Summer Cold, Julie & Julia and other Going Ons

It has been a good while since my last blog entry.  The last time, I was on vacation with the flu and making chicken soup.  As I write this post, I am recovering from a summer cold and my third cold this year.  I do not what it is this year about I have been getting a lot of colds this year and it can be attributed to my asthma.  My eczema is returning and wonder if it is from the rice I have been eating (I am allergic to rice).  Fortunately, I have my cream to combat the eczema.

I am going through the process of moving.  Yes, I am finally moving September 4 to a new apartment.  It is a smaller space and think I can manage it because I need to live a little simplier with the idea of maintaining my hobbies such as knitting, crocheting, sewing, and cooking.

Speaking of cooking, I managed to see Julie & Julia over the weekend and thought it was a delightful movie.  I loved Meryl Streep as Julia Child and Stanley Tucci as Paul Child.  Amy Adams has a fine performance as Julie Powel, the writer who decided to cook her way through Child’s classic cookbook “Mastering the Art of French Cooking”.  I purchased the cookbook after seeing the movie along with Powell’s Book “Julie & Julia, my year of cooking dangerously”.  I always wanted to have french food and know that going to a restaurant is not an option, but I solve that problem by cooking it myself.  Child’s book does not have pretty pictures, but it is more than a recipe book insofar it gives you very good instructions on french cooking methods.  By learning those methods, you can take them cook just about anything else.  There is a part in the book where Child gives instructions on how to make canned green beans taste better, so she really makes it easier for the home cook.  However, you can find fresh green beans just about any supermarket in the country.

I have always had an interest in cooking from a child and thought I would have my chance in my 6th. grade home economics class which turned out to be a great disappointment.  The only thing we made in home ec was macaroni salad with tuna and cheddar cheese chunks, and I did not consider that cooking.  Boiling pasta (in which the teacher did and not the students) did not seem challenging enough for me.  I ended learning how to cook on my own by watching my grandmother or cooking shows where Julia Child was one. 

I am in the process of losing weight and perhaps purchasing Child’s cookbook does not seem like such a good idea considering butter is the enemy these days.  However, eating a balance meal is something we have abandon a long time ago along with not cooking our own meals.  I found that when I cook my own meals, I use less salt and butter, and watch my portion control.  I would rather eat  have a 4oz steak cooked with a little butter with sauteed spinach and baby carrots, than eat a Big Mac meal.  The former would have less calories and better tasting.  During the 40s and 50s, I noticed in many movies during that period, bowls, plates, cups and glasses were much smaller.  Everything is supersized in our culture that we are not really savoring good food.


A Little Snow

It’s Sunday and I experienced the first snow of the fall.  Although, I think the news take things out of portion by calling this the snow storm of the season as it only snowed an inch.  I suppose schools were be delayed tomorrow unless the snow somehow melts between now and into the night.  Of course, when it snows just as it rains, you really don’t want to do anything even when you probably have a million other things to do, but somehow you end up ordering pizza or eat some that leftover pumpkin or sweet potato pie.

Yesterday, I intended to see the move “This Christmas”, but didn’t quite make out of the door because of things that pre-occupied my time just as reading a book I started the other day.  I was thinking about my next project and that knitted skirt is still on my plate to knit and a top from Interweave Knits from the winter issue.  Then, there was a the little thing called laundry and hand-washed a couple of sweaters and skirt.  I finally made it to the movies Sunday, and of course I went when it stopped.

I thought “This Christmas” was an enjoyable movie to watch and nicely acted.  I think it’s interesting that the complexity of a large family doesn’t suddenly become all nice just because it’s Christmas.  The movie as an African-American cast, but any family in the United States can relate to the characters.  I thought Chris Brown’s renditions of “This Christmas and Try A Little Tenderness” was just beautiful and an opportunity show off his singing skills.  I think “This Christmas” is worth seeing.

Oh Mine!

