Tuesday, February 27, 2007

What a wild weekend! Lots of highs and lows. A little microcosm. I'll give you some hi and low lights.
Friday I had that extra day off because I worked the breakfast on Thurs so jilly could go to jury duty. (they ended up sending her home at lunchtime.) I did some more laundry, planned to do some other stuff---but didn't really. I didn't leave the house, again. I guess Feb is all about mini hibernation. Anyway, at some point on Friday I got some really disturbing news....the ex of a friend shot himself in the head on Tuesday night, only to be found by his 8 year old son on Wednesday morning. I am having a very hard time figuring out what is the worst thing about this scenario---the guy was a consummate fuckup, but still. He leaves behind the 8 year old son who already had seen more than any person should have to see in life, plus the almost 5 year old daughter who despite everything really loved her daddy. The chances that there was a life insurance policy are pretty slim---and he was already a financial burden on everyone around. It's just a terrible mess. I haven't actually been able to talk to my friend yet....she sent me a text message because it was too hard for her to say. I am waiting for her call. If you know me, you probably know who I am talking about, and hopefully you can keep her and the kids in your prayers.
On Friday I also cut off most of my hair. Just chopped it. I am not terribly happy with the results, but I think it's something that a trained professional could easily fix. Don't ask me what got into me, because I don't have an answer. Just needed a change, I guess. I already love the fact that it will dry in practically no time---that is a definite benefit. I'll post a picture once it's fixed up.
Friday night rebby and I went to La Fiesta for dinner. I had been craving Mexican food in a serious way. We had chips and salsa and chorizo y queso and then I got the perfect plate of a cheese enchilada, a beef taco, beans and rice. Yay. I was hoping for sopapillas, but we were way too stuffed by that point. Yum. We stopped at Dreaming Ant and picked up Secretary and a super awesome documentary about X called The Unheard Music. Wow, it was so good. I somehow had mostly missed X back in the day, but I am catching up.
Saturday morning we watched a little bit of the shows, had some toast and coffee, and then...drove to Cleveland! Well, first we had to go the bank and the gasoline store, and also stopped in to Radio Shack to get one of those devices that enable the sansa to play over the car radio. Sweet. So yeah, we decided to take an impetuous trip to Cleveland to go to the West Side Market. I don't have time right now to go into it in much detail but lordy---I REALLY want to move to Ohio City. It's unbelievable. In fact, I think I'll stop now and post in detail when I get home from work because I really want to share the love of Ohio City with you all. See ya later.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Mission(mostly) Accomplished

Yesterday was a very productive and yet totally relaxing day. I got almost all of the stuff on my list done, including FOUR loads of laundry. It didn't totally wipe out the laundry mountain, but it did reduce it to a manageable level. And, since I am working breakfast into lunch today so Jilly can go to jury duty, I have tomorrow off. So as long as I remember to score some more quarters I can kick the rest of the laundry in the ass by the weekend. Huzzah!
Roxie was very nice on the radio yesterday. He played Hanoi Rocks completely unbidden, and he also played Judas Priest in response to my subliminal messaging. Hee hee. And that Kaiser Cheifs song I really like "Oh my god I can't believe it..."
Rebby stopped by for a surprise visit after church and that was nice. I fed her some coffee and toast and sent her on her way.
Did a ton of recipe research for the Irish brunch...now I just have to make decisions. It's hard not to go overboard with the sweets or the cabbage when it comes to Irish vegetarian food. But I'll work it out and make it as balanced as I can.
So---Casa de los Babys....I can't say I loved it. It was definitely an interesting character study and the actresses all did a great job. But it's John Sayles, and he is really into the slice of life movies where things don't really get resolved and although that is how life is, really....I end up feeling a little frustrated. It was one of those where I sat and stared at the screen for a long time after the closing credits, refusing to believe that was really the end. I started to watch the Prestige last night but it is a very DARK movie and that made me fall asleep. I'm having a hard time with Christian Bale's accent. But I'll finish it later today and take it back to blockbuster and maybe, just maybe, get something else. I'm movie crazy!
Didn't start my new bread yesterday, but I did make myself a kick ass taco salad with leftovers for lunch today. So yeah, all in all.....it was a grand day off. And I never even left my building!

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Movies, Movies, Movies.

I'm going a little movie crazy these days. There were all the movies I already wrote about this weekend, and then Sunday night we went to see Wild at Heart on the big screen. I gotta say, that is one of my all time favorite movies. I don't really consider myself a David Lynch fan, but I think that film is remarkable. I've seen it dozens of times, and it still manages to stir up all the same emotions in me as the first time. There aren't many movies that can retain that sort of power.

