Monday, August 31, 2009

Beetlejuice Books to Read in Capers

I think we all love those posts filled with the random things people googled in order to get to your blog. I least I do, so I felt it was time for me to post my own version.

Of course there are a few standard searches people use to get to my site. Do you want to know about Marriage Meatloaf? Or perhaps you'd like Suzanne Tracht's recipe from Top Chef Masters? Unfortunately I don't have the actual recipe posted, but I will tell you that the recipe's in A Twist of the Wrist. But the number 1 search that leads people to From L.A. to LA? Jon & Kate Plus 8 of course.

Now for the fun ones!

"where can i buy a cupcake air freshener for my car"
Sorry to tell you, they don't actually make it. However you can achieve the same thing by leaving a bag of trash in the car that contains melted peeps. Its almost September, and his car still smells like it. Clearly, its a pretty effective method.

"beetlejuice books to read in capers"
The first part makes sense. But how exactly do you read something in capers? Are you covered in capers when you read it maybe?

"can you make coconut air freshener out of coconut flakes"
Again with the air freshener questions

"early trip checked into hotel"

"groom test on wedding day"
Will you say I do? Sounds like a good groom test to me!

"i love cops air freshener"
Is this supposed to make cops less likely to give you a ticket?

"surf n fries"
In case you get hungry in the middle of surfing

"live long and prosper sign what if you can do one hand but not the other"
Practice, Practice, Practice

Bless you

Anyone one have a favorite of these?


Sunday, August 30, 2009

The End of Summer

Sorry to disappoint anyone, but we opted not to see any of the new releases this weekend. If you were looking for a review of either The final Destination, Halloween II, or Taking Woodstock then I do apologize. Instead we opted for a movie we missed out on seeing originally. Since we normally she movies the 1st weekend they are released it makes it hard to see indie films. Since in Baton Rouge, they normally have no big opening, instead they'll just appear one weekend. But we did finally make room for

(500) Days of Summer
I've been looking forward to seeing this movie for what seems like the longest time, and thankfully it didn't disappoint. As you can tell from the poster its not really of love story, but more of the story of a relationship with a girl named Summer. Even so there were still a lot of cute romantic type moments. Of course there were a some sad parts, but it managed to have quite a few laugh out loud moments as well. Several that clearly amused the boy, although I'm not sure he'll admit it.

One tricky thing about the movie was the lack of chronological scenes. While I do enjoy he feel of movies that do this and understand the need for it, it still makes parts of the movies hard to follow. I think its partly that I feel the need to be able to fit every scene together. And while most scenes are preference by what number day it is, its hard to remember where each scene is supposed to go relative to the others.

Of course I love most any movie that takes place in Los Angeles. Even the little things like the scenes in Ikea make me a tiny bit homesick. (Really, someone needs to open up an Ikea in Louisiana.) Los Angeles itself feels the at least slightly the same way since they gave Zoey Deschanel a key to the city.
Zooey Deschanel with Key to the City
This photo was actually taken by my dad at the event. The bench seen in the background is facing towards a view of downtown, and is where several scenes of the movie were filmed.

I'm really glad I got a chance to see this film before it left theaters, and I'd tell you to do the same. Its a really cute movie, and even if the boy won't admit it I do think he enjoyed it at least a small bit.


Thursday, August 27, 2009

The New Vampire Hunters

Remember when I posted about how the Backstreet Boys have a new album coming out? Well they've just released the video for their new single.
(I'm not sure how long this youtube video will be up for. If it gets taken down you can still watch it at US Weekly)

I'm not really sure what the song has to do with vampires. Unless you're sticking a stake straight through a vampire's heart? But its not like the Backstreet Boys are known for making music videos that make sense. I'm still not sure what their song Everybody had to do with vampires, mummies, and werewolves either. But vampires are really big right now, due mainly to True Blood and Twilight, so maybe they're trying to get into that audience.

Either way, the more I listen to the song the more I like it. And its still a fun (and a little nonsensical) video to watch. What do you guys all think of the video?


Wednesday, August 26, 2009

He's almost a Prince Charming

Over this past weekend we went to dinner at VooDoo BBQ & Grill. It's one of those semi-fast food places. Were you order at the front and they give you a number to take back to your table. There is a "waitress" mainly to bus tables and to make sure no one needs anything crazy.

We'd been sitting down and were both almost done with our brisket when the waitress came up to our table and asked if we needed anything. "Maybe a refill?" The boy responded back, "I don't need a refill on my drink, but I'd take a refill on my brisket." She laughed and and said no go. Her manager happened to be walking by and she told her manager laughing, "Don't go over to their table. He asked for a refill on brisket." Both girls walked away laughed, leaving the two of us alone at our table.

After they left the boy jokes to me, "If I wasn't here with you, I bet they would have brought me a brisket refill." I of course agreed, he can be pretty charming when he wants to be and we both went back to eating what we had left. And then the manager came back out with a hot plate of brisket! Seriously! He heartily thanked her, and laughed over the whole situation the rest of the night.

Then today, he called me on my lunch break, "What do I need to pick up the football tickets you bought?" It turns out there were still a few tickets left for the LSU home football opener in few weeks, so I went online and bought us tickets. The tickets were at will call on campus, since I figured it'd be easiest if he picked them up between classes. I told him the website said he would need the credit card I used and my id.