After two weeks of waiting patiently of receiving some books I ordered, it finally came this afternoon except the books I order did not arrive.  Instead, I received the wrong books.  Although, I am all for learning new things, canning and preserving is not one of them.  I do not understand how I received a book about canning when I ordered Essential Baby Knits and Vogue Sewing.  I am also dismay by the fact that I have failed to receive the two Butterick patterns after ordering them over two weeks ago.  My patience must prevail through all the little mishaps, and the realization that is not the end of the world as things can be corrected.  I will simply returned the wrong books, and will contact Butterick by phone to see what happened to my order.

It is raining today in New Jersey as result of the residual from tropical storm Noel, and now there’s rain and wind (mostly windy).  This is a good day to stay inside and do some knitting and sewing, or perhaps see a movie.  Yet, there is no reason why one should not do them all as it is the weekend.  After, I have yet to see Tyler Perry’s “Why Did I Get Married,” as it is still doing well at the box office.

Friday night, I went to see American Gangster with Denzel Washington and Russell Crowe and thought it was a good and well-acted movie to watch.  Washington portrays Frank Lucas, a real life person who was a big-time heroin dealer in Harlem from the late 60s to mid 70s before getting arrested for conspiracy to distribute illegal drugs.  Lucas brought his drugs directly from the wholesaler in Bangkok with the help of a cousin station there during the Vietnam War, and transported the drugs in the coffins of dead servicemen coming home in military planes.  Lucas eliminated the middleman which enabled him to sell his drugs at a cheaper price and of better quality than his competitors.  Crows plays the detective who works to bring Lucas down, Lucas later becomes an informant to bring down corruption in the police department in New York City.  It was a good movie, yet disturbing film for those Washington fans who do not like seeing him play the bad guy.

Well I think that’s all have to write today as I should get some other work done today.  Have a good day everyone!

The Jane Austen Book Club

One of the peaks of my job at the radio station is that I am sometimes privy to certain events like concerts, plays, and movies.  I had an opportunity to see the advance screening of The Jane Austen Book Club.  The story is an adaption of the book of the same title which I encourage anyone to read as well.  The story evolves around six people in the book club and how their modern lives closely parallel to Jane Austen’s novels.  The club decides to read all six books of Jane Austen which takes place over the course of six months.  It is the during the six months that you can see the characters closely resemble the characters in the Austen novels.

I enjoyed the movies the evolution of the characters as they unfold over the six month period.  You will see complex relationships between friends, spouses, lovers, and children.  The movie is genuinely funny and one watching the film will like the characters with the interest of reading all the Jane Austen books myself to see how her 19th century perspective can be relevant in a 21st century contemporary world.  The movie starts this Friday in New York and Los Angeles, and possibly in wider release in a couple of weeks (don’t hold me to that), but if you are looking for good and enjoyable movie that puts in a good mood, The Jane Austen Book Club is probably the film for you.

Friends with Money

I decided to add another category to my blog, movie reviews.  Now there will be times when the movie I watch is more than a year such like the movie I am going to discuss in this entry.  The other night, I watched the movie Friends with Money with Jennifer Aniston, Joan Cusack, Christine Keener, and Frances  McDormand as long-time friends. Aniston’s character, Olivia works as a maid while her other friends live comfortably as a stay-home mom with a trust fund, a successful television writer, and a fashion designer respectively.  The movie ran for 88 minutes and wonder if that was the decision of director or did the budget run out because the storyline of the women’s lives were not well-defined.

Perhaps director assumed that movie viewer was the an amazing mind reader that knows what happens to the women.  Another question came to mind about the main character Olivia who doesn’t seem to fit or have anything in common with the other women.  I thought the concept of the movie was interesting, but it just didn’t seem finished or did I leave with a clear sense of what the director and writer wanted to convey.  I suppose the point of the movie was about a group of very neurotic friends all of which made dubious decision in their choices of boyfriends and husbands.

I can said one positive experience came from watching the movie is that it was on cable and didn’t have physically travel to a movie theater and spend $10.00 to see it.  I find it unfortunate that the potential of the movie was squandered and ended up with a disjointed film and left me in a state of confusion what happened to the characters and should I even care.