Friday’s Feast 138

Happy Good Friday!

Appetizer – When you travel, which mode of transportation do you prefer?

It depends on where I am going, but I’m starting to like the long car rides. Planes are either a hit or a miss for me, but I still find air travel fascinating. I love trains. I’m nerdy like that.

Soup – Have you ever met a blogging friend in person?

I’ve only met one friend from online, and I knew her before we started blogging or I had my domain.

Salad – When was the last time you were really, really tired?

I’ve been pretty tired this whole week. My low point was probably Monday night.

Main Course – If you could have dinner with any one fictional character from a book or movie, who would it be?

Well, this is geeky of me but I’d choose Death or Dream from Neil Gaiman’s Sandman. I probably wouldn’t survive the former, but she’s such a fascinating Death figure. It’s like the Monty Python sketch only I’m less oblivious, and we have more fun. My only fear with Dream would be I’d fall in love with him.

Dessert – Fill in the blank: One day, I hope to see _______________.

My parents truly happy and for all our dreams to come true. That’s how I would see God, I guess.

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Booking Through Thursday 050407

This is my first time doing Booking Through Thursday, so I did a few more after this week’s. There will be a food post later today as I just baked a batch of cookies.

1. Just out of curiosity, as we enter into Passover and Easter season . . . have you ever read the Bible? Just the odd chapter or Psalm? The whole thing? (Or, almost the whole thing? It’s some heavy reading, of course, and those “begats” get kind of tedious.) – I’ve read more of the Old Testament than the New Testament. So the odd books: Job, Genesis, Songs of Solomon, etc.
2. If so, was it from religious motivation or from a literary perspective? Stuck with nothing else to read in a hotel room the Gideon’s have visited? Any combination? – Both. Mostly from a literary perspective. I took a religion I actually did a presentation on the Book of Job. I have also been in the situation where I have read a Gideon bible in a hotel room because I was bored. I think this was in Hong Kong.
3. If not, why not? Against your religious principles? Too boring? Just not interested? Something you’re planning on taking care of when you get marooned on a desert island? – I wouldn’t read the whole bible because I’ve read about half of it any way, and not all of it is interesting or too riveting.
4. And while we’re on the subject . . . what about the other great religious works out there? Are they more to your liking? – Well, I like Tao Te Ching. I would like to try and read The Quarran and the Upanishads.

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Charmed Thirds by Megan McCafferty

Charmed Thirds This is the first book I’ve actually finished since February. It’s always depressing when I realize that I haven’t actually read a complete book in a month. In any case, I said I was going to read Northanger Abbey next or finish The Best American Travel Writing 2006, but I have been stressed and tired. I wanted to read and finish something that I knew would be quick and relatively light. That doesn’t mean I’m still not able to reflect afterwards. I always found this series to be one of the better “chicklit” books I’ve read. It’s been almost four years since I read the first two books in the series: Sloppy Firsts and Second Helpings. When Jessica Darling, the protagonist, was in high school, I was in high school, and now the book is her college life, and I’m in college. It’s quite apt to say the least. I did relate to her a lot in this book, more than in the previous two books. Or maybe, as I’ve discovered last year, the older I get, the more I am able to project my life and issues into every book I read. In any case, I can relate to the loner status, the family angst, the what the hell am I going to do after I get my undergrad? issue, etc. I’ve always found McCafferty better at doing growing up, chicklit style novels than Meg Cabot or Louise Rennison. I also feel that she’s got slightly more ‘substance’ than Sophie Kinsella and the others too. So yeah, I enjoyed the few hours I had with the book to reminded myself of a few things in a refreshing way without being heavy.

Completely Unrelated Links:
77 Ways to Learn Faster, Deeper, and Better
50 Things She Wishes You Knew – Men’s Health is better than Cosmopolitan.

Friday’s Feast 137

Appetizer – What are you proud of?

My parents, my family, my friend Sandy, and the things I’ve gone through and the things I’ve learned.

Soup – What is the best thing you’ve ever won as a prize?

I almost never win anything. It sucks. But I was surprised that in my last year of high school, I won a $1000 scholarship for taking this quiz about Canadian Heritage.

Salad – Name something you do that is a waste of time.

Haha. Well, a lot of the time I am online is a bit of a waste, and sometimes, when I watch TV.

Main Course – In what year of your life did you change the most?

Oh, goodness. Last year was pretty intense, but it’s a tie between the end of 1998/most of 1999 and 2004. The former had a more spiritual and emotional/ angst impact, while the latter really marked the beginning of this point in my life and a huge reflection about who I am or who I should be from then on.

Dessert – Where is a place you consider to be very tranquil?

Home is both the most tranquil and the most chaotic. I also like coffee shops, parks, and most places by the water.

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Sorry for lack of updates. It’s the end of the semester, but once exams start in a couple of weeks, things won’t be as busy.

