was finishing up the Catering IM transition, finally!, she said that she'd be going to Hong Kong again, which made me bring up shopping and The Yellow Door Kitchen.

First, shopping. Shopping in Hong Kong is easy--there are rows and rows of stores, and it's up to you to go in them and find good stuff and divide the prices by the current exchange rate to make sure you were actually getting a good deal--last time I went the money was 8 RMB to 1 US Dollar. My mom and dad are going to China after Thanksgiving, and she said they got their money exchanged at Citibank for 7.7 RMB to 1 US Dollar, and that sucks. (There's actually an interesting New Yorker article about why China's not crushing our currency just yet.) The equivalent to a Gap in Hong Kong is Giordano, and while only a tiny bit cheaper than actual full-priced Gap clothes, it's still worth exploring. There's a store on Nathan Road--the main drag--and one in the airport last time I checked. And then there's the really cheap stores many blocks down Nathan Road past the mosque--like the $1 bin shop and a mall of Chinese stuff (much like Pearl River in Chinatown--though does that even exist anymore?). Ultimately, the advantage of going to Hong Kong in the winter time is that you get more yards of material for the price you pay (sweater vs. tank top).

Second, The Yellow Door Kitchen: if you flip through the website's few photos it looks exactly like that.

To get there:

You can take the escalator up what seems like almost forever, and then when you think you're about there, you get off.

And it looks almost exactly like the scene in Chung King Express where the guy is eating something at an outdoor table and the girl is hauling a bunch of stuff past him (it's been a VERY long while since I've seen the movie, but now I have the California Dreamin song in my head).

And the sign isn't as in your face as other stores. And the restaurant is on a certain floor of a musty, somewhat old building. We tried taking the elevator up, but we went with our better judgment and walked up a few flights of stairs (it was HOT and Hong Kong is freakin humid). The stairs were steep, or seemed that way at least, and the railings were dusty, but it was so worth it. The thing is, I don't think the door was yellow, but red.

Yup--Red. And I think the door to the actual kitchen was white...

Here are some photos of the food that we had--I don't recall their names, but I'll try to help you guess what they are. Maybe Jon can help me figure it out when he comes home...

Some kind of seafood soup (Give away: soup-like consistency; Hong Kong is an island surrounded by fish)

Dan Dan Noodles (Trust me; it's this that I really remember.)

Dumplings in blood. Kidding. (I think.) I'm guessing it's dumplings in a hot oil/vinegar sauce.

Sichuan spiced chicken. Super fresh!

Mapo tofu. And it was so freakin spicy-good.

I ordered Sprite to cut the taste, but the waiter understood me as saying, "Rice." I ordered a Coke.

And the Coke was really good. (Made with REAL sugar.) My only advice is to get it before your mouth is inflamed with hot-goodness. Get your own cans of Coke--I have no idea what else would cut the heat--water and tea weren't good enough.

Dessert was tofu and fruit. Delicious!

That was a good meal. ::Pats belly:: (Note: These are the steps you must walk up to attain such deliciousness. I think a few flights of them at least.)

It was a really nice place and worth going around the world to visit hopefully many more times. So Doris, I hope this has inspired you and Matt to eat and be happy.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Trick or Treat

Smell my feet,
Give me something good to eat.

Seriously, if life were only that simple!

Anyway, I renamed this from Christina's World to Every Life, Every Fun for a few reasons: the Wyeth painting that Jon put up when he set this blog up for me way back when was somehow removed so calling it Christina's World just seemed weird without any reference to the painting I think--it also made me feel a bit self-conscious because I felt that it probably made me seem conceited or autistic.

Christina's World (1948) by Andrew Wyeth

The original Every Life, Every Fun blog where I should have had all my ruminations about Tokyo and China never had a chance--so I give it new life here. I also renamed the url from csolazzo, since that just gave out too much information on the Internet about me--first name Christina, last name Solazzo--um, yeah. I hate googling myself, but I bet isn't so much of a stretch for future employers to find. I am so crafty.

The title, Every Life, Every Fun comes from a store in a mall in Tokyo.

It was like a 7-11, but better. (The 7-11 in Tokyo wasn't so bad though.) Even their products said that they had Good Price. Nice Selection.

