Friday, January 15, 2010

This week

1) On Monday Stephanie came over for Peanut Chicken. We watched the movie “Gerry” which was crazy. Barely any dialogue or action, mostly just really long shots of two guys wandering around the desert/other remote landscapes. I don’t think I could ever create something so deliberately vacant. My work tends more towards teeming. It was an interesting change of pace, considering all the action movies I’ve seen lately. I don’t think I’d recommend it though. We also continued playing through the King Game which continues to be awesome.

2) On Tuesday Bert and I went to see The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus and had Wow Bao for dinner. The Imaginarium has some very obvious seams and plot-holes, which makes sense since one of the main actors died during production, but it is my favorite of the movies I’ve seen in the theaters lately. There are some great performances and some fantastically imaginative scenes (like a bunch of cross-dressed British Police officers singing and dancing about how great violence is). It’s unlike anything else out there right now.

3) On Wednesday we went to Crew with a bunch of his friends for a special on drinks and appetizers followed by the GayCo show “The Audacity of Nope” a couple doors down (also part of the special). The show was good. I could have done with fewer songs (though I keep finding myself humming “Hamballs”) and less political commentary, but what do you expect from a LGBTQ themed sketch show? I think my favorite bit was the boss announcing to his staff that he is about to become a she and then fielding their awkward questions. The punchline “Will you make 1/3 less as a woman?” had just the right amount of punch in my opinion.

4) On Thursday I went to Paul and Stephanie’s for Egg Lemon Soup, peanut noodles and the first episode of the HBO miniseries, John Adams. Paul Giamatti is great, as is Laura Linney. It’s been a lot of fun remembering little bits from history class and lining them up with the references in the show. I have never been so excited about the Constitutional Convention.
Also Stephanie and I watched “The End of Time Part 1” The master is awesome. I’m glad he will be all over the place in the next episode.

5) On Friday night Bert came over and I made him Mesquite Chicken and Pasta Salad. We watched Paranormal Activity which he had rented. I agreed to watch it even though I had no interest in it on the condition that he would have to watch something I wanted to watch and wouldn’t be able to veto. I then made him the first episode of season 5 of Angel, because he keeps mocking it & Buffy. “It wasn’t as bad as I expected” was his assessment. Paranormal Activity on the other hand was just as bad as I expected. It gets a D.

6) I also made these amazing Banana Bread Cookies, which Jess Brock gave me the recipe for.

I produce the recipe here exactly as I received it.
"Banana Bread Cookies. They're super easy and SUPER delicious.

- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 tsp coarse salt
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temp.
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup mashed overripe banana (about 1 large)
- 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
- 8 oz semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped into 1/4-inch chunks
- 1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts, toasted (if desired)

1. Preheat oven to 375. Whisk together both flours, salt & baking soda in a bowl.
2. Put butter and both sugars into the bowl of an electric mixer (with a paddle attachment, if you've got it); mix on medium speed until pale and fluffy. Reduce speed to low. Add egg and vanilla; mix until combined. Mix in banana. Add flour mixture; mix until just combined. Stir in oats, chocolate chunks, and walnuts.
3. Drop dough onto baking sheets, spacing about 2 inches apart. Bake cookies, rotating sheets half way through, until golden brown and just set, 12-15 minutes. Let cool on the sheets on wire racks for 5 minutes, then transfer cookies to the racks alone.

A word of caution: after you make these, you may find yourself thinking any of the following things - "These are fucking delicious!" or "Jess Brock is full of good ideas!" or "I want these to have EVEN MORE banana"
All of those thoughts are good and decent, but every recipe has it's limits, and baking is a delicate balancing act. So if you, like me as a young lass, were inspired to add another half of a banana to the cookies, don't be surprised when it comes out a little fucked up. It's hubris to try to get more banana in these cookies. You, like Icarus, have been warned."

7) Work was fine. Renee was back, so things like hiring more people could move forward.

8) Bert and I had a very busy Saturday. We first went to the LEGO Discovery Center – “The World’s first Indoor Legoland.” Having been to LegoLand California, I was unimpressed, as this is just a watered-down tiny version of that. We were done in half an hour. The best part was the Chicago Miniland. We did get a couple pictures with the big sculptures, though.

Then we went to Ikea where Bert got a shelf/counter for his kitchen and I got a lamp, a frame, a plant and a couple bowls. Ikea is fun
Then we went to the Woodfield mall. I showed Bert what a real Lego store is like (as opposed to the disappointing one they had at the Discovery center) and picked up a few sets I wanted and hadn’t found at the Michigan Avenue store. We walked around the mall a bit more, but I was tired and overwhelmed by the crowds and convinced Bert we should head out. He drove home and I fell asleep in the car almost instantly. He saw my creepy half open sleepy eyes.
After I woke up we put together his Ikea shelf, ordered pizza and watched a couple episodes of Firefly.
9) The next morning we went to Pauline's again for breakfast. This time he got the French toast.

10) Sunday afternoon was full of hulu (Dollhouse, 30 Rock, Community) and putting together my lego and ikea stuff. Sunday night Bert and Max ad I had dinner at DMK. Wonderful.

Bonus) Here are some pictures I found on my Iphone:
Fall on campus

Winter on my street

Where I wait for the bus some mornings

A ridiculous hairdo

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