May 29, 2010

Potato chops and Chicken Boona Currey...Delicious!

So recently there are some new recipes being made at the 654. This is courtesy of a new cook book gifted from my father in law. The cook book was created 20+ years ago as a fundraiser by a group of women from the Goan community. Though being a little hard to follow and having several mystery ingredients, (ex, "add spice" WHAT???, which spice???). We are getting some awesome turnouts!! Oh yes, also love the pictures in this book!

Potato Chops
After multiple steps of cooking and much time the result are essentially small Indian spiced shepherd's pies that have been coated in bread crumbs and then fried in butter.
Not so healthy but awesome! It's like taking your favorite comfort food and turning up the volume to a new state of delicious!

Chicken Boona Curry
After several disappointing Curry recipes I have finally found one that tastes like a white person didn't make it! It is so flavorful and so good. I did omit one personally hated ingredient and added a small amount of another.

Anyway now I know good Indian recipes are not found on the internet. They are found in obscure Indian cook books kept secret for several years by family members obtained by marriage.

May 28, 2010

Prince of Persia shoes and T-shirt vests????

So my mother-in-law is often going to England to visit family and she always comes back with "just a small gift". This usually translates as shirts and some socks for me and some socks, shirts, hula hoops and chocolate fingers for my husband. The shirt for me is purchased by my mother-in-law in consultation with her stylish niece. For the record I really like this last shirt, but it is not something I have seen in Vancouver yet. It is avest with buttons, cut with tails in the front and made out of T-shirt material. When I showed my husband my outfit with vest and asked his opinion he replied, " it's a little 80s" with more grilling questions he also admitted he liked it (he's a smart one). Although I think the vest style with tails in the front is a little more early 90s.

If you are wondering whether those are black leggings in the picture, NO they are not. They are grey leggings. *Sigh* unfortunately the shirts available for sale are ideally made to go with skinny pants or leggings. So I can't give up all leggings, but I am giving up black for sure!

Prince of Persia sandals...or Greek maybe? Well one thing for sure I do like these shoes BUT they are a little weird. I mean the closest thing to them I have ever owned are some neoprene ankle supports.
I am not alone in my like for these, I wore them to work one day and got a lot of compliments. Looks like people think the ankle support look is in. Guess I'll wear them with my 80s leggings and 90s vest.

May 25, 2010

Songwriters' Block

Paul Simon - Song about the Moon

If you want to write a song about the moon
Walk along the craters of the afternoon
When the shadows are deep and the light is alien
And gravity leaps like a knife off the pavement
And you want to write a song about the moon
You want to write a spiritual tune
Then nah nah nah nah nah nah yeah
a song about about the moon

If you want to write a song about the heart
Think about the moon before you start
Because the heart will howl like a dog in the moonlight
And the heart can explode like a pistol on a June night
So if you want to write a song about the heart
And it's ever-longing for a counterpart
Then nah nah nah nah nah nah yeah
Write a song about the moon

The laughing boy he laughed so hard
He fell down from his place
The laughing girl she laughed so hard
The tears rolled down her face

Hey songwriter
If you want to write a song about a face
Think about a photograph
That you really can't remember but you can't erase
Wash your hands in dreams and lightning
Cut off your hair and whatever is frightening
If you want to write a song about a face
If you want to write a song about the human race
Then nah nah nah nah nah nah yeah
Write a song about the moon

If you want to write a song about the moon
You want to write a spiritual tune
Then do it
Write a song about the moon

May 21, 2010

I Heart Google

I don't really like relying on products from one company. Throwing your eggs in one basket is a pretty big risk and often comes back to bite you in the ass. The other day I realised that I've started to do exactly this with Google products. My first introduction to Google was obviously through their search engine, but I'm now almost completely reliant on Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Reader, Google Documents, YouTube, Google Maps and so on and so forth. Is there anything left that Google can't do?

Despite my resistance to allowing one company to monopolize my life, I'm actually OK with this one. Google just makes better products than everyone else. It's a fact. Gmail revolutionized email, Google search engine completely changed how everyone uses the internet and now they're in the process of revolutionizing how you use the internet (with Google Chrome), mobile devices (with Android) and TV (with Google TV).

