Mar 30, 2011

...Make that four books

     Work work work.  It's been killing me.  The best part about work (besides the fact that I make money and can pay bills) is that it takes an average of 40-50 minutes to get to or from work.  I get to read a lot and listen to podcasts.  In the the last two weeks I have started four? books ::quick counting:: yea, four.  I finished two, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and Seven Years in Tibet, both of which are borrowed from the library.

     The Wonderful Wizard of Oz was great and not entirely what I expected.  A lot of people love to chat about whether Frank Baum was really writing a political essay about the Populist movement but I don't know.  I didn't see anything except about how small children look good in green dresses and such.  Until I look into this I will say that it sounds like a hoax.

     Seven Years in Tibet was wonderful.  I don't read a lot of travelogues or biographies.  This is actually one of the reasons I'm reading all 501 books if I can because I like the books I like and have bad luck choosing new genres at times.  It is the story of an independent Tibet from an outsider's view.  Heinrich Harrer's obvious love for both the Dalai Lama and Tibet itself comes through and really pulls you.  He makes his way over a period of months through the Himalayas to Tibet from an internment camp in India and meets all levels of life out on the Tibetan Plateau.  Starting with the nomads in the north to the nobles in Lhasa we are introduced to life before the Chinese invaded and learn not only their indigenous culture but their religious life.  That he was there until the first exodus of the Dalai Lama means that we get to see the full circle of life, from him fleeing into Tibet to him leaving before the Red Army.  I really want to see the movie now and the beautiful country it once was.

     Last week Tad and I went out to a stand-up routine.  I had the day off and we were both restless.  The weather was turning bad but we still decided to head into the city down to the Lowe East Side.  We stopped off at Pomme Frites, a place that serves Belgian fries with many, many types of flavored mayos.  What is Belgian fries, I hear you cry?  Potato wedges double deep-fried, it seems.  Nothing amazing but still really good.  We picked roasted eggplant mayo and got a large, meant for one hungry person.  It really fed both of us and stuffed us up.

     Remember, this is only meant for one hungry person.  It's huge!!!  The mayo was great but definitely salty after a while.  By the end of the dish we were pacing ourselves to make it through.  Very cute place, though, and even better than all of this it was hailing outside.  just tiny snow pellets frozen solid in chucks no bigger than a pencil's eraser.  This is the devastation outside following this horrific hailstorm.

     One last thing.  We have maybe found a place to live semi-permanently as we put down a deposit and we'll see tomorrow.  I'll get the chance to update everyone afterwards.  We'll see.  Cross your fingers.

     End result: 74.5/100  Huge servings, amazing varieties but a bit heavy on the grease after a while.

Pomme Frites (Fries)
123 2nd Ave (Between 7th Ave and St. Marks Place)
NY, NY 10003

501 books count: 61

Mar 19, 2011

Hm, actually I read two books

     I finished The Green Child fairly quickly, you know, with only ten pages left.  The last ten pages summed up the entire book.  Looking back at the story it seems a progression of scenes that are more and more Utopian.  The first is rural England in a small town village.  Remember that idyllic England was exactly those small, isolated areas filled with good people and calm serenity.  In fact it is not since people are lazy and stupid there as elsewhere.  The second scene is closer to perfect, a small independent country in South America.  The people are portrayed as inherently idle and simplistic.  Agrarian living is seen as a perfect society and a benevolent dictatorship (the protagonist) rules them towards a better living.  The final setting is in 'the green child's' homeland underground.  It is an isolated group of humans who seem to be more, well, more verdant.  I railed about the green child a bit in my last blog but it holds a bit more context now, having seen the society she originated in.

     The ideal society has no fear of death, no hardship and no variations.  There is one race and a strict caste system and all are complacent with it.  Even Olivero, our hero, enjoys it after rejecting his knowledge of the outside world.  There a five tiers to the caste which act more as levels of maturity which can be breached as wished.  The lowest is the level of youth and pleasure where casual sex and idleness are encouraged.  Above that is unskilled and skilled laborers who harvest their dull food supply and craft crystals which is the closest they have to art.  As with all Utopian novels the deeper influences of the author are pressed into the reader through the emphasis or neglect of all the variables of life.  It's not really fun to list but read a few Utopian novels and you can easily pick out what I'm talking about.