"Well, I'm halfway there, so I'm going to try to get them anyways. I printed out the confirmation e-mail so we'll see what happens."

He called me back about 10 minutes later saying he'd been able to pick up the tickets. I was awfully surprised, "Didn't they at least ask for the credit card that was used to purchase them?" To which he responded, "There was a girl working the window."

I'm sure there might be girls out their who'd be jealous if their boyfriend was able to charm other girls so easily. But my point of view is more that if I'm actually benefiting then there's isn't really anything wrong. There's also the fact I trust him completely.

How would you feel if you were in a similar situation? Jealous or almost slight amused by it all like me?


Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The First Date

Part 1:We Meet in Math Class
Part 2: We Get to Know Each Other

When we last left on this relationship story, I had just said no to the boy's first request for a date. No, I wasn't intentionally playing hard to get. I was actually supposed to be flying out of state to visit a friend that weekend. Except that when they were loading the plane the broke it, so the flight was canceled and since I was only supposed to be gone for a weekend my trip was canceled as well. So I technically wound up being free the night we could have gone on our first date.

Except that I didn't have his phone number, so I had no way of calling him to say, "Change of plans, I'm now free this Saturday. Let's go on a date." I was disappointed with how the weekend turned out, and if I had his phone number I probably would have called. Except looking back its probably a good thing I didn't. I might not have intentionally played hard to get when he asked me out, but maybe it could work for me.

I did see him at class the following Tuesday, and we did make plans to go on an actual date the following Saturday, which was September 22, 2006. Almost 3 years ago. I was a little stressed about what to wear. It had been hot the past few weeks, but it was just starting to cool down. I had planned on wearing one of my summer dresses, but didn't want to be too cold so I decided on a more fall type outfit.

Its probably a good thing that was my decision because the night he came to pick me up it was pouring rain. Since I had just straitened my hair and didn't want to ruin it, I invited him inside to talk hoping the rain would stop. I don't believe it actually stopped, but it did let up, so we decided to head out.

He said we should use my car since it was raining, which didn't make sense to me at the time. (Now of I course I understand that since he car didn't have air conditioning, he would roll down the windows to keep cool. But you can't quite roll down the windows when its raining.) We walked out to my car and I tried to open the door for him. Yeah, being Southern he really wasn't going to let me do that for him.(Of course this means he still opens car doors for me know.)

He had me drive to Alabasha's a Greek/Lebanese/Israeli place. (I guess it would have been easier to say Mediterranean right?) He suggested that we start by ordering the fried cheese plate.
Fried Cheese
No, these pictures aren't from our first date. It turns out Albasha's has become one of our favorite restaurants to go to. We actually went last night to celebrate the fact that he found out yesterday he passed his PhD qualifying exam. We're kind of creatures of habit, and wind up ordering almost the exact same thing every time we're there. And yes, the boy had already eaten a piece of cheese. Also for some reason, they forgot to put olives on this plate as well. But it was still amazing last night, as it was on our first date.

For our main courses I ordered the lamb shank plate
Lamb Shank Plate
and he had the chicken shawarma plate
Chicken Shawarma Plate
These both normally come with a salad, but we've both started replacing them (him since he doesn't like salad in general, me because I'm not a big fan of the dressing). The boy normally gets extra rice, and I'll normally substitute for an order of stuffed grape leaves. Our first date we were not so in the know, and both had salad with our meal.

For dessert I ordered a piece of baklava. I was expecting him to split this with me, but as I learned that not he's not a big fan of sweets and thus not of desserts. More for me I guess! (Alas, I have no picture of Albasha's baklava because the boy had to go to a meeting after dinner last night and I didn't have time to order it.)

After dinner we got back in my car, not really sure what to do. Since Albasha's was right next to the movies we decided to go to one. He let me pick and I decided we should go see The Illusionist,
which wound up being a really good choice on my part. If you've never seen it, I do recommend it. Its a bit has a bit of a romance, and also a bit of a mystery which meant both of us were able to enjoy it. Its also the type of movie that you pick up more each time you watch, which means we've been able to watch the movie together several times since our first date.

After the movie was over I drove us back to my apartment. If I remember correctly, I was planning on dropping him off at his car. But he had me park and walked me back to my apartment. Pretty good first date, don't ya think? Although honestly, at the time, I'm pretty sure I'd never would have guess what this date would wind up developing into.

And yes, there's of course more from our relationship story. That is of course if anyone wants to hear it. It isn't like we officially become "a couple" after one date, right?


Monday, August 24, 2009

Inglourious Grad

or if you prefer Post Basterds. Not too sure which one I like better. Although Post Basterds probably captures my feelings about this weekend's crop of movies better.

Inglourious Basterds
I'm not a huge Quentin Tarantino fan, and so I probably wasn't the movies intended audience. I'm pretty sure I was 1 of only 5 females in the theater. This isn't to see there aren't girl who do like him. I have one friend who's a big fan. But I'm most definitely not one of them. I think in general its because I'm not a big fan of seeing blood and guts all over the screen. And just look at the poster. If there's that much gore on the poster, you have a pretty good idea how much is in the movie.

