“…see my eyes, they carry your reflection…”
green tea with roasted rice
playing more pool
kind of busy right now, but after these messages, we’ll be right back
what is a “hipster”?
I kept hearing this term being used over the weekend, and althought I felt like I knew what it meant, I wasn’t quite sure. Viva la Internet, because that’s how I found this definition from UrbanDictionary.com:
Listens to bands that you have never heard of.
Has hairstyle that can only be described as “complicated.” (Most likely achieved by a minimum of one week not washing it.)
Definitely cooler than you.
Reads Black Book, Nylon, and the Styles section of the New York Times.
Drinks Pabst Blue Ribbon. Often.
Always denies being a hipster. Hates the word.
Probably living off parents money — and spends a great deal of it to look like they don’t have any.
Has friend- and/or self-cut hair.
Dyes it frequently (black, white-blonde, etc. and until scalp bleeds).
Has a closet full of clothing but usually wears same three things OVER AND OVER (most likely very tight black pants, scarf, and ironic tee-shirt).
Chips off nail polish artfully after $50 manicure.
Sleeps with everyone and talks about it at great volume in crowded coffee shops.
Addicted to coffee, cigarettes (Parliaments, Kamel Reds, Lucky Strikes, etc.), and possibly cocaine.
Claims to be in a band.
Rehearsals consist of choosing outfits for next show and drinking PBR.
Always on the list.
Majors or majored in art, writing, or queer studies.
May go by “Penny Lane,” “Eleanor Rigby,” etc. when drunk. On PBR. Which is usually often.
Here are some pictures of “hipsters”.
I’m sure you all know someone who fits this bill — they are EVERYWHERE.
As of late, these hipsters have been coming in to my pool hall in tight-black-panted herds and, well, to be honest — I just want to kick their asses. They look so wussy.
natalie dee : offbeat funny stuff
An online comic I like to read now and then is Natalie Dee. The drawings are simple, adorable, and sometimes creepy (especially if you stare at them too long). The accompanying text is often the same.
Here are some recent examples that tickled my funnybone.
Left. “…and then, he just never called me again. I thought everything was going so well, and I really liked him a lot!” “I told you it was a bad idea to send the love letter that said you liked him so much, you were gonna crack his ribcage open, climb in, and wear him around like a jacket.”
Right. “I dunno if I like these ones either… don’t you have some with broken glass or nails glued to ’em? I’m trying to WIN here.”
Cooking Class : Chardonnay Chicken Stew
I haven’t done a Cooking Class feature in a while so after five or six months of being away, I am making Chardonnay Chicken Stew.
1/3 cup all-purpose flour3-4 lbs. chicken (I use chicken thighs with the bones and skin removed, cut into 1″ pieces)3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (I like to slice them, because I think sliced mushrooms look cute in food — seriously)1 lb. red-skinned potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch dice (I hate how you have to buy the whole bunch when all you need is four sprigs)1 teaspoon dried thyme, or one tablespoon fresh, minced thyme (I just buy this — no time for homemade stock)1-1/2 cups dry white wine (chardonnay, sauvignon blanc)1/2 cup of milk (mmmilk)
salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
4 bacon slices, chopped
6 garlic cloves, minced
1 small shallot, minced
1 yellow onion, diced
1/2 lb. mushrooms, sliced thickly or quartered
4 fresh flat-leaf parsley sprigs
1 bay leaf
1-1/2 cups chicken stock
Directions“Double, double, toil and trouble; fire burn and cauldron bubble…”
Put the chicken pieces in a ziploc bag with the flour, some grinds of pepper, and a sprinkling of salt. I’m always conservative when using salt, as you can always add more, but you can’t take away what you’ve already put in.
Shake, shake, shake. Shake, shake, shake. Shake your chicken until it is evenly coated with flour. Take out your chicken pieces and set them aside.
Next, you will brown the chicken pieces in a pan over medium-high heat. You want to brown the chicken in a single layer for even cooking, so use the olive oil accordingly. I will need to brown the chicken in three batches using my pan, so I will use one tablespoon of olive oil per batch.
Cook the chicken for 2 minutes per side, for a total of 4 minutes. Place the chicken in a large pot. If I ran the world, I’d use this Calphalon One Nonstick Chef’s Casserole, but I’m going to use a perfectly good stainless steel stockpot here instead, because I actually own it. And it’s big enough to hold all the ingredients.