     While I was waiting to finish The Green Child I went back to the library and grabbed a few more books.  Frank Baum's The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and Asimov's I, Robot among others.  I have been trying to read I, Robot for years.  UCF lost their copy about eight times and the Orlando system didn't ever have it in stock.  I could have paid for it but I already own too many books (haha, I don't think so really) and try not to buy anything I cannot pick up elsewhere.  Actually, it was in the search of I, Robot that lead me to reading The Foundation Trilogy also by Asimov.  I, Robot lived up to the airs surrounding it.  While a series of short stories it brought up ingenious scenarios and consequences that I think has been the fuel and fodder of animatronics and the imagination ever since.  Someday I will work my way through the rest of the Robot Chronicles as homage to one of the foundations (hah) of the science fiction universe as we know it.

     Also, I didn't post on St. Patrick's Day since I was pretty sleep deprived and I would have just written a post like this: co uyfe]]\h efwh uen nwefjb ewfi  eufeb ef ef  grr re jyhgfx  we3544g.... et cetera.  If you celebrated it then horay! If not well it was a Thursday.  I work til next Wed I think so I might not update until then although I have a speech contest to talk about.  I didn't compete, mind you, just observed.

501 books count:  59

Mar 16, 2011

     Japan was trashed by a both a severe earthquake and a tsunami on its Northern coast.  I haven't been writing about it since it seemed like bad luck since until yesterday or so one of Tad's friends was missing.  To write about the tragedy without knowledge of her status seemed to just beg for the worst ending.  She has been found and if you watch the Today Show she actually was on it, Canon Purdy.  I had been worried about how she was even though I don't know her well.  The catastrophe was bad enough without adding personal tragedy to it.  I am thankful that she was ok as she was in Minamisanriku which was one of the small coastal towns that was flattened.

     As for the housing search, we may only need a place now for the next month while family is in town for a wedding.  We could move and stay here for however long we wish.  It's not an ideal house because it has a twin bed and some of the appliances aren't great but it's a safe neighborhood, I know I can get to work and Tad to school.  We're still looking and considering but until Tad has some sort of job it is very hard to be anything but cautious. 

     I have finally gotten a library card and have already consumed a few books.  I added to my collection Mary Poppins and am working through a 1930s scifi called The Green Child by Herbert Read.  It has been a dull book so far and I'm two out of three sections complete.  Read loves utopias and there is a definitely a slant against American Indians as lazy and stupid.  The books is also written in a drawn out, dull style from the 1800s. I'll talk more tomorrow or the next day when I have finished this book.

     For now this is everything, there's a lot going on and spring is just around the corner.  Soon I'll have pics and we'll do crazy things.  Also, tomorrow is St Patrick's Day, so enjoy your beer.

501 books count: 57

Mar 8, 2011

I'm cheating today, here's a formula one

     I follow the footsteps of  Stephanie again over at House for Two and do my own Alphabet Blog post.  Mostly it means I don't have to do a real one today.  I can do that sometimes ::defensive::