They sold stationery and gifty stuff in addition to snacks and drinks.

Inspiration comes of working folders.

Dean & Deluca coffee (see, not a 7-11).

I actually have this folder somewhere...

They even had Helvetica pencil cases before Helvetica the movie ever came out and other funny little things. Jon got a tea cup with a lid that said something like, "Be patient." I love when inanimate objects do that.

Anyway, I have a book to edit and transmit by tomorrow, so I will leave this blog alone for awhile now...though hopefully, not too long...

In Response to Lux's Secret Agent Mars Post

I started writing a comment to this post by Lux, but it got too long, so I thought I'd make it a post instead.

Thanks for posting those clips! I saw them last night and have been thinking about whether it would have survived if it aired, and my guess is that it wouldn't.

The great thing about the first season (and second) is that she's really personally involved--it's not just a job. What's shown in these clips is that it is just a job--a job she got because (if you watched the three seasons) she was really, really good at it. And her partner nails it when he says something like,

You laugh because you're not sure. You're used to being the smartest person in the room.

Does that mean that he's her match though? I don't think so--I think he's much too much of a pretty boy. Her jaw is squarer than his--not a match. And that other guy--not as pretty as Logan or even Piz. Just weird looking and not at all compelling. A guy like Piz would have made a good partner--attractive but a bit rough looking. The other guy had to be pretty like Logan.

It fails too because they should have at least had a glimpse of what happened to the other characters--like she talks to her dad or something. Does he ever become sheriff again?

I think the thing that failed the die-hard first and second season fans (and ultimately were happy that the show ended) in the third season is the lack of personality the mysteries had. On YouTube there's a good talk with Rob Thomas, Kristen Bell, and Jason Dohring. (There are multiple parts--he sounds a bit like Dean Gopin teaching art history I think.) He describes many decisions--and one of them is to tie Veronica closer to the school bus murder since at first it just seems like she's looking into without much motive.

Nevertheless, I would have watched anything Veronica Mars related because it was so freakin awesome.

Also, to comment on her choice of upcoming movies--the Apatow movie according to Seth Rogen at the New Yorker festival seems a bit up in the air. (The New Yorker talk goes through how Rogen and Apatow meet--Freaks & Geeks, Undeclared, 40 Year Old Virgin, Knocked-Up, and Superbad. A perfect lecture--though someone should've fixed the mike on Seth--the man could project.) At least there's that one set in Hawaii that looks kind of interesting too.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

An Evening with Phil Pullman

Tonight Kat and I went to see Phil Pullman--author of His Dark Materials--at the new Times Center auditorium. Kat got there early so we got to sit front and center--though not as front and center as when we went to the New Yorker Festival and saw Miranda July and A.M. Homes. There are positives and negatives to both sides of where to sit to watch an author talk.

The New Yorker event required the moderator (a NYer editor) to have Miranda and A. talk about deviance. Miranda wore a nice skirt suit, black stocking, and it could've been (had signature red soles) Louboutin shoes (not Mia). The thing was that her make-up made her look mannequin-ish. And I wouldn't say her suit flattered the way her neck looked--a bit prominent, which made me wonder if I was seeing an Adam's apple. Her legs were very nice though. Anyway, this is in comparison to A. who was wearing sneakers (without socks, something she highlighted and bolded by repeating it and physically pointing out) and a collage of black. A. can best be described as an English seminar professor--a bit conceited, a bit in her own world, a bit uninteresting because of both instances because she marveled in her uniqueness. (Yet, she refused to recognize deviance--and like a 13-year old girl, basically said what is "normal" if we are all a little different?) Good writer, yes--but I don't think I'll have to pay to see her speak again. (We did see her at another event--one with Steven King among a bunch of other writers--and she was very quiet. And it made me like her more when she was.)