So yesterday after work I decided to rent some more movies and lay around on the couch. I was still feeling the aftereffects of the hormones and seriously, the weather is just getting me down. So I went to Blockbuster and got a delightful Danish film called Soap, about the strange relationship between a transsexual and the woman who moves in upstairs, and also Sherry Baby with Maggie Gyllenhaal as an ex drug addict trying to reunite with her daughter. Sherry Baby won all sorts of awards, and Maggie was great in it of course, but it didn't really do much for me. I loved the character of Dale but otherwise I was not too pulled in. Eh.
Today I rented some more films and so far I am doing much better. First up was A Home at the End of the World which just happens to star Colin Ferrell. I did not recognize him as Colin Ferrell during the course of the film which shows that he can be a good actor. It's a lovely little film about alternative family. I think the begining of the film is really amazing, and there are some other really amazing scenes, but the end kind of drags. I'm very glad I saw it though, and would recommend it highly. I just wish it was a tiny bit better.
The other film I watched tonight was The World According to Garp. I remember seeing this for the first time on TV when I was in high school, and I bawled out loud like a baby for about half an hour afterward. It's even better than I remembered, because I had managed to completely forget John Lithgow as a transsexual ex football player. It's brilliant. I loved The Hotel New Hampshire too--it seems like a lot of people really hate that one. I've never seen Cider House Rules--I'll have to look for that one next.
I still have Casa de los Babys and Prestige for tomorrow....and two Gregg Araki films coming in the nextflix. Hooray for a sudden burst of film!
Other than film, I've been busy trying to get my life back on track. I've got mountains of laundry stacked everywhere---but I am pretty sure the washing machine has been repaired. There is only one way to find out, and that I will do early tomorrow morning. I am going to wash mad clothes all day if it is!
I'm also going to start another bread, finish the dishes in the sink, and work on a menu for the March women's history theme brunch celebrating Irish Women. I've got some other paperworky things to do while Roxie is on the Rocket in the morning, and then I plan to get out there and get some shit done! I've had a package to mail for almost three weeks now and no chance to get to the post office. Tomorrow shall be the day!

Saturday, February 17, 2007

The weather and the hormones have combined to make me not want to do a damn thing today. Blah. I had planned to take some laundry across the street(since the washer in the basement is STILL BROKEN!) but I think that is probably not going to happen.
I think I might head out to the store to get some necessaries and then come home and tidy a bit and then veg out on the couch for the rest of the night. The power of hormones.
Last night rebby and I tried to go to Piper's Pub for some soothing Guiness and stew, but they still have not cleaned up from their water main break so we ended up at Fatheads. Which was okay---I still got my Guiness, and a good cheesesteak, and some homemade chips with malt vinegar. Plus they were playing 80s tunes. All good. After we ate we went to Dreaming Ant to get some gay film. Last night we watched Daddy and the Muscle Academy, a very interesting and super erotic documentary about Tom of Finland. It is mostly interview with Tom, but there are also lots of views of his drawings as well as shots of leathermen hanging out and getting dressed and buff dudes covering themselves in oil and stuff. Rrroarr. We both made it all the way through the actual documentary, but then we both fell asleep during the supplemental interview footage. The lilting sound of the Finnish language lulled us, I guess.
This morning we watched the shows and then The Living End. Wow. I can't believe I've never seen this film before---it was so right up my alley. It's very low budget and not particularly well acted in some spots, but it has a sort of John Watersish quality about it that is very appealing. Plus, lots of Echo and the Bunnymen and Chemlab and Coil in the soundtrack. I highly recommend this movie! I think I watched Nowhere a long time ago and didn't like it, but I would be willing to give it another shot now that I am more sophisticated. Ha. And maybe some more Gregg Araki films too. I finally got around to watching Kinsey and finishing Naked Lunch(GAWD WAS THAT TEDIOUS!!!!) so I can update my netflix queue. Hoorah.
Anyway---the raisin bread turned out really good. Next time I make it I will add sunflower seeds to take it over the top. I've got the next bread started--this one will be mostly whole wheat with a little white thrown in to soften it up. I need to get some more funky ingredients to throw in the next batch.
I've planned a supremely pimpy menu for brunch tomorrow. Caramelized Onion and Blue Cheese Frittata, Chocolate Pecan Bread Pudding with Caramel Sauce, and Artichoke and Red Pepper Shortcakes with Vegan Hollandaise. I have really missed being in the saddle for brunch during my two week absence. I really do love turning it out. Hopefully people will show up!
So, I still haven't really talked about Erie---it was a gas. John and Gina were the hosting dynamos I remembered (when we arrived at the mansion at 4:30am after the Beer Mug show, I walked in to the kitchen to find Gina making pizza still wearing her coat and hat!) and the recording process was a joy thanks to John's professionalism and easy goingness. I feel really good about what we got accomplished--most importantly(to me)I feel like my opinions and input were taken seriously, which felt good. I also loosened up and sang a bit which was nice. I was being a little shy about it but once I got started I didn't want to stop! We ended up dropping one song which I find very confusing---I basically reasoned with Alan that it is an important enough song that we should save it till I can do it effortlessly. He agreed. This was one of the hilights of the weekend---we went to the liquor store to get some Campari, the official alcohol of Anita Fix and Bambam, but the Erie Liquor store did not carry it. So we settled for the pomegranate. What a delicious consolation prize!
I do need to get a new bottle of Campari though--for next time.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Who is hotter?