This week Google's Developers Conference, Google I/O, was held in San Fransisco where they introduced some new products and some upgrades to established products. I won't speak at any length about the upgrades to Android because that's one area where Google has yet to reel me in, although I suspect I will give in at some point, but instead I will talk briefly about Google TV.

Not too long ago I talked about how much 3D sucks and how companies jump on stupid fads without any thought as to what consumers really want and are asking for. Thankfully there are companies like Google out there that make an active and aggressive attempt at listening to users and (most importantly) implementing the suggested changes. Google TV as you would expect, combines TV and the internet. This isn't the first time it's been done, but my guess is that we're about to witness the first time that it's been done right. From the brief glimpses that I've had of Google TV it will integrate your TV's program guide with the internet. You'll be able to do things like continue watching your TV show while using Google search to quickly find your favourite TV shows, search the internet or search your TV. You can those use the Home screen to store links to your favourite shows, channels as well as YouTube, Gmail or any other sites that you would normally bookmark on your computer.

See? What did I say? Finally someone is integrating the internet and TV into something useful. Leave it to Google to go things right! Man, I love Google.

May 16, 2010

A Walking Tour

I Love to do walking tours in cities I visit, but I realized today that I have lived in Vancouver for almost three years but not really explored it via walking tour. WELL all that changed today. As Fongo explores Chicago, Baleener and I are going to discover Vancouver. Equipped with our cameras, water bottles, and a free walking tour courtesy of Frommer's Vancouver we set out to find out more about Gas Town, and China town. What followed...a lot more free fun then we had anticipated.

There is just something amazing at seeing something you see frequently and learning the story behind it (like why Gas town is called Gas town). Something even more amazing is seeing something there that wasn't there before. Some examples include; the world's thinnest office building, and a building made to be Victorian style on one side of the street and Chinese style on the other.
And after awhile you just start to notice things because you are for once mindful of what you are looking at.

For me this was seeing a Gorgon head above the entrance to a building in Gas town.
In short I think if anyone is bored and has time to kill look up a walking tour in the place that you live and start to learn a little more.

P.S. While loading the pictures to write this blog a little bird flew into my apartment to say hi. Here she is.

May 9, 2010

3D how I hate thee

How quickly entertainment technology does change. In just a couple of decades we've gone from watching our 13" CRT TVs (without even a remote control) to this. This overwhelming, ever-changing, mess of a techno-heavy industry. It's gotten to the point now that manufacturers just seem to be gambling on every new fad that pops up and then trying to force it to stick. The latest of these, and definitely my most hated one, is the surge of 3D. It has invaded the big screens and is now threatening to take over the small screens (television) and the even smaller screens (portable gaming and cell phones).

Why? Why, why why!?!?! Who is asking for this? How many people actually want 3D? How many people think 3D enhances their experience at the movies? Who wants to have to wear glasses to watch TV at home? Am I going insane here or is the industry trying to shove this in our face and tell us that this is the future of entertainment?

May 8, 2010

THE AMAZING....hunt???

This Saturday morning 3 members of the 654 and a friend from not too far away decided to take part in some free fun. Earlier in the week after watching an inspiring episode of the "Amazing Race" Fongo decided to do some research if there were similar events here in Vancouver. What he found was that there is a city wide "Amazing Race" inspired event called "The Amazing Hunt". The point was, he found out they were doing a trial run this morning and needed some volunteers. And so the only volunteers who showed up were the three of us plus our friend from not too far away". This was Fongo's "worst fear realized", which he repeated several times before we met the organizer.

(On a side note, another worst fear realized by Fongo was the time he accidentally grated his hand on the cheese grater)

Although it was only the four of us which made up two teams to complete the trial run it was still TOTALLY AWESOME. It was like having our own private fun organizer making activities for us. We got to run around Stanley Park on a beautiful sunny morning solving trivia questions and engaging in competition. I won't go into details about what the questions were since this was a trial for a later "Amazing Hunt", but I will let you know that there is way more stuff to explore in Stanley Park then I thought. Yay for free fun!