Cook the bacon in your saute pan until browned, but not crisp. Put cooked bacon in the pot. Over medium-high heat, cook the garlic, onions, and mushrooms in the bacon fat (yum!) until the onion becomes translucent. Sprinkle the thyme on top, and cook, stirring, for a minute more. Make sure the garlic doesn’t burn. Burnt garlic is far more bitter than I am (hard to imagine, but true).
Transfer the contents of the saute pan to the large pot.
Add the potatoes, parsley, bay leaf, and chicken stock to the large pot. Stir to mix, and bring to a low boil.
While the large pot is heating up, add the wine to the saute pan over medium heat and stir. This is the process of “deglazing”, wherein you add liquid to a pan and stir to loosen up all the delicious burnt/browned/cooked bits. Bring the wine to a simmer and then pour into the large pot. If the liquid level look a little low add equal amounts of stock and wine to juuuuust cover everything.
Stir to mix all the ingredients well in the large pot.
Cook stew over a low simmer until chicken is very tender, 1 hour or more. Remove the bay leaf and parsley (if you can find them). Stir in the milk. Serve stew by itself, over rice or pasta, or with bread and make sure to drink up what’s left of the wine.
I apologize for not having more photographs, as my camera ran out of batteries.
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
At league tonight, I had the following interesting conversation with a player who was a spectator.
“Here’s a tip for you: You shouldn’t expect to win every time you play, and you shouldn’t want to win all the time.”
“I’m just saying, you can’t win all the time, so why expect it? You can’t win all the time and you shouldn’t want to win all the time. If you won all the time, then pool wouldn’t be fun anymore.”
“I’m not getting your logic here.”
“You should expect to lose and you should be okay with losing. That’s a better attitude.”
“Uh.. NO. Did you hear what you just said? ‘You should be okay with losing.’ I’m going to go out on a limb here and assume that you mean I should expect to lose now and then, and not all the time. Your choice and order of words is super-funky, but I think that’s what you mean?”
“Something like that, yeah.”
“Okay, well here’s my take on the matter. If you expect to lose, why play? Or, more specifically, why compete? If you enter in a competition and expect to lose — isn’t that a bit like giving all your ammo to your enemy and then going to war? You beat yourself before you ever begin.”
“Well, you ought to play more for fun.”
“Look, dude. YOU play for fun. There are always going to be those that play for the fun of the game, and those that play to win. You CAN be both. I love this game, and I love winning at this game, and no matter what anyone says, I’m always going to play to win. So go impose your standards on someone else.”
“I think you’d be happier if you could be okay with losing. You shouldn’t set such high standards for yourself.”
“You get exactly what you settle for, which, in your case, is mediocrity.”
Thursday, March 20, 2008
Nothing special happened today so here is a stock photo of chicken piccata.
Also, here is a semi-satisfying photograph of a very expensive car.
Friday, March 21, 2008
I was out enjoying the sunshine today at lunch and I noticed from the corner of my eye what I first thought might be a hummingbird flying around some azalea plants. Closer inspection revealed that, although it flew like a hummingbird (super-cute and precise like a miniature helicopter!), it was not a bird, but a big, gold bee.
I watched the giant gold bee hover around for a while. At times, it was joined by up to four other large gold bees, and once in a while, a black bee (also of disconcerting size) would do a buzz-by. These bees were easily over an inch long, and I regret that I was not able to capture a photograph of them. Other flying insects in the area were routinely chased away by this apiaran air force. I saw two of them gang up on a dragonfly and throat punch that sucker.
Mystified, I did a little Googling and found out that these are carpenter bees.
They are solitary bees that can be blue, black or tan and resemble bumble bees. The females do have the capability of stinging but are generally not aggressive if left undisturbed. As with other bees, the males cannot sting. Carpenter bees get their name because of their ability to tunnel through wood. They do not eat the wood but construct long burrows in which to nest.
The gentleman bees are a lovely gold color while the lady bees are a glossy black. They’re also both f—ing huge and liable to scare the crap out of you. Since the gentleman bees don’t sting and the lady bees only sting if provoked, I’ll see if I can get some pictures of them.
In the meantime, here are some photographs I gleaned from the internet:
The gold gentleman bee.