I filled in a myspace survey today that asked for my first hollywood crush, and I could not decide between these two. I am leaning towards Bill Bixby, because he had the courtship of eddie's father thing and then the magician thing and then the hulk thing, whereas Mike Connors was just Mannix. But damn, that Mannix was RUGGED. And so smart.
What's your vote?
Some Things

1)Ian McKellen is my new myspace friend. Well, it's not really him--it's a fanpage. But I have a very very distinguished(hott) picture of Ian McKellen in my top friends now. Swoon.

2)I just took my second bread out of the oven. It's a raisin bread by special request from rebby after we had some delicious raisin toast while recording in Erie this weekend. (more on that in a minute) I used cinnamon and some of the vanilla sugar I got from Ikea in addition to organic raisins. It smells SO GOOD I can barely stand it, but I know it will be better if I let it sit before I cut into it.

3)Imogene Heap was nominated for best new artist at the Grammys. I would have done a spit take if I was drinking something. She is one of my new finds courtesy of emusic.com. The cool thing about getting 30 downloads a month for one low price is feeling good about taking a chance on something I haven't heard before. I highly recommend her if you have not heard her. Of course, she's been around for years(in the UK) and also of course---she lost to Carrie Underwood. Sigh.

4)Rebby had a couple of snow days and on day two she ended up watching Donnie Darko. I noticed while watching Donnie Darko that two of the three songs that Spandex Ballet performed at the new wave cabaret are featured in this film. Coincidence? I'll have to ask.

5)Cabin fever set in last night and we decided to hike in the snow drifts to Modern Formations to see the Woodlab show. The hike was super gorgeous because all the tree branches were iced up and looked like glass. The snow, as they always say, made everything quiet. We got there early enough to have spring rolls, tea, and curried chicken coconut soup at Pho Minh. The show was amazing--I'm so glad we went even if almost nobody else did. Three of my very favorite singer songwriters(Hills, Anita Fix, Daryl Fleming) and a guy I hadn't heard before who was very soothing(Dave Bernabo) made all sorts of beautiful musics. Megan is playing violin with Daryl now and that was extra special. They sounded fantastic together.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Well hello there!
I'm almost out of the woods.....just got the trip to Erie this weekend, and then life will be back to blissful normality. Well, as normal as it ever gets around here, I suppose.
So, I got better, eventually, and did a bunch of catering, and my sister came to visit and we went dancing at NEON at Belevederes where Spat obliged me with Depeche Mode and Adam Ant and INXS without me even having to ASK! It was so much fun to go dancing with my sissy....I think we've been trying to go dancing with every visit (me in Boston and her here) for YEARS, and it hasn't ever really worked out. This was perfect. Then Allison got here and we went out for a yummy meal at Kaya, and then Saturday was all about the last minute prep. Oh, and a trip to Monroeville to the Babies R Us to get presents for the new nephew who should be here any day now. That was a trip. There is nothing very intuitive about a baby store, let me just say.
We ate the bread--about half of it got eaten. It's pretty good, but it definitely needs more salt and maybe less whole wheat flour. Made excellent toast, though. Now there is a hard lump of it on top of the fridge because there wasn't much time for bread eating this weekend. Hopefully I can turn it into crumbs or something. I'll start bread #2 when I get back from Erie.
So then Saturday night was the new wave cabaret. It exceeded all my hopes and dreams. Everyone's performances were amazing and everyone was super professional---to the point where we finished about 40 minutes early! I had such a good time dancing and singing along. J* is posting pictures here
If you took pictures, please join the group and post them there too! Also, if you know anyone who might have recorded any portion of the show, please get in touch. The sound from the camera is a little crappy and we'd like to have better sound for the DVD if we can.
I'm not going to go into it any more than that....let the pictures tell the story. I was incredibly happy all night. And I kept thinking---wow, this was easy....we should do this kind of thing all the time! So maybe more cabaret nights are in my future? We'll see.
Sunday we went for breakfast at Ritters and then headed to Dormont for family time. It was really nice...a good meal, and dad got into a mood to tell stories about his air force days. What fun! Sunday evening instead of watching Prince at the Superbowl we ate leftover cake and watched a documentary on transgender people. Ha.
Then Monday morning came way too soon and the sisters had to go. The rest of the week has been a blur. But things are coming together a little bit. Anita Fix and bambam are going to Erie this weekend to play a show on Friday at the ole Beer Mug, and then record with John and Gina. I can't wait! Tried to get a jacuzzi suite but there aren't any available. So it will be a big slumber party at the mansion.
Hope you're all staying warm!