A is for Age: 26 and getting older all the time
B is for Beer of choice: Newcastle or Guiness
C is for Career: Target, for now...
D is for favourite Drink: Tea
E is for Essential item you use everyday: Hair tie
F is for Favourite song at the moment: The Picard Song by Dark Materia ((shut up))
G is for favourite Game: Hangman
H is for Home town: Palm Harbor, FL
I is for Instruments you play: A bit of piano
J is for favourite Juice: 100% pomegranate anything mix
K is for Kids: None
L is for Last kiss: ...Your mom, last night...
M is for marriage: Three and a half years
N is for full Name: Kaitlyn
O is for Overnight hospital stays: Zero.
P is for phobias: Nothing pathological but I hate roaches
Q is for quote: "I have eaten/the plums/that were in/the icebox/and which/you were probably/saving for breakfast/Forgive me/they were delicious/so sweet/and so cold"-William Carlos Williams
R is for biggest Regret: I still regret in 6th grade I went to LutherRock and dropped the pick for some guys guitar into the sound hole ::cringe:: Sorry!
S is for sports: I agree with Stephanie, Devil Rays for ever!
T is for Time you wake up: 7-8 AM, unless I am very tired
U is for colour of underwear: Underwear colored
V is for Vegetable you love: Umm... all of them?
W is for Worst Habit: Talking too much.  Being too happy?  Being able to do other people's jobs better than they do?
X is for X-rays you've had: Teeth multiple times, left ankle, abdomen, lower back, umm... that should be all
Y is for Yummy food you make: I make an amazing traditional Irish dinner for St. Patrick's Day, which I am not making this year.  I am actually very very sad about this fact.
Z is for zodiac sign: Libra ((I always assume it's because I like books and libri isn't a sign))

Mar 7, 2011

Stranger in a Big City

     I need something to fill my time up when not at work or exploring with Tad.  I don't really know anybody here in the city and I feel pretty lost sometimes when it's a long evening.  I want to talk to people, chat.  I don't drink a lot so there goes the whole club/bar scene that is the mainstay of most 20somethings here in the city.  I might join a bookclub, book circle, reading circle, whatever you call it.  I'm looking around right now sniffing out the scenes.  Most of these still involve liquor but I suppose I don't have to drink if I don't want to.  I'm looking for a novel book one or something that has a lot of interesting reads.  Dunno.  I'll tell you what I come up with.

     Tad and I walked just under seven miles yesterday in the rain.  I tracked it just to know how freaking long we walked.  We went from Bed-Stuy down to Downtown Brooklyn through to Carrol Gardens and over to the edge of Park Slope.  Leave me a comment if the link doesn't work, that's from my map my ride account and I can't tell if it works for everyone.  Ok, I could but I'm lazy.  What did we see on this soaked adventure?  A bizarre looking hospital.

     Tad and I agree it looks like it should be in space.  Floating in space with those weird column things on the corners and the black blocky things on the top.  Straight out of a sci-fi.  We also walked passed a place (then stepped inside and had a snack) I saw listed on the NY Times Doughnut Tour of NYC.  The first place there, Dough, is the one we went to.  We had a blood orange glazed donut with candied orange peel.  Cheap, running about two dollars for every donut and $1.75 for a large French-press coffee.  There isn't a lot of seating as you can tell from the first picture but Tad and I were just glad to be out of the rain at the time.  I really wanted the chocolate with Earl Grey but they weren't making anymore by the time we stopped in.  Some of their other flavors were chocolate and chipotle, cheesecake with graham cracker crumble and cafe au lait.  I would definitely say stop by if you are in the area, it's on Lafayette Ave umm, somewhere South of Myrtle.  I'll put the address at the bottom in anyone else is interested.

     So after sevenish sopping miles and puddling our way through the subway system back home we had to do laundry.  If I ever do a thesis in meteorology it will be on the frequency of rain based off of the timing of a random population needing to leave their house for just a minute.  I can probably gather enough data within hours.  Everytime I had to stop out, to put the clothes in the dryer, to go and pick them up, even to just walk back it was raining.  Just to make me wet, I swear.  I had at least 10 items hanging last night that would not dry due to the humid (hah! no compared to FL for sure) atmosphere.  My shoes were still wet as of this morning although finding Tad's fan and putting it on everything the whole day finally completed the job.

     End Result: ***1/2 Dough is great for a try and a good deal for a snack or fun breakfast. Small variety and little space.