In case you haven't seen the previews the movie is about a team of American soldiers headed by Brad Pitt who go off to Europe to kill Nazis and collect their scalps. (Yeah, there are several scalping scenes in the movie. Yuck.) I will admit Brad Pitt is awesomely funny, and one of the high points of the movies.

A second subplot that isn't really mentioned in the previews is that of a young Jewish women. She was in hiding with her family, and she escaped while her family was murdered. So of course being the type of movie this is, she also wants Nazis dead. But the best part of the movie, at least for me, was her name, which is my name! Granted she spells is Shosanna. But since the name is a Hebrew transliteration, its still the same name.

If I'm being honest, I would probably be willing to watch this movie just to hear them say my name over and over. I'm pretty sure this is the first time I've ever heard my name in a film. And also since my name can be difficult to pronounce, I seems like most people find a way to avoid saying my name, so I don't hear it very often. Really though, I would never want to see this movie againg. But because of Shosanna I'd be willing to suffer through it again for the boy (who of course loved it).

Post Grad
I was really looking forward to this movie, and maybe that's why I was so let down when it wasn't what I expected. The previews make this movie out to be this great coming of age story that speaks to our generation. Something along the lines of Garden State, where everyone is trying to find itself. Others said this could be what happens to Rory Gilmore after she graduates from Yale. (Its been a while since I've seen a Gilmore Girls episode in a while, but do think she went to Yale. Sorry in advance if that's wrong.)

Unfortunately, the movie wasn't really any of those things. There were a feel scenes that felt very "quarter-life-crisis-ish." But if you've seen the previews then you've seen those scenes. The rest of the movie focused on Ryden's (Alexis Bladel) weird family, and didn't seem to fit with the post graduation type theme.

There were a few cute moments. The first Youtube-esque scene to start the movie being the main one. But overall, I was really unimpressed. I'd definitely say wait to rent this movie, or better yet watch it when the show it one TV.

Overall, a pretty disappointing movie weekend, at least for me. (The Boy at least got to enjoy his movie.) Hopefully, next weekend will be better. Although with Halloween 2 and The Final Destination opening I'm not to sure about that.


Thursday, August 20, 2009

The Next Hamburger Helper

Last night the boy took his last (hopefully!) PhD qualifying exam. To celebrate the fact that he no longer had to study he decided to wanted to make hamburgers. Along with making normal hamburgers he decided it would be fun to mix some of our favorite pesto (made by SpiceWorld if you're curious) into a few patties. I thought it was a pretty great idea, and had high hopes.

Let's just say the burgers turned out absolutely amazing. The only thin we didn't think about was all the olive oil we were adding to the burger. Because of this the bottom of the patty didn't get as crispy as the top, and you could almost taste the oil olive in the burger. Except that the main taste of the burger was pesto.
Pesto Burger
For fun I added some feta to the top of my burger. I won't eat a cheeseburger, but a feta burger I will definitely eat. It turned out far better than I could have imagine (as you can see I barely got a picture before I devoured the whole thing). I'm pretty sure dinner tonight will involve leftover pesto burgers as well!

Would you ever try a pesto burger? If not, what type of toppings do you think would be fun to try on a burger?


Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Rashi's Daughters

Rashi's Daughters Book III: Rachael by Maggie Anton
I actually read the first two books in this trilogy about 2 years ago, and I loved them. So much that when I found up the final book was released two weeks ago I made a point to go out buy it. I'm glad I did because I loved this one as much as the first two.

The books are about the three daughters of Solomon ben Issac named Johevad, Miriam, and Rachel. Each book is named after one daughter and told from their point of view, but each follows chronologically after the next. Their father goes onto book a great Jewish scholar who is now know as Rashi. The book are based on fact, or as much fact as we can know considering they take place in 11th century France. What's interesting about Rashi is that he had no sons only daughters, so he taught the Talmud (Judaism's teachings on the Torah) to has daughters, which was not commonly done in those times. The children of his daughters grew up to be the next generation of Jewish scholars. What is interesting to read in epilogue is that a statistician from Stanford calculated that any Jew today with European Jewish ancestry is almost certainly descended from Rashi. I guess that means in a way I'm reading about my great-great-great-(times probably 30 or so)-grandmother and aunts.

One thing I really like is the amount of Judaism I'm able to pick up from the book. I do think I know a good amount about my religion, but there is still a lot of details I don't know. For example, I know the basic stories in the Torah and I know the story behind most holidays. But I don't know some more religious aspects, for example how the rules Judaism provides for the way husband and wife can interact (including that they aren't allowed to touch during her time of the month). And while I know certain prayers like the prayer over the Shabbat candles, I had no idea it wasn't actually written in the Torah and when Jews started saying it. All 3 of the books are filled with these types of details. Details you wouldn't know unless you're really religious (probably orthodox), and even then you may not have heard it before. All three books are filled with details like this.

An interesting aspect of the 3rd book is that it takes place during the first crusade. In school I only remember being taught about how European knights traveled to Israel to try to reclaim it for Christianity. What I didn't learn was that a the same time some of these knights decide that instead of traveling for months of even years to the Middle East, they could rid the world of heresy by starting with the Jews living in Europe itself. While the Middle Ages and Crusades weren't a great time for anyone in Europe, this was especially true from some of the Jews.