The thing is, perhaps, many other people have seen her speak and didn't come to see her speak that night. It seemed that many more people were there to see Miranda, who turned out to be an amateur-ish public speaker. She seemed distracted and almost like she really would rather be elsewhere. It was easy to be distracted in the space that they had too--it was the theater on 2nd St. where we saw Anthony's movie, but it wasn't in the basement, but in the same space where we saw George Saunders and T.C. Boyle (at least I think that's who it was). Anyway, there was a movie that was somewhat loud going on downstairs and the buzz of the air-conditioning made it somewhat harder to hear. Miranda made comments too--as if she were annoyed; and she tried to poke fun at herself for that, but you can tell she was kind of pissed. (Oh, and her chair was broken too so she couldn't really relax or get settled as readily as the moderator and A.) Miranda tried to make the event fun and interesting by giving out tickets to the Malcolm Gladwell event by asking questions about one of A.'s books, and no one really got them.

It was a good talk, but the Phil Pullman was really good. Like, REALLY REALLY good. But Jon's here, and I have to show him the books I bought for a ridiculous amount at face value and got signed.

Note to self--Pullman does a good bear voice.

We also saw the preview for the movie (which he said he approved of and had a good experience with), which I'll leave you (Lakshmi, since I think you're probably the one occasional reader I ever get) with:

Friday, October 19, 2007


People weren't kidding when they said that the last post I wrote was way back when--and that was back in April. What was I doing between then and now? I think mostly learning more about the book publishing world, to put it simply. The conclusion is that I was recently promoted from Editorial Assistant to Senior Editorial Assistant--and that was quite nice.

It's been a hairy past few weeks though--no lunch, no sunlight, just work. But I'm nearly on top of everything now, and hopefully, will not have to be spending so many more hours in the office than is necessary. And it's not because I'm behind--it's just been ridiculously busy with all the new books coming out and the other books coming in. My main two major projects are to finish the slides for Garde Manger and start editing the Catering IM. That and to get in quotes for two upcoming books.

Getting quotes is harder and more time-consuming than you would think. To get the quotes on back of books, you get a list from either the editor or author (of people who they might know, but mostly likely, they will not know them). Then you figure out the best way to contact the people on the list (chefs with restaurants are easier than those without--searching for chef and "assistant" has been good too because most big chefs have assistants who will be coordinating on their end; for celebrities for Bubby's Pies, specifically to find out how to reach Billy Crystal, I whipped out my credit card and signed up for the platinum IMDB trial thing--did you know that a lot of actors run their own production companies?). Then you figure out how to call their people to get an answer from them about a) if they got the materials b) if they have a quote to give you. Only once or twice did anyone email me a quote by deadline without me having to follow up. Still it must be like a dentist--pulling teeth is hard and messy, but it's gratifying in the end. For example, look at the quotes I got for Professional Chef. Chef Bocuse was travelling, so I couldn't get a new quote from him--and it was pretty traumatic when I called and spoke with some scary French lady who had no idea what I was saying, but everyone else on the list I either contacted and spoke with them directly, or for most of them, I spoke with their assistants. And when you don't have the direct line to the "offices" at French Laundry, you wait for half an hour since the reservation line is the only one on the web. Nuts, but it's great! It's like a game.

I'm probably thinking "dentist" up above because I got two fillings yesterday. Last week I went to the dentist for a cleaning, and the poking device he used to check my teeth kept getting stuck on my upper right back tooth and lower right back tooth (#2 and #30-something) so he said that I had holes and my teeth were soft there so I should get them filled. Keep in mind that I had no idea that these "holes" meant cavities. Meanwhile after my cleaning, my gums were swollen because I should have been flossing. (And I've tried to floss at least two or three times a week since then, which is what my dentist told me was the least flossing that I could plausibly do.) Flossing meant bleeding though, but he convinced me that if I continued to floss that I would stop bleeding. (That part is true--I've really healthy looking gums.) So yesterday, I went to get my fillings. To clarify what I thought I was getting: silver to fill in the holes. Not a solution to a cavity which would involve pain and drilling. So I am in the chair, and he asks if I want to go numb. And well, why would I want to go numb if he's just applying stuff to the holes? So we agree that going numb is dumb. He said it might feel a little sensitive--that's all. So he's doing something to my two teeth, and then he says to rinse, and I do. And I think I'm done. Then he says, Okay, we're going to fill it now. And I was like, Wait, what did you just do if you didn't fill it? He drilled me! Anyway, I now have some cool metal in my mouth. (When I was eleven, I fell in love with this boy who I thought was perfect--he had glasses and braces, and apparently a nasty hairy mole somewhere visible, but I never saw it. Anyway, it's nice to be apart of his metal-mouthed club over 10 years later...) Also, the weird thing about my first visit was that he kept saying that last time we had discussed how I went to or was going to Paris to get engaged. And the funny thing is that last year I did go to Paris--and it would have been very nice to get engaged there, but it didn't happen. I showed my dentist my left hand and said, Uh, not me. It took some convincing, but he realized he meant someone else. Lucky bitch.

