Wednesday, December 27, 2006

The year in food 2006

Great New York Times Dining section today (thank you, Mr. Pete Wells). I pulled a great quote from Eric Asimov's weekly wine column, and there was a great article that voiced my thoughts about the trend this year that many of the people becoming well-known in the food world aren't professionally trained at all. Gives me hope that I don't have to spend $50,000 and nine months for a culinary degree to succeed in the epicurean world.
"Honestly, I don't drink wine for my health. That's what carrots and broccoli are for. I drink it because I love it, because it's a never-ending pleasure, and because meals with wine always beat meals without wine." - Eric Asimov, "A Year of Treats for the Palate, by the Sip and the Barrel," The New York Times, Dec. 27, 2006
Chris got me a digital camera for Christmas! You can bet there'll be a lot more photos up here in due time. Saturday we're heading to Long Island to stay with his aunt and uncle for New Year's. We'll be bringing in the new year in Greenwich Village. I'm so pumped. After that, I'm going to visit him in Buffalo from Jan. 4 to 8, taking the train, as usual. The rest of my vacation holds wonderful potential.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Keep your eyes on the road, your hands upon the wheel

It's Christmas break, and I actually made Dean's List this semester, much to my extreme surprise. We celebrated Christmas last night with my mom's side of the family, since on Christmas day we're going to Buffalo to see Nana and celebrate with her and that side of the family.

Chris is here, but it'll be hard for us to see each other because it's Christmas Eve and both our families are busy with our own stuff. We hung out a little last night, though. Luckily, we're staying in Buffalo until Wednesday, so there'll be time to see him then, too.

I got the Dow Jones Newspaper Fund internship! I'll be at the New Bedford Standard Times this summer in New Bedford, Mass. A two-week orientation takes place at Penn State from May 20 to June 1, and then the week after that my internship starts. Dow Jones pays for everything -- transportation, meals, accommodations to and from the orientation and to and from orientation to the internship site. I'm so excited. New Bedford is right on the water, near Cape Cod, in southern Massachussetts. It's 30 miles east of Providence, R.I., and 60 miles south of Boston. A la "Almost Famous," "It's all happening."

I got a lot of good things for Christmas, most having to do with cooking. A new casserole dish, an 8x8x2-inch glass baking dish, a food processor, a neat salad spinner with its own stop function. As it was, I just wasted $20 on a new filter and filter basket for my steam espresso machine, since I thought I'd lost the filter basket and when I went to get a new one online I had to buy both the filter and the basket together. Altogether it came to about $23. A couple days later, of course, the lost filter basket was found. So frustrating!

I kind of came out to my family last night that I'm agnostic. Needless to say, my mom didn't seem too pleased. We were sitting at the dinner table talking about heaven, and I said something about how all sin is equal, and my family was like that's right, that's good, I'm like well I may not be a Christian, but it's not like I totally forgot about the things I learned growing up. To that, my mom said, "Well, if you're not a Christian, than what are you?" My reply: "Agnostic." The look she gave me said more than she could have ever expressed verbally. It made me feel bad, but this is who I am. I'm not going to change my life just because it doesn't meet their ideals of how a person should be. I'm 21 years old; they've done their work, and I'd say I came out pretty well. It's time to let me have my own opinions and beliefs. For the most part, they've been good about that. It just frustrates me that they continue to try to get me to go to church and push me back in the direction of the religion I started giving up about five years ago. If I do go back, it will be my own decision and my own will, not because of their influence.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Come my friends and share some wine

Holiday quiet on these streets
except for some stubborn leaves
that didn't fall with the fall,
and now they clatter in vain.
Holiday sky, midnight clear.
Wind is high, hard to steer.
Old muffler rumbles like an old fighter plane
in search of some rest
in search of a break
from a life of tests where something's always at stake,
where something's always so far.
What about my broken car?
What about my life so far?
What about my dream?

What about everything?
What about airplanes?
What about ships that drank the sea?
What about the moon and stars?
What about soldiers' battle scars
and all the anger that they eat?
I am not in need.

Get away and come with me,
come away with me and we'll see
if I was right on that night that a future was made
before time takes each year,
like a knife cuts it clear.
It's school then work and then life
that just sharpens the blade.
I think about time for fun.
I think about time for play.
Then I think about being done with no resume,
with no one left to blame.
What about fortune and fame?
What about your love to obtain?
What about the ring?

Holiday quiet on these streets
except for some reason me.
The hometown harbor lights bright;
the sailboats clatter in vain.
Holiday sky, midnight clear.
Wind is high on this pier.
I find it hard to complain when compared with what about.

What about aliens?
What about you and me?
And what about gold beneath the sea?
What about when buildings fall?
What about that midnight phone call,
the one that wakes you from your peace?
Well, I am not in need.

- Carbon Leaf, "What About Everything?"

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Barely legal

So I'm 21. I've been waiting for this day for about five years now, and finally it's here. Let me tell you: It feels awesome. I can't wait to go to the liquor store or a bar and hand the cashier or bouncer or bartender my ID and not be turned away. That'll be an amazing feeling, considering all the rejection I've had to go through these past few years, haha. It's time I got mine, along with all the other people who've been turned down at the bar!

Thanks to everyone who sent me warm wishes of happy birthday. You guys are awesome. It's great to realize what wonderful friends you have, especially on your birthday. I wish I could keep in touch with them more than I do sometimes, but with time and distance and a busy schedule, it's difficult. You're all in my thoughts constantly.

Last weekend in Buffalo was great. I accompanied Chris at his company party, did some drinking on Elmwood, did some Christmas shopping and just hung out with Chris and his roommates and friends. All around it was amazing, and things can only keep getting better.

So who's up for Chuck's or Faegan's tonight? Maybe a nice bottle of Chianti? ;)