I would highly recommend these books to anyone who is Jewish and anyone who isn't Jewish. I do think the middle ages are an interesting time to read about, and the fact that Judaism is involved appeals to me as well. You'll enjoy reading these, and you'll probably learn something while doing so.


Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Is It Worth It?

The other day I went to the grocery store to pick up a few things. I just went to the slightly ghetto-ish one down the street instead of driving all the way to Fresh Market or Whole Foods. I really only needed to buy potatoes and milk, and didn't really seen the need. (Potatoes to make mashed potatoes, and milk for the boy to drink.)

I don't think its really a shopping trip unless I go down every isle so of course I wound up with a few extra items, a jar of pesto, some different cheeses, a bag of lentils, and a bag of Stacy's Pita Chips (parmesan, garlic, and herb flavor). This is pretty much why I try to avoid going grocery shopping myself. I like going with a boy because I get a 2nd opinion, and someone to veto purchases I put in the cart. (Like the fact I probably do not need to buy ice cream, cookies, and 2 kinds of Little Debbie snack cakes.) But I was by myself, so I got to make all the decisions.

Now I've never actually tried Stacy's Pita Chips before this. I remember seeing them featured on the Food Network, and thinking they sounded really good. And I see them all the time, but this was my first time actually deciding to see what they were all about.

I go to check out and the girl scans my groceries she tries to make conversation, "Wow, these chips are a waste of money." Seriously, I thought? I wasn't sure really how to respond. Clearly I didn't think they were a waste of money since I had made the decision to buy them. I'm not sure what she was expecting to happen. Maybe I should have said something like, "I had no idea they were a waste of money. I must not have been thinking when I decided to buy them, and now that you have let me know I'm wasting my money I've decided to buy them." Or instead I could have said something really mean like, "I think your whole store is a waste of money," and just left without buying anything.

Instead, I just kind of smile and laughed with her, which was probably the polite thing to do. I guess I should only buy "waste of money food" at places like Whole Foods and Fresh Market where that's what they expect you to do.

And the chips themselves? I will admit there's not a lot of chips in the bag. But they are really yummy. Definitely not a waste of money to me, and its that the only opinion that matters?


Monday, August 17, 2009

The Time Traveler's District 9

The movie titles this weekend don't quite flow together as well as last week. Someone needs to tell Hollywood that movies released on the same weekend need to have titles that mesh well together (a la G.I. Julia). Moving on...

District 9
I wasn't sure what to expect with the movies, but whatever it was I never could have imagined what happened in it. In case you haven't seen the preview, basically it takes place in Johannesburg, South Africa where this is a slum for aliens. As you might expect the race inter-species relations are so great. Based on the basic outline I was thinking it would be someone of a drama. But considering its an alien moving I was also expecting a good amount of action.

The movie was both of those and so much more. There were part when I was a little scared by what was going on and I didn't want to watch. There were some parts where I didn't want to watch more out of horror and disgust. There were exciting thrill induced chase scenes. And there were some parts that were so sad and a little bittersweet that actually cried a little. Basically, hit almost every emotion I could have imagine.

A lot of the movie is based on what happened when ending apartheid in South Africa, and having to integrate blacks and whites. For example, like blacks were "give" English names, the aliens in the movie were given English names. I have heard some people thought this was a little over the top, but I don't think it was done in an overkill scenes.

Honestly, the past way I can describe the movie is unsettling. I definitely dreamed about it the night I saw it, and its not a movie you can easily forget about.

Moving to the complete other side of the spectrum, we also saw
The Time Traveler's Wife
The movie has gotten very good reviews, and in general movie adaptions aren't nearly as good as the actual book. So going into the movie I was a little wary of what I would be seeing. Maybe partly due to my low expectations, but mostly due to the fact I've read the book I loved the movie!

I can see why people who hadn't read the book didn't really enjoy it. There wasn't a lot of character back story, and there wasn't a lot of development to their relationship. But since I knew what happens a was able to fill in a lot of the blanks. The did take out a lot of the scenes where his visits her growing up, and there were a few scenes added and details changed that weren't in the book.

Also the movie itself was almost completely chronological. Normal for a movie yes, but not so normal compared to the book. I do think if they had tried to match the back and forth order of the book viewers who hadn't read it would be even more lost than they our with the current movie. I do think considering how hard it must have been to adapt a book written the way The Time Traveler's Wife was written they did a very good.

I would say this weekend is a tough weekend to make a definite pick. I glad I was able to see both of the movies. I guess it just depends on what type of movie you're into. If you're like my boyfriend and you hate love stories, then District 9 might be the way to go. But if you're looking for something romantic that will make you cry clearly The Time Traveler's Wife would be it. I would still recommend reading the book first.


Sunday, August 16, 2009

Up in the Mountains

I'm so excited to finally post in my first on of Kelly's Corner's "Show us your life." This weeks theme is shows us your favorite vacation spots. I've been pretty lucky to travel alot, but even so picking a favorite for me wasn't very hard. Was it one of my trips last year to Japan or Israel? Or maybe somewhere in Europe? On separate trips I've been to England, Italy, and France. Or maybe it was somewhere in the United States? I've been on trips to Destin (Florida), NYC, Las Vegas, Niagara Falls, The Florida Keys, and Seattle to name a few. But as crazy as it may seem it isn't any of those.