Anyway, it's October 19th today, and in a few weeks I will be moving out of Manhattan.
It will either be back to my parents' house in North Bergen or to Reston, Virginia. I've given Jon an ultimatum--he has to propose if he wants me to quit everything here and go down there with him. He's this close to buying a ring I think--poor guy has tons of windows on the computer open reading up on diamonds. A few weeks ago, I had a dream where he proposed with a ring from Kohls. Though in my dream I was initially upset, I got over it and was pretty happy--I mean he got it from Kohls, and it wasn't exactly the style of ring that we discussed, but it had a nice diamond--and I do love him. And I woke up happy that I didn't screw up my relationship in my dream over a ring, but the real me was also kind of angry at the sleeping Jon for a) sleeping b) getting a ring that was totally not what we discussed, from Kohls. We shall see.

Anyway, Jon is here now, and I cannot proofread with him reading over my shoulder. So I hope it mostly makes sense...

Thursday, April 19, 2007

When the Moon Hits Your Eye

Yolato is delicious. And if you register, it's free! I just registered, but even paying for it tasted good. I got pistachio since green is a health food color (like salad or broccoli), also pistachio is just awesome! Next time though, I think I'll have to try the plain yogurt and get some fruit toppings. Love the flavor of yogurt! Pam said that it tasted very yogurty the last time she got it, which sounds pretty good to me. This time Pam got the tiramisu and that was pretty divine. It even had some sweetness of alcohol in it.

Pam and I took our Yolati on the road to Commerce on Bond. There's some weird art stuff lying around that a kid tried to climb on. (Not climbable art.) There were also two dresses on some somewhat beat up mannequins. We both agreed that the one of the right (the goldish one) looked better than the green/blue one on the left, since that one looked like it's been through shredder. There was another dress by the change machine, but we didn't discuss it. It was kind of nice--the structure of it was interesting anyway. When Pam was getting money from the ATM, some dude, who's ATM next to hers wasn't working, started hovering over Pam. This guy was big, and it was like he was towering over her to see her PIN or something. Very creepy.

Pam forgot her phone, so we went back to her apartment to retrieve and wait for Randi to call back. Njoki had been napping before, but when she woke up, it was so much fun. We decided that fitting a queen-sized bed in Pam's room would be a ridiculous feat; toasting about ships, especially fun ships is great fun; running out of toilet paper, then running out for toilet paper, then not getting a bag and then running from someone who says, "So you got toilet paper?" is probably thinking, "Man, she's got to go bad!"

Can't wait to try my Soyjoy bar! Njoki got her bars and shared with me and Pam, just like she promised when she signed up for 3 free bars on the website. It's a bit silly that the bars are different flavors though, but oh well. I'm going to be eating something in the morning tomorrow--so exciting!

I asked Njoki for a good Mexican place in the neighborhood since that's where we wanted to go with Shane's brother Paul. We went to Florencia 13 for their delicious burritos. I got a Boyle Heights, and I still have some. It was yummy, but I was too stuffed to eat the rest of it, so I got it packed.

Paul is 18, likes milk, but rates milkshakes on a scale of 1 to 10, a 5. 5! I told him he had to get a Broadway shake from Tom's Diner. I then told him that Tom's Diner is the diner they use for the outside shots on Seinfeld. Then, like a true fan, he was talking about a big salad. Paul said that today he's been to the Met and the Guggenheim--and he paid full student price for the Met. Well, someone's got to I guess. It was nice meeting Paul. It's strange though when younger people seem as old as onesself, but I guess that's how all old people feel.