Dough: Specialty Store (Donuts)
305 Franklin Ave (Lafayette Ave)
Bed-Stuy Brooklyn, NY 11238

Mar 5, 2011

I saw death rising from the earth

     This quote is from a Phillip K. Dick novelette, A Scanner Darkly.  You might remember the Keanu Reeves' movie that was done in rotoscope.  I watched the movie with Tad this week and this line from the ending of the film has been echoing through my head for days.  This chilling story is about a drug pandemic sweeping the world and no way to combat it.  It follows an undercover narc through his time undercover and ends on a progressive down note.  It has a few unexpected twists and I recommend you watch/read it.  I want to read more Phillip K. Dick stories ::sad::

     I went to a crazy concert thing on Thursday night called Cathedral Scan.  They take the blueprint from a cathedral and scan it through some digital program thing and well.. check the link out and watch the video.  It made for a cool concert.  The first two acts were not as good though, in fact they went on so long and were so painful at points that I almost left a few times.  One of them was just someone holding a camera up to random objects and making random electronic noises based on how they thing it should go.  There was no musical theory, no artistic endeavoring, nothing really worth my interest.  I took a picture myself at the concert to show you a bit.

     After the show Tad and I went right around the corner to a rice pudding food shop called Rice to Riches.  We tried the epic size for $8.50 (a bit pricier that we had been looking for) and got two flavors, hit and run custard (lemony) and Panna cotta (creamy).  Between us we finished it pretty quickly but didn't really go looking for more.  Like all rice pudding it is thick and filling and the lemon custard was vivacious and tangy in your mouth.  The best part is that you can take home the bowl and spoon and reuse it yourself.  Right now mine is currently holding my tofu.

     You can see the lemon custard divide on the left there.  Yea, not a great deal for the price but it was filling and delicious.  I need to work on my pictures a bit more... Hmm..

     Anything else interesting?  Well, we're still looking for housing, nothing good so far but we've got the rest of the month before we get thrown out.  Went to the fancy cheese shop and got three and a half pounds of different cheeses for $6.99.  Sweet deal for sure.  Oh, the snow has melted away and the trees are looking weird.  Let me show you.  Tad claims it's the buds are first sign of spring.  I think they have tumors.

     End result: Rice to Riches gets a 3.5/5 for value.  It is unique but it also is way too pricey.

Rice to Riches: Dessert store
37 Spring St  (between Mott St & Mulberry St)
New York, NY 10012

Mar 1, 2011

Ow, I have a headache

     What do you do when you feel burned out/exhausted/ready to drop?  What things make you revive when you have that headache that won't go away?  I do not lie when I say that my comfort in these cases is tea.  Actually, that's pretty expected of me if you know me fairly well.  I blame Hannah-chan.  Many people I'm good friends with have never even met Hannah but she's still, in my head at least, one of my closest friends and will remain that way until we deliberately stop talking to each other.  I remember first year of college and we didn't have anything in the dorm but a crappy coffee maker that we made super super strong jasmine tea in.  We had jasmine because when I went to Canada with Tad the summer (or maybe two) before I picked up my first of many tins of loose leaf tea.  I drank that swill even though in recollection I remember sometimes burning it or making it so strong I actually grimaced even pouring it into my second hand tea cup and saucer. 

     Ok, where was I going with this?  Oh right, headaches and personal remedies.  I never feel like I'm going to get better if I don't have a cup of tea.  I take meds and they never immediately work.  I try sleeping but even after waking up I still feel out of sorts.  I love my tea and almost any kind, any time of the day makes me happy.  Happier?  Either way, the day definitely lifts itself out of the dregs as I scald my tongue on some silly flavor from some plant leaves grown in an exotic country.

     Tad and I walked the length of Central Park Sunday after once again trying to decide which museum or random thing we wanted to do.  I really enjoy the Park.  I really don't feel like I'm in a city or that everything around me is just concrete and debris and the progress of a society that needs to get something done today.  Most of the snow has melted away by this point and the grass is coming back green.  I still can't believe that grass up here is green even under actual snow.  It seems so out of place like finding a candy while paying off your credit card.

     Hum de dum, anything else I should mention?  I guess just that it's pretty quiet right now.