I love going camping in the mountains. Up in the Sierra Nevada's particularly. We went camping as a family as long as I can remember. When I was younger we mainly went to King's Canyon or Calaveras Big Trees, but as I got older we started going more often to Rock Creek, which is outside Mammoth.
Playing in the dirt with my best friend next to the campfire pit

Yes, there was a long drive involved, but a long drive meant there were fun places to stop on the way. Driving to Calaveras meant we got to stop at the apple stand. I huge stand that sold fresh apple juice, homemade apple doughnuts, and my favorite apple popsicles. Driving to Rock Creek meant we stopped at the Beef Jerky place, where the sold literally the world's best beef jerky (homemade of course). Their teriyaki barbecue is pretty much to die for.
Emerald Lake with Sara
With the same friend as the previous picture, July 2002

Once you actually got to the campsite what was there to do? Of course there's all the typical camping things, hiking and fishing and the like. Although what I most like about the mountains is the ability to just do nothing. I'd always bring a few books and would spend most of the day reading. I still remember reading Jurassic Park up in the mountains around 1994 or so.
Gibbs Family and Friends Group Photo at Rock Creek
My Parents, My brother and his two friends, Me and my college roommate, July 2004

Then of course there is the food. Who doesn't love s'mores? And there's the actual experience of sitting around the campfire roasting the perfect marshmallow. But besides that, food always tastes so much better in the mountains, pancakes especially. And have I mentioned how gorgeous it is? And how many stars you can see at night?
In Rock Creek, CA
Myself while camping at Rock Creek, July 2002

If I had to pick a 2nd favorite vacation it would still be the mountains. Except instead of going camping in the summer, I'd be going skiing in the winter.
Skiing at Mammoth 1999 (Yes, this is me with the same friend as the first two pictures)

Overall, then if I could I'd spent part of every summer and every winter up in the mountain. Or at least alternate years going camping and going skiing. I know camping isn't most people's ideal vacation spot, but I love it, and I'm sure there's at least of few of you out there who do as well!


Thursday, August 13, 2009

Getting to Know You

Part 1: We Meet in Math Class

When I last talked about mine and the boy's relationship story, I told you how he made a point to talk to me after class. And I made a quick replay and pretty much ran away. Lucky for me the boy tried again our next class. Again, I tried to respond quickly and run away, but before I could he asked, "Where are you off too." I tired to pretty much make something up, "I have to go check my department mail box on the 3rd floor,"

"I'll walk with you. And what are you doing after?"

"Well nothing really, I have about two hours until my next class." So we spent the rest of the day together. The following week again he came up to me after class, and this time I didn't try to run away. I stopped scared of trying something new.

Its funny looking back on this time, when we really didn't know each other. Certain conversations still feel like they happened yesterday, and yet so much has happened since then. But its the little things that stick out.

I remember telling him how I couldn't fly on a plane without a cosmo. He thought I meant the drink. I was talking about the magazine.

I remember him making a sarcastic comment about his other girlfriend. I fired back, "That's cool, I have a husband and two kids at home," and we both laughed about our jokes.

I know when I first meet someone I can be quiet, and I don't ask a lot of questions. But he put up with that, and really made a point to get to know me, push past the wall I was putting up trying to hold everyone out.

After a few weeks of just hanging out and talking between classes, he finally asked me out on an official date. Of course you're all thinking I must have said yes. But where the fun in that? Sorry to disappoint everyone, but I said no.

And I guess that's where we'll leave the cliffhanger this time.


Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Wearing My Little Black Apron

Truth to be told I don't actually own a little black apron. Or more like I don't own any aprons. I do however own the cookbook called The Little Black Apron, and last night decided to try a few new recipes from it.

First I decided to go with asparagus. Or as its called, Grilled Asparagus with Fresh Lemon and Olives. As I've said before, this cookbook is geared towards the single girl cooking for just herself. (Can't you tell from the name?) Which means the recipe was for about 4 spears of asparagus. Instead I just decided to cook the whole bunch I had at once. This wasn't a bad thing, it just had a few obstacles.

First the recipe says to grill the asparagus spears for 2-3 minutes on one said, and them flip them over to finish cooking on the other side. Now thing I put all of the asparagus into the pan at the exact same time this was a little difficult. I can guarantee each asparagus did not get to spend time on each of its sides. All the pieces wound up getting cooked all the way, but it might have been a tiny bit easier if I cooked a few at a time.

Also the recipe said to use the juice from a quarter of a lemon for the 4 spears. I did have way more than 4, but figured I'd be ok using the juice of half a lemon. Unexpectedly, the asparagus was far more lemon-y than I would have liked. So maybe I would have been fine using a little less lemon juice.

The recipe said the asparagus would be good hot or cold. I decided to cook them first, and then we could always eat them cold. Instead they were a bit lukewarm, when we ate them. They boy actually wound up microwaving his a bit, but I ate mine as is. Easily my favorite part of them was the chopped up olives on top.
Grilled Asparagus with Fresh Lemon and Olives

For the main dish I went with Simple Chicken Cutlets with Shallots and White Wine. Except the boy bought chicken breasts instead. The recipe said they could be used, but just to pound them thin before hand. Except I thought that would be too much work and cooked them as is.