The svelte lady bee in black.
Another photograph of the lady bee. Note that she is the length of two finger-joints on this guy’s hand.
No nightmares now, okay?
Saturday, March 22, 2008
RIP, Mr. Heston.
Sunday, March 23, 2008
I built an awesome sandwich today. Behold… the Easter Salami Sandwich.
Monday, March 24, 2008
And on this day, I slept.
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
Nothing of note. But, I am cranky. Arrgh.
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
Before tonight’s league match, Jack Daniels and I went for a little cajun food.
We saw this bottle of jalapeno hot sauce on the table. I’m not sure how hot jalapenos are supposed to be, but I don’t think they are usually kill-me-now spicy. We each took a whiff of this sauce and we agreed that it was probably best not to try it. The fumes alone would peel the paint off a wall.
Jack is also obsessed with mangoes. He’s probably addicted to them. The menu featured a mango salad with goat cheese, which, while I think is a little far from authentic Cajun, was nevertheless, quite tasty.
This Cajun steak was rather chewy, but still tasty. It’s always good to burn calories while eating, isn’t it?
Tonight’s league match was uneventful. I managed to sneak away with a 4-0 win, but the most entertaining match was my last match.
My opponent for my last match was Tarantula Bridge Terror (TBT). The last time I played him, I lost, which caused me just a smidgen of annoyance. Just a smidgen.
I had my iPod on tonight while we were playing, but shortly after the match started, my iPod ran out of batteries. Since we were only playing one game, I figured I’d put away my iPod after we were done. I didn’t want to leave in the middle of the game. I was running out but got funny on my last ball before the eight-ball. I missed, and sat down to wait.
TBT was a very good shotmaker, so I expected him to more or less run out. He ran the balls but got bad shape on his third ball before the eight. He played a safe. I was looking at the layout when I noticed part of the background conversation TBT was having with his teammates.
“Yeah, that’s right. I hooked you, how you like THAT, huh?”
“I think she can see the ball.”
“Naw, man, I hooked her GOOD on this one.”
I kicked at my ball and managed to leave him safe.
“I’ll hook her good this time, yeah, I’ll hook her REAL good.” He played a safe, which was, actually, quite a good safe, but he didn’t hide the cueball completely. While I could kick at my ball without a problem, kicking to a safe would be extremely difficult. “She can’t see nuthin’ this time! How you like THAT, little girl?”
“No, I think she can still see the ball. You probably shouldn’t talk so loud.”
“She can’t hear me, she’s got that music playin’.”
I kicked the ball, but was not able to kick to a safety. Oh well. S— happens. I sat down to await TBT’s inevitable runout. The layout of his remaining object balls were fairly easy, but he inexplicably got bad position on the eight-ball. He tried a very, very thin cut on the eight-ball which sat on the rail in the middle of the top rail, and while he hit it exceptionally well, the slowness of the cloth was his enemy and the eight-ball only moved about three inches towards the pocket, and did not come close to going in at all.
I was left with a steep cut for my last ball down the rail. I made it and got straight in on the eight. Game over.
I went back over to my team captain to report the results of the match. I sat down in a bar booth and started to disassemble my cue. I still had my earphones on. TBT was standing right next to me, talking to his teammates.
“Whatever, she don’t play so good. She got lucky kicking the ball.”
“Shh, she’s right there.”
“She cain’t hear me. She don’t talk to me anyways, she’s always got that music playing. What’s she gonna do anyways? She don’t play so good.”
I put my cue back together, stood up, and looked at him and said, “Just because I’ve got the earphones on doesn’t mean the music’s playing.”
I wanted to ask about playing for money or food, but TBT felt a need to exit quickly.
Thursday, March 27, 2008
I went up north to visit my parents. On my previous trip, I had noticed this small sproutling in the otherwise barren and sanitized concrete expanse known as my parents’ front yard.
The sproutling has grown since then.
It is a type of bok choy, but not the dark green-and-white version most of you are familiar with. My mom noticed the plant was leaning, and propped it up with a bit of painter’s tape.
Friday, March 28, 2008
And now, for a floral tour. Here are some of my mom’s orchids.
Most of my mom’s orchids are kept indoors, but there are a few that can withstand the cold of the outside. This surprised me, as I have always thought of orchids as tropical plants.
