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Showing posts from November, 2015

My Bike Got Stolen, Happy Thanksgiving!

Under the cover of darkness, breaths misting in the chill air, the thieves leapt out of their idling vehicle and began their work of liberation amidst the bike racks. Armed with nothing more than a slender bar, a hammer, and a knowledge of physics, they snapped the end off my Kryptonite U-lock and eased it from the bike's back wheel and frame. They quickly tossed my Trek 2 -- and their other victims -- into the back of their pickup and roared off, knowing that in a few hours, that dead, gray street would come to life with purposeful students, relaxed employees, and harried residents.

Indeed, one of the latter -- me, pushing a happy Junior on his tricycle to his daycare -- came upon the spot and noticed the loss immediately. After all, Trek 2 was my main form of transportation to my Very Important Job of pushing paper and updating Excel spreadsheets. I leave it near Nick's daycare on weekdays, and store it in our building's locked bike room on the weekends. 
Alas, Trek 2&#…

My Son the Ramen Monster

Ramen is a Japanese noodle dish that you can get for 600 yen in Kyoto, or twice that in Boston, which really should be rectified because the two cities are sister cities, but I digress. Ramen's essential ramen-ness is in its broth and noodles. If you would like to watch a very Japanese (read: wonderful and weird) movie about ramen, I recommend Tampopo, where the heroine goes to great lengths to spy on the secret broth ingredients of her would-be competitors. There's also an episode of Golden Boy where he works at a ramen shop and learns how to make noodles, but it's rather pervy so let's keep that in your "maybe?" pile.
Anyway, the point is that ramen is delicious and your bowl must be emptied, broth and all, to show respect for the chef. When I lived in Kyoto, I watched any number of sarariman just pound those giant bowls like it ain't no thang, and so I learned to completely finish off my ramen. Also, apparently in Japan it is super bad to ask for a dogg…

Movie Review: Spectre (2015)

On a scale of Daniel Craig Bond movies from Casino Royale (excellent) to Quantum of Solace (blergh), Spectre pulls just ahead of the latter. It is meh. It's over-the-top and formulaic, and while that can be fun, this particular Bond movie seems to have been written by someone's 13-year-old nephew armed with a guidebook of movie tropes and his own libido.

Plot: As a global data-sharing security initiative threatens the 00 program, 007 must act alone to stop the mastermind behind the evil organization Spectre.

So yes, it's predictable spy stuff, so let's run through the checklist, shall we? Cheers!

1) Chase scene: Occurs early on, and is telegraphed by the large crowd. One must shoulder through a mass of people to heighten the tension, after all, although this one is sandwiched between a spectacular building collapse and helicopter fisticuffs. But somehow, it's still meh.
2) Cheesy intro song: The melody is nice, but the falsetto killed me. I am dead. A ghost is writin…

Being Vegetarian

First, a disclaimer: je ne suis pas vegetarien. I invite you to view Exhibit A, a dish I made for tonight's invitation-only Filipina Mafia Dinner: it has shrimp. Ergo, I'm not a vegetarian.

But!

It's been weeks since I watched Cowspiracy and I still hear Howard Lyman's words: "You can't be an environmentalist and eat animal products." It makes sense, given the nature of agribusiness. Growing livestock takes too much land and water; catching fish results in too many by-kills. Et cetera.

So I looked up the vegetarian food pyramid, drank less milk, and continued not buying beef (we stopped maybe a year ago, because reasons).

But!!

I still eat eggs, cheese, chicken, pork, and fish. I agree that drastically reducing meat consumption can make a dent in the fight against climate change, but transforming from a voracious pork-devourer into a lentil- and chickpea-chewer is a slow process. In fact, back in grad school, when my homegirl Shaffo said she was going v…

Movie review: Crimson Peak (2015)

I went into Crimson Peak all a-quiver: a) it was a Guillermo del Toro film (scary monsters!), and b) it stars Tom Hiddleston (eye sex!). I expected to be simultaneously shrieking with terror whilst overcome by desire for my Hiddles.

...Well, one out of two ain't bad.

Alas, the trailer and posters are as scary as Crimson Peak gets. Fortunately, the lack of scares is balanced out by the film's incredible color palette, stunning set design, excellent cinematography, tight pacing, and the fine performances by the three leads.

The first act of the film provides a likable protagonist and hints at the sinister events to come. Edith Cushing (Mia Wasikowska), an aspiring young writer encouraged by her successful father (Jim Beaver), meets the Sharpes, Thomas (Hiddles) and Lucille (Jessica Chastain). Thomas has come to the US seeking funds for his invention, designed to mine the clay under his property in the UK. Rejected by a suspicious Mr. Cushing, Thomas sets his sights on Edith, d…