The way the recipe is supposed to work is to cook the chicken first, and then make the sauce. So I cooked the chicken, cut up the shallots, made the sauce and let it reduce. When the sauce was ready I put the chicken breasts into the sauce to coat them, and called the boy in for dinner.

Except the chicken breasts were not cooked all the way through. Not even close. I had a minor failure freak-out, but the boy took charge and threw the chicken breasts into the oven. The chicken breasts wound up getting cooked, but not-so-surprisingly were a little dry.
Chicken Breast in Shallot and White Wine Sauce

I would say this probably wasn't the best meal I've ever cooked. The asparagus wasn't bad, it just would have been better hot and with a little less lemon. The chicken breasts themselves were a little bland. But the sauce and the shallots were actually really good.
My Plate
The night wasn't a complete loss because there was still dessert! While we were shopping for groceries at fresh market I also picked up a cupcake from their bakery.
One of the best parts of the cupcake? It was only $0.99! I took a picture with my hand so you could see how big it was. And it tasted amazing! And only for $0.99. It was so rich, that I couldn't even finish it all. Which means I have leftover cupcake to eat tonight!


P.S. For everyone that was wondering if they should see the movie Julie & Julia first or read the book first, it's hard to say. Especially considering I haven't read the book yet. Although, there's not a whole lot a surprises from the movie you don't get from the previews. (For example, the big climax of the movies they say at the end, "They turned her book into a blog." Umm.. really? I had no idea.) I have heard there are a few subplots from the book that didn't make it into the movie, but I don't know for sure. I do promise once I actually read the book to shed some more light here

Monday, August 10, 2009

G.I. Julia

First off, I'm kind of in love with how well these two movie names together. Second, for all of you who guess Julia & Julia you were right. We saw that Friday and G.I. Joe Sunday night. We were originally planning on seeing 500 Days of Summer instead on Sunday, but got there about 8 minutes too late. Although I'm pretty happy with how it turned out. And I think its pretty obvious, but any idea who picked what movie?

G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra
If you're looking for a movie with a plot, don't go see this one. But if you're looking for a movie with lots of chase scenes, lots of explosions, and lots of explosions then well you've found your choice. Did I also mentioned there's two ninjas fighting? And girl and girl fighting as well?

Yeah, I'm going to say ever boy in the theater (and every grown up boy) loved the movie. Me, not so much. I will say they did try to add a love story of two, but neither was really developed. And at least to me it didn't seem to have a lot to do with the original G.I. Joe toys and tv show. They did use a G.I. Joe catchphrase ("Knowing is half the battle") and did use the same names, but other than that. (And no, I did not know the phrase was classic, the boy confirmed that.)

So if you just want to see a whole lot of action scenes and don't care what happens between them, well this is your pick. On the other hand...

Julie & Julia
As everyone's saying Meryl Streep was pretty much amazing. But I really like Amy Adams as well. I did think all the Julia Child scenes were really interesting, and think they cut back between the two stories really well. And all the food in the movie looked absolutely AMAZING.

But I think my favorite part was all the blogging scene. Blogging myself I loved all the little blogging details. The excitement getting a new comment. Feeling like you'll let people down if you don't update (even when you real life friends tell you they will all make it through somehow). It was nice being able to relate.

Of course, once the movie was over I decided I need to find the actual Julie/Julia Project blog, and then I wanted to see if Julie Powell still had a blog. I'm still in awe about the fact that see started a blog, and it got turned into a book, and then into a movie. As you probably know, its the first blog that got turned into a movie, which makes you think. Do you have a favorite blog you think should be a movie? Now of course, I can't wait to read the book! (Which I now have, thanks to winning the giveaway at Sweet Tea Diaries!)

What's my final thought? If you want to see a movie with a bunch of explosions go see G.I. Joe. But if you want to see an actual movie with a plot, go see Julie and Julia


Sunday, August 9, 2009

What A Weekend

We so often do the same thing (or the same variation of the same thing) every weekend, that even a small change can be quite exciting. (Don't get me wrong, I love a normal average weekend, but changing things up a bit is a nice change of pace.)

On Friday night one of my good friends from high school was in town (Yes, my high school in California). She's going to be starting law school in New Orleans and is starting to move into her apartment. But she was up in Baton Rouge for the day so we met up for dinner.

We went to The Chimes which is an LSU mainstay. It's just off-campus and normally crowed with students. (A few years ago they did open a 2nd location on the other side of town.) Amazingly we got a table without a wait, almost unheard of for a Friday night, although we were eating early. We wound up splitting a plate of fries, I had a hamburger, and she had a boca burger. I'm really happy she's going to be living here, and I'm looking forward to having a some good weekends down in New Orleans with her soon.

After dinner I met up with the boy for a movie. Want to know what we saw? Well, I'll leave you in suspense for now. But I'm willing to take your guesses!