Apparently, I look young in the driver's license photo that I just had taken when I renewed and upgraded (from the dumb provisional, crappy, get some extra money from people who switch to real licenses when they're not expired yet licenses).

After dinner, we walked through Soho and Little Italy along Mulberry to a karaoke bar called Yello. I found the place kind of creepy since it was next to a Chinese funeral home. It also wasn't full on. Anyway, on our way there we passed by some Soprano's people coming out of a restaurant. Apparently, some people saw the actor who plays "Paulie." I recognized the guy who plays a thug in lots of movies: Steve Schirripa/Bobby 'Bacala' Baccalieri. Paul was excited--I was too.

Jon's home. Looks like he drank some wine. He's offering it to me now.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Bunny Cake!

Weeks ago, I got an email from my mom about a bunny cake from the Betty Crocker website. She envisioned me, my sister, and my cousin each constructing her own cake and judging the best bunny as if it were some kind of reality show. That didn't happen.

Each bunny consists of a layer of cake--cut and decorated to look like a small rabbit on a platter. Betty Crocker suggests using her carrot cake mix and cream cheese frosting--but since I've overcome my carrot-cake-making virginity, I made this guy from scratch. Instead of Tish Boyle's recipe for Cui's cake, I used Dorie Greenspan's recipe from Baking since her recipe made three layers, and I wanted to try something new. My goal of using three layers was to create two bunnies and some cupcakes for myself to taste and snack on. As you can see, there's only this one bunny. Those things next to it are Easter eggs decorated with jelly beans. (Wee took them to school--and Bob seemed to like it--even though he still won't tell Wee who the main band at Rutgersfest this year is.)

And so how did that happen?

On Saturday, Jon and I went to Food Emporium to pick up some staples that we ran out of--in particular juice and eggs. We also didn't have cream cheese for the frosting or coconut flakes like the recipe called for. Juice is a vital staple, since if we don't have that in our fridge, we drink the beer instead, which makes us bloated and dehydrated anyway. (And while I love milk, any time or place--sometimes it's nice to switch it up.) Eggs--we ran out of when we decided our eggs were getting kind of old and boiled them all for a macaroni salad that we now call: Buht Buht Juice. What can I say? Eggs help get the juices down there flowing--if you eat too much, too fast, which is usually the case since it's so freakin' delicious.

So we picked up everything that we needed. Unfortunately, there, on the shelf, behind the label "coconut flakes," a vast empty darkness. Was the whole world making bunny cakes?! Or coconut macaroons for that matter? Apparently.

My mom and sister made these coconut macaroons from scratch as well. They came out pretty good. Crispy outside, chewy inside, chocolates and coconut-y.

When all was said and done, we lined the bottom of the cake stand/holder under the bunny with these because 1) there was room 2) we are all sick and thought that it looking kind of like bunny droppings was hilarious.

HILARIOUS! (and it was.)

Anyway, I made the carrot cake batter (no tears this time) and poured it into two round cake pans and the rest I poured into a cupcake pan. The cupcakes were ready before the cakes--so when it was just about cool enough (not really--but who can really wait?) to eat, Jon and I tested them. It came out not so sweet and spicy as carrot cakes are known to be, which, was interesting. It tasted light and almost healthy--though I do recall the two cups of sugar and one cup of oil--but spread over three pans--that's not so bad! What was interesting is that there wasn't much batter--but the baking soda and baking powder seemed to be doing it magic really nicely--so they rose beautifully.

I saved creating the frosting until the next morning since I was too tired to think about cleaning my mixing bowl.

On Sunday, I made the frosting, but it didn't look like it'd be enough for two bunnies plus cupcakes. (I wanted to make the cupcakes into little chickens, but really, who wants to eat yellow frosting in addition to two bunnies? I thought better of it and decided that the bunnies will be chick-less, and that I can give away the cakes and snack on the cupcakes for the rest of the week so I can't be too generous with the portions I'm eating.) So, I threw another stick of butter and cream cheese into the mixer, and then added a pound of confectioner's sugar and lemon juice. Voila! More cream cheese frosting. Though I'm not a huge fan of citrus desserts--the lemon made the cream cheese taste kind of healthy and brighter than usual--so it went with the healthy feeling the cake gave me. As I continued to lick my fingers throughout the cleaning process and then frosting process, it didn't really seem all that healthy though.