Friday’s Feast 136

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Appetizer: Who is your favorite news anchor/reporter? Why?

In national Canadian news, Lloyd Roberston. Even though I think CBC is a much better news network overall, CTV has better personalities and it’s a little sleeker. I read the news more than I watch it or listen to BBC World Service or RFI podcasts. I also watch The Colbert Report and The Daily Show quite a bit.

Soup: Name 3 foods that are currently in your freezer.

  1. Bananas for baking
  2. Turkey and assorted meat (did not buy this)
  3. Wonton wrappers

Salad: If you were to have the opportunity to name a new town or city, what would you call it?

My-town-is-cooler-than-yours-ville. Otherwise, no idea.

Main Course: What will most likely be the next book you read?

Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen

Dessert: What’s the first thing you notice about the opposite gender?

Depends on the circumstance, but these things I pick up on: height, voice, hair, clothing style, and intelligence/wit.

Monthly Movies: March

Commentary on movies I’ve seen each month. Annual list.

The Departed (04-5 03 07): Good Scorsese. Now, I have to watch the original again. I really liked DiCaprio in this.

The Holiday (08 03 07): I only watched is for Kate Winslet.

Borat (10 03 07): Some of it was funny. It’s a bit sad, really.

Little Miss Sunshine (11 03 07): Nice, good, and funny.

Casino RoyaleCasino Royale (19 03 07): I grew up with James Bond. My Dad loves the franchise. I’ve seen most of the Bond movies except Oh Her Majesty’s Secret Service so don’t ask me about Lazenby, but I believe each Bond is unique and different. I don’t pick favourites among them any more. Given that, I really liked this movie. I found the last couple of Bond movies pedantic compared to this. I have not read any of the Bond books or any spy novels; not for dislike, but lack of chance. Having said that, this movie seemed to be more like an actual spy novel with a plot rather than a screenplay someone put forth so the franchise could keep going. I really did like Pierce Brosnan’s Bond, but I found that Daniel Craig was raw in his portrayal. His emotional side was a tad more soft and revealing, which makes me more excited that he’s going to Asriel. Eva Green, the main Bond girl of this film, is simply beautiful and I really look forward to her in The Golden Compass as well.

Fruits Basket (21-22 03 07): Every episode is so emotional. I watched this in Japanese with French subtitles which got me brushing up on the latter. I remember how obsessed everyone was with the anime when it first came out in Japan. Due to the fact that it ran concurrent with the manga, and probably thought there would be a second season, a couple of the episodes were filler-ish. I think it would have made a good second season even though some of the endings to the manga were rather lame. Still, it ended on a beautiful note with the 26 eps.

Banana Bread Muffins

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One of the recipes I am trying to perfect or adapt to my own is a good banana muffin recipe. I have a muffin pan, and I am going to use it. This is my third try with it, the first weren’t so good, but these muffins were different but still good. It is more of a bread-loaf texture than a conventional buffin muffin; you can make this into a 9×5 loaf as well.

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Bees and His Dark Materials

The disappearing bees thing has been worrying me for a bit. I love honey, and I love bees. They are quite incredible creatures and honey is liquid gold. I found a podcast from earthfiles.com (episode 10) discussing it. Did you know that 1/3 of human food supply is directly affected by bees with another 30% indirectly. It would be enough for this to signal some environmental hazard and doom. Where have all the bees gone?

I must read that copy of Robbing the Bees: A Biography of Honey–The Sweet Liquid Gold that Seduced the World by Holley Bishop that I have in the house. I’ve had since before the bees did a Houdini and when I read The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd.

On a more positive note, I just got Casino Royale since my Dad is a Bond fan. I may not watch it this weekend, but it reminds me that Daniel Craig is playing Lord Asriel in His Dark Materials: The Golden Compass. I don’t go to movies in theatres often, but I am definitely going to see this on the opening weekend in November. The books are some of my favourites; I’ve been tracking the movies since well before they started production in 06 on Bridges to the Stars. Philip Pullman recently wrote a piece at the Sunday Times about the film. He seems very excited which makes me a fan doubly excited. He speaks of the fact that Nicole Kidman was his original pick for Mrs. Coulter, and it’s great that they got her because she is perfect casting. Overall, signs are pointing for a favourable adaptation.

Images from Yahoo! Movies:



Birthday Cookies: Chocolate Chip 1.0

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For my birthday, I decided to treat myself to my favourite new hobby: baking. I wanted something simple and easy: chocolate chip cookies. I did research and had heard about the Nestle Toll House cookie, but I’ve never seen those chips in my supermarket. Taking advice from a couple sites, I modified the cookies just a bit. This is not a definitive recipe, rather an attempt to find my own perfect chocolate chip recipe with trial and error. This is Level One in the Baker’s Adventure for Chocolate Chip Cookies or version 1.0.

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