Saturday night one of the boy's high school friends was in town. (The boy went to high school in Baton Rouge, so that's a little less out of the ordinary.) We met up with him, and one more of the boy's friends for dinner at Buffalo Wild Wings. This is the restaurant we always go to when we meet the boy's friends. They like it because we can play trivia while we're hanging out. But the food? I'm not a big fan of it. I wound up getting a chicken caesar wrap, which wasn't very good. The boy and I also split an appetizer of mozzarella sticks, which were A LOT better than the wrap I had.

After dinner we all went to play pool. Well the boys played pool, and I sat around watching. I don't really enjoy playing, and I'm not very good. That's probably the main reason I don't love playing. Although the boy has done his best to teach me and I am doing better.

At the pool hall I did take my one picture of the weekend. (Yes, I know a bit of a blog fail.)
Midori Sour
It's the Midori Sour I ordered. Its one of the four drinks I always wind up ordering when I go out.

Overall, I'd say the change of pace made for a great time. And what's on for the rest of the day? I'm thinking of making dinner? Maybe a movie? I'll let you know! Hope everyone else is having (or had) a great weekend as well!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Chicken Curry

Sukhi's Chicken Curry
Sukhi's Chicken Curry
I picked up yet another of the Sukhi's frozen meals at Fresh Market. I've been a big fan of them in the past, and was hoping this would be yet another smart choice. Unfortunately, it didn't quite work out that way.

My main pros and cons and the same one I have for most of their meals. Their naan is really yummy and amazing. But the actual package isn't really a meal. You're only getting meat and bread. I think their products could be easily improved if they also had a bit of a side something even as easy as rice. Or maybe just a few vegetables mixed in.

As for the actual meal itself, I wasn't a huge fan of the actual chicken. The pieces seemed to be too big, and I think it they were smaller they would be able to get more of the sauce. Also the actual quality of the chicken wasn't amazing. The sauce was good and there was a lot of each. Which was good, because I was able to use the naan to soak it up. Although it wasn't a very spicy curry, and I have had curries that have been a lot better.

All in all it could have been worse. Although I probably won't go out of my way to try this exact product again. Although I am still a fan of Suhki's (partly because I can't stop thinking about their samosas!).

And for dessert? Well it is a Frozen Thursday after all!
Haagen Daz Mango Sorbet
Haagen Daz Mango sorbet
This easily made up for the letdown of the dinner. I'm still amazed I haven't gone back for seconds on it yet!


Dead Until Dark

Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris
I finished reading this on my lunch hour today. I did enjoy reading it, however I don't think it quite held up to my expectations. I think I've heard so many good things about it (both the book and the tv show) that I was really expecting it to be amazing. I wanted it to be the type of book that I could not put down. That I had to be able to finish it, and could not do so until I fell asleep. But at least for me it didn't quite do it. Don't get me wrong, I did enjoy it, and still want to read the next one. I was just hoping it could have been better.

What were my thoughts about the book itself? I liked that in the first chapter vampires were introduced as a given. They weren't something most people ever say, and most people didn't like them. But still, in the world the story takes place in everyone knows that vampires are real and do exist in the real world. I thought that was an interesting twist on the vampire genre. (Although to be honest, besides the Twilight books I haven't really read any vampire books.)

Something else that I liked was that it takes place in Louisiana. I won't say I was able to identify with it more because I live in Louisiana. But it was still fun since I do live here now.

Like I said before I still do want to read the rest of the series. I would also love to watch the series. Except for the fact that we don't get HBO. I guess I'll just have to watch it on dvd someday. I know there's other people who've read the books. What are your thoughts on this first one? And I'd love to hear reassurance that the books do get better further on!


Wednesday, August 5, 2009

You Don't Sit on the Baby

My first summer living in Louisiana I spent as a camp counselor. It was what I did throughout most of high school and college, and I wanted one my summer as a counselor before I ended grad school. I had a great summer, and at the end one of the parent's asked if I'd been willing to babysit. "Of course!" After all, who doesn't like a few extra dollars.

A few weeks after the summer ended they called to see if I could watch the kids. They lived not that far from my apartment at the time so I had no trouble finding the place. The night went really smoothly. I made frozen pizza. The kids watched one of the Air Bud movies on TV. They even went to sleep pretty easily.

The trouble only started when the parents got home. I was giving them a report of the night, and they asked how much I charged. Well, that far more complicated than it seemed. I hadn't actually babysat since high school. Back in high school I used to charge $10 an hour (which was even on the low side compared to some of my friends). But when I was in high school I was 16 or 17 when I was baby-sitting, and at the time I was 22. So based on the fact I was older I would guess I should charge slightly more, and one would think in general babysitting rates have gone up over the past 6 years or so.

However, when I babysat in high school I was in California. But, now I was in Louisiana. And things cost more in California than they do in Louisiana. Minimum wage is less in California than it is in Louisiana. So I should be charging less than I used to in California.

I figured that since I should be charging more on one opinion and less on the other opinion, if I kept my same rate I'd be safe. I really did try to avoid saying anything, "I'm fine with whatever you normally pay your baby-sitters," but that wasn't working. So I finally sucked it up and said, "I charge $10 an hour."

I pretty much completely overestimated the going rate for a babysitter in Louisiana. Turns out they normally paid $7 an hour for a babysitter. I told them $7 would be fine, but they insisted. Then there was the fact they didn't have enough cash to pay me for $10 an hour. Luckily (or unluckily depending on how you look at it) they were able to find their checkbook and wrote me a check for $10 an hour. And let's just say they never actually called me again to babysit. I'm guess they went back to a babysitter that was at least a little cheaper than me.