In later photos, my Popo flanked the bunny with some salt and pepper shakers shaped like turkeys that my Aunt Isabel gave us for our Thanksgiving feasts. It's too funny. I'll try to post it--since it sort of makes up for the cupcake chicks I failed to make.

Anyway, I was having some difficulty frosting and the one bunny I started with. For some reason, having only two cake halves made the bunny kind of narrow. That wasn't the difficulty though, but when I asked my mom to help me fix the frosting, she decided to cannibalize the other bunny by creating one more layer to fatten up the one I was failing to frost. After that, PoPo came in, and said that the bunny should have legs. The funniest part was that she was imitating what the bunny's appendages do--so she was pawing and imitating how it would run and jump. She and my mom created little arms for it--that I guess were supposed to blend in and be the feet too. The shape sort of came out like a seal or one of those kinds of animals, but it was cute anyway.

I cut two little eggs out of the remaining cake and frosted them. We decorated the bunny with blue jelly beans for eyes, a pink one for the nose, and an array of other "tropical flavored" jelly beans for the eggs. Wee only found neon construction paper, so that's why the ears are so pink. Ayee cut up some carrots for the mouth and whiskers. (It's wearing my dad's surprised expression.) Uncle Al stopped by the supermarket and got coconut flakes which I patted on the bunny. I threw a handful into a bowl and a few drops of green food coloring then mixed to create the grass.

Overall, I think it was a successful bunny cake--perhaps we'll make it again next year.

Dinner and appetizers were, as usual, awesome. We had ham, roast beef, lamb, and shrimp. Sides included stuffed mushrooms, salad, rice, and cream corn. Desserts included bunny cake, macaroons, ice cream, and fruit tart. My stomach hurt so much--I swear I felt the skin cells multiplying rapidly to prevent it from bursting.

I went to the gym today and burned at least 400 calories...not sure if it means anything, but I really need to lose at least 10 pounds to fit into anything I own...Hippitus Hoppitus!

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Hit Record

So I swear, I'll go to the gym after I write this--and can you believe that this isn't a post about food? I think the thing that is provoking me mostly is that somehow I stumbled across this website:, and I want to figure out how and I got there. Like emptying my brain on the page so I can mindlessly read Jane on the elliptical. (Yeah, it's not as easy as it should be with the type so small.)

So this website is Joseph Gordon-Levitt's. The kid from 3rd Rock from the Sun/10 Things I Hate About You/Brick. The site is cute, and I use "cute" to describe it because it's not extraordinarily technologically impressive--but I, using Blogger, shouldn't be criticizing. It's just that "celebrities" doing their own things, in real life and time, is strange. And when it's not like they hired their own publicity team or even personal assistant to do it, and make it look all sheik; it's interesting. I mean it's so much easier to gawk at celebrities and about their lives than to imagine that they're real people. I think that it reveals that Joe (as he's called on his website) is not just the culmination of the characters he's portrayed or that flat/distorted figure in magazines and television. There's a life to him--and he's openly revealing it.

This brings to mind how yesterday Pam was saying how one of her friends who lived in SF had a party and one of his/her guests asked to bring a friend, who turned out to be Julia Stiles. And how Dani said that she saw Julia Stiles at a bar when her group hung out with the Fordham/Columbia group. Pam also said that she heard from a friend of a friend that Natalie Portman got drunk at a party and declared every celebrity she's slept with. The point of this being that it's usually a friend of a friend of a friend whom you hear this stuff from, and it's strange how we react--and it's like: why do we react the way we do? Is it just because it's easy to talk about since they're easily recognizable and makes for easy gossip? And the socialization celebrity gossip provides keeps us sane from becoming too isolated because we are so caught up in our own lives? Or is it because we really care?