Some lovely cherry blossoms!
Time for lunch…
This is a dish of congealed pork blood and chives. Yes, you read that correctly. If you are old-skool Asian, chances are, you’ve had it before and you either love it or hate it. I, for one, like it.
And now, to even things out, some delectable roast duck, another one of my favoritest foods.
And, a funny thing I saw on the way back from lunch… Ah, ancient MacIntosh! Yye have served thy masters well, and yet, you are now cast by the roadside.
Saturday, March 29, 2008
Today my family and I went to brunch.
At the restaurant, there were many tanks of live, yummy seafoody critters. I could only get close enough to the abalone tank, so that’s all you’re getting today. The next time I go, I’ll try to get some photographs of the giant crabs — they are AWESOME and the size of footstools!
Here is a bowl of shark-fin soup. Note that there is a little bundle in the soup. This is a sort of dumpling made with egg that contains the shark-fin and chicken.
A close-up of the actual shark-fin bit. Shark-fin itself doesn’t have much flavor — it’s prized more for its crunchy texture rather than taste.
Some clams in black bean sauce…
…and steamed tripe with soy-jalapeno-chive dipping sauce.
And that concludes our foodie tour for today. 🙂
Sunday, March 30, 2008
After a few days with the parental units, it was time to go back. Along the way, I saw many lovely sights…
…wildflowers (left to right, black-eyed susans, lupines, and poppies)…
…green hills with wildflowers…
…and a dust devil/mini-tornado (this was the tail-end of it, unfortunately)…
…and blue skies…
It’s good to get out in the sunshine sometimes, especially when you’re a pool player. It’s easy to forget there’s a world outside of fifteen balls and a cueball.
Monday, March 31, 2008
Today I went to a race-to-one barbox eight-ball tournament.
I started out shaky in my first match, as the tables were covered in very slick cloth. The combination of unlevel tables and fast, fast cloth made for a nightmare. I made a good shot on the ball before the eight-ball, but, because I did not want to roll the cueball for that shot (for fear of the object ball catching a table-drift and rolling off), I hit the shot firm. As a result, the cueball went past where I had planned for it to go. Instead of a rather straight shot on the eight-ball into a corner pocket, I was now facing cutting the eight-ball into a side pocket.
I tried the cut, which was a little steep, but makeable. The eight-ball caught the far edge of the pocket and bounced back. Rats. I turned to go sit down and a large man who had been watching the match blocked my way.
“Why you go and cut that ball?”
“What? Excuse me…” I tried to go around him, but he moved in front of me.
“No, why you go an’ cut that ball? You s’pose to bank that ball. Why you didn’t bank that ball?” This man had been watching the match the whole time, and he seemed genuinely perturbed that I did not choose to bank the eight on that shot.
“I… just… felt like cutting it.” I moved past him and over to my seat. He remained standing in front of me. The match was still going on, and the bar was crowded, but he didn’t seem to care. He continued standing there and continued scolding, even as he got in the way of my opponent.
“But why? Why cut? You s’posed to bank that shot. S’posed to! Don’t you know that?” By this time, his loud voice had attracted the attention of several people and I was having a hard time trying to watch my match from behind his bulk. Frustration galore. I did my best to ignore him. “Hello? You listenin’? You needs to unnestan why you s’pose to bank that eight-ball, an’ why you ain’t s’pose to cut it.”
“Okay, I’ll tell you why I cut that ball.”
“Yeah, why. You tell me why.”
“BECAUSE I’M F—ING ANGRY, OKAY?! THAT’S why I cut the ball. When I’m not angry, I’ll f—ing bank it, YOU GOT THAT?!”
“Yeah. Keep your advice to yourself.”
I played well the rest of the tournament but ultimately ended up one-outta the money, which is a regular feature of me and my tournaments.
Tuesday, April 1, 2008
Today I stayed in and took a break.
Wednesday, April 2, 2008
Tonight was the last night of my Wednesday night league.
My team was in second place and we were playing the first-place team. We didn’t manage to upset them, but the overall score wasn’t too bad. I played one spectacular shot, and won a game, but lost the other three. That’s always a good reminder — a good shot may win a battle, but your ultimate goal should be to win the war.
I am going to take a short break from pool and return in a month or two with a mild vengeance.