May 5, 2010

Flicks: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Welcome to our very first movie review! Since I'm sure there are many many movie reviews out there by people who really know what they're talking about, I will just keep these reviews short and sweet. Point form styles.

The review is broken down into 3 categories:
The Good
The Bad and
The Ugly... Truth.

Check it:

**** SPOILERS BELOW**** (i.e. read no further if you haven't seen the movie!)

THE GOOD (what I liked)
  • Really good story.
  • Movie flowed well. Must be a good director.
  • As this is a murder mystery movie it's always important that the movie tells you lots of information, but doesn't make it overly confusing or seem like it is trying too hard to lead you to suspect the wrong people. This movie did a great job of introducing characters without giving away the ending.
  • Speaking of the ending, it wasn't cheezy. There was no obvious excuse like the old "mental illness" or straight neo-Nazi-ism that seems to be Hollywood's answer in a lot of movies.
  • Really good acting. Being in Swedish it becomes hard to judge acting, but everyone seemed to play their part believably.
  • Good length!! I love it when movies don't try to push my attention span, but still tell a good full story. It wasn't a quick-paced movie, but still kept my attention, which is more than I can say for most movies these days.
THE BAD (what I didn't like)
  • Parts of it were a little too real. Too graphic. I'm sure the book was quite explicit too and I suppose it's always expected out of any European movie, but some scenes were hard to watch.
  • I hate it when subtitles blend in with the background. How hard can it be to make some of the subtitles black if they're on top of snow? Or white if they're in the dark?
  • When Ponytails and I were discussing the movie afterwards we noticed some flaws in explanations. Why was Frode watching Blomqvist? Why did Martin follow Blomqvist into Harald's house that night? These are probably properly explained in the book, but could have been better on screen.
THE UGLY.... TRUTH (my overall opinon)

See it!
First of all, for full disclosure, I have not read the book. Nor any from the trilogy. So you may consider my opinion a little less valid. Nonetheless I think it was a really good movie and I would recommend seeing it. It's not a movie to brighten your day, but it is fun to try to solve the murder case and interesting to see how things are done in Sweden!

May 3, 2010

The Return of Grey Ninja

There's a cat in our neighbourhood that I call Grey Ninja because he's grey (surprise!) and all stealthy like. My first encounter with Grey Ninja was last month when I was sitting at my computer in my bedroom and in my peripheral vision I saw a black shadow slink out of the bathroom. Instinctively, I knew it was not my Jaboo and I got up in time to see Grey Ninja jump out the window. It was obviously not Jaboo, I later realized, because I can unmistakably hear Jaboo coming a mile away. He jingles when he walks, a happy accident with the collar I got him. Plus he's a meowy whiner, unlike Grey Ninja who's practically mute. I like to think Jaboo and Grey Ninja are pals, even if Grey Ninja won't really let me pet him. There are a lot of cats in our neighbourhood including three in The 654 alone, Jaboo and the middle tenants' cats Leo (a newly acquired Garfield-sized behemoth) and Moses.

---Hold up, Grey Ninja just snuck in while I was writing this post!!!---

May 1, 2010

Black Leggings

It seems like I can't go anywhere anymore without seeing some chick sporting a pair of black leggings with cute black flats! It kinda sucks because I actually really like to do this style myself, but I hate looking just like a cookie cutter version of every other girl 15-29. It's sad really, because black leggings are so comfortable. They are warm, but not too warm, they go with everything and if someone was going to try to mug or fight you, your clothing would not hinder your ability to fight back or escape (unlike high heel shoes and short, tight skirts).

On Thursday I was walking around Robson street Downtown Vancouver and I saw at least 10 girls wearing black leggings with some sort of cute shoes. The strangest thing was when I saw girls walking in twos or threes and they were all wearing black leggings! I can't understand this! How do you visually set yourself apart? Well I am going to have to retire my leggings! Thanks a lot "girls of the world" for killing this style in a similar way to the overplaying of K-naan's "Wavin' Flag".