Anyway, how I found Hit Record was this: I was googling to see if Gilmore Girls was new today because I'm locked out of playing the Sims since Jon is doing research on the computer. So after I went through all the spoilers of shows I watch: Grey's, Gilmore, and Veronica Mars, I wikipedia-ed Veronica Mars to figure out what I missed since I've only started watching it this past season. I can't believe I missed out on some great stuff, but that's what DVDs are for. Anyway, the greatness of Veronica Mars is similar to Brick and the other noir-ish movies I've come to like watching with Jon instead of the same old crap. Brick was a good movie--and it has the girl from Heroes and the face-wash commercials, Nora Zehetner--who seems like a likable person in real life. It also had Joe, so I read the wikipedia entry on him, which lead me to his site. The video he took with his camera phone after some paparazzi harassed him is interesting--as are the letters and his responses--but most of all, his blog. I think the funniest thing was that his friend didn't want to point out that it was weird that it looked like he had a Japanese flag as a link to his website (the graphics were broken and crappy looking on some browsers apparently).

I wonder how life would be different if everyone kept their own blogs. Okay, now it's time to sweat, or at least think about it some more.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Birthday Cake and Meatloaf Cake

Happy Cake, Happy Cui!!

"Solid Gold Carrot Cake with White Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting" from Tish Boyle's The Cake Book. Also known as, Cui's birthday cake!

I made this (with Jon's help) after my attempts of making an "all natural" Key-Lime Pie from a recipe from FreshDirect recipes. The Key-Lime Pie failed pretty miserably. It looked fine with the meringue topping, but the filling never set. When we cut it open, it just quickly oozed out and about the pan. Also, the recipe's crust really sucked, so I had to redo it using Jim Villas's pie crust recipe from Glory of Southern Cooking. The crust was the only part that was actually edible.

This cake took a few hours to make since after making the pie, I had a ton of dishes to wash. Thanks goodness we ordered tacos from Tehuitzingo. If we had to make dinner too, I might have had another break down. (Yeah, those scenes when Julie from Julie/Julia having a breakdown that I thought were pretty outrageous and kind of dumb. Those happened. Jon's now pretty weary when I say I want to bake on the weekends.)

Anyway, the cake came out FREAKIN AWESOMELY. The frosting, the carrots, the cake--all came out so good (if I don't say so myself). We all ate half the cake that night--and I gave Cui some to take home with her; Bryan and I had some more cake for breakfast that morning; I gave Kat a slice and my parents some slices; and there was about a slice left that I made Jon cut a sliver off for Wee before he finished eating it. (Wee, unfortunately, never got to taste it though we kept it saved for her for about two weeks. Jon and I ate it, and it still wasn't that bad of a cake.)

Cui's birthday was supposed to be a surprise with old friends, but the only (and probably best) surprise was that Bryan--with a "y"--made it out that night. (This new Blogger thing is weird, so I'm not sure how vertical photos that need to be vertical-ized work--otherwise, there'd be more photos.)

We put on 25 glittery candles, but couldn't light some of the middle ones--I bet you can't tell. You're not supposed to ingest glitter which made it a bit difficult to eat, since a lot of wax and glitter landed on the cake with so many candles. (I guess as we get older, I need to consider making larger cakes.)

"I said, 'What about Breakfast at Tiffany's?...I guess that's the one thing we got...."--somewhat randomly Bryan said this, which was hilarious once we realized where it was from. We also discussed eating seal eyes for some reason, and Bryan told us about the movie he just finished making. We then played Wario on the Wii.

Pam had to jet to send Param off, and the birthday girl herself had to catch a bus home unfortunately. Bryan, Jon, and I partied it up with a new game of Zelda: "B-Link."

Happy Birthday, Cui!!!

In addition to making a carrot cake, I made a meat cake some Friday evening for dinner. (As you can hopefully see in the photo, it looks more cake than loaf-like.) It's inspired a little from the meatloaf recipes from The Bon Appetit Cookbook and a little from At Home with Magnolia, but ultimately, it's whatever looked good at Citarella. I bought some crazy expensive ground beef; dried wild mushrooms that came in a convenient Citarella package (which ultimately really made the meatloaf); dried tomatoes (which was right next to the mushrooms); an onion; celery; and a french baguette--which I guess is really not the way to go when making "fresh bread crumbs." (I think that was all the ingredients.) It came out pretty good though--especially with fancy mustard and ketchup.

Jon and I ate half for dinner and the rest the next day. I'm not sure if I'd made it again any time soon though it was crazy easy to make.
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