So I'm curious, did you babysit when you were growing up? Do you remember what the going rate for then? Or maybe you currently have kids? If that's the case what do you normally pay your babysitters? Maybe we can come to some sort of nationwide (or maybe even worldwide) average!


Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Sounds Like an Amazing Birthday Present

Anyone who knows me well will tell you I was am a pretty big Backstreet Boys fan. I'm not as big as I used to be in high school and even most of college, but that is mainly due to the fact they haven't had a lot of albums since then. I am a big enough fan that I follow backstreetboys on twitter. And ok, I might follow nickcarter as well. But since I follow them I know that the Backstreet Boys are planning a pretty awesome birthday present for me. Turns out their new album This is Us comes out on October 6, less than a week before my birthday!

And of course you can't have a new album without a single! The single's called Straight Through My Heart (Ummm yeah, its a Backstreet song, so of course heart HAS to be in the title.) I haven't heard it on the radio yet, but hopefully I will soon! But of course there is youtube!
Anyone else want to share their thoughts? I think that the new song is pretty awesome! (of course I do) I know some of you out there used to be Backstreet fans back in the day. Anyone else think they'd buy the new album?


Monday, August 3, 2009

Are They Really Funny People

Funny People
I haven't been hearing the best things about this movie, so I wasn't really expecting to be amazed. I thought it would be the type of movie where all the funny parts were in the preview and the movie itself was a bit of a letdown. But maybe because of these low expectations I really enjoyed the movie.

The movie itself was done in a really interesting way. The actual plot was really serious and emotional, and not very funny. But interspersed the entire movie were stand up routines. The routine weren't randomly there, they did still fit chronologically into the story which I liked. But the stand-up routines were the scenes with all the jokes. And while I was afraid all of the good jokes would be in the previews, this was not actually the case. In fact, there were a few jokes from the previews that didn't actually make it into the movie.

The other amusing part of the movie were all the cameos. First all of the random film featuring Adam Sandler's character all featured other actors. Sometimes you say actual clips of these movies, sometime you just saw the previews. Then there were several cameos of comedians playing themselves. I knew who most of the big name comedians were (and even a few musicians), but there were some who I could tell were I was supposed to recognize, but I had no idea who there were.

I think though the best part of the movie were the two little girls. They're actually the same girls from Knocked Up, which makes sense since they are the daughters of Judd Aptow and Leslie Mann. So we all know where they get their comedic acting skills from. They two girls (Maude Apatow and Iris Apatow) had slightly bigger parts than the ones they played in Knocked Up and I thought they stole the show.

So my advice, is don't listen to the critics. This movies is actually a lot better than what everyone else is saying!


P.S. While we're talking about movies, I won my first giveaway ever last weekend. Miss Sweet Tea from Sweet Tea Diaries is sending me a copy of Julie & Julia, and I can't wait to read it! I've already been looking forward to seeing the movies, and now I'm looking forward to reading the book. So, thank you Miss Sweet Tea!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Happy 2nd Birthday!

No, not to me. Today was the boy's niece's 2nd birthday (it was her actual birthday as well as her party). The boy of course had to work, so I headed over on my own. The party theme was Minnie Mouse, so there was a Minnie Mouse cake as well as a bunch of other snacks and food. They actually tried to buy a Minnie Mouse cake at a bakery, but every bakery said they couldn't sell Minne cakes due to copyright infringement. They made the cake themselves, and I thought it turned and pretty good and was really yummy! I would post a picture for everyone, but I forgot my camera!

I had charged my camera last night so it would be ready for the party, but I left it on the charger! I didn't realize I had forgotten it until I tried to take it out for a picture.

The fact that I didn't have a camera was a little disappointing, but everything else was pretty good. Well, everything else except the weather. Right when I pulled up to the house it started drizzling. And by the time I got inside it was pretty much a downpour, so we were all trapped inside. And of course the rain stopped just after everyone left.

It's so crazy how old his niece is now! I was there when she was born, and its a a bit surreal to think she's 2 now. She's actually talking and making sense! I had a blast playing with her and a some of the other kids throughout most of the party. One of the little boys kept grabbing my hand and making me walk laps around the house with him. And being around all these kids makes me want to have my one. Until of course the rational part of my mind kicks in and tells me I am nowhere near ready for that. Of course it didn't help that I was the only one at the party that didn't have a kid.

After the party was over I hung out with the rest of the family waiting for the boy. He stopped by after he got of work, so he got to have a little time with his niece as well. We had the birthday girl wait until he got their to open our present. I did actually take a picture of the present back at our apartment, so I do have at least one picture to share!
2nd Birthday Presents
Besides the these two books, we also got her numbers book with dry-erase pages and a marker so you can write how many things are in each picture, a bubble mower, and a WordWorld Tiger, which is a tiger made out of the letters T-I-G-E-R. Each letter is magnetic so you can learn to associate the word with the animal. I think she was pretty happy with the presents we got her, she actually said Tiger and growled when she opened the Tiger. Overall, I think it was a pretty good Sunday!