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Sunday, July 31, 2005

Yes. Yes, I am.

Me: So I can't decide if I should get both or a cheaper version of one or...
Brian: Jesus Christ!
Me: What?
Brian: Did you just take that wanton out of the frying pan with your bare hands?
Me: Er, yes... Why?
Brian: Dude! The sizzling oil?
Me: Doesn't bother me.
Brian: Are you not real? Are you a robot?

Friday, July 29, 2005

Jean Valkaga

So... what do these have in common?


This is awesome. Apparently, Chairman Kaga from Iron Chef Japan was Jean Valjean in Japan's 1994 production of Les Miserables. Not only that, he was also Japan's first Tony in West Side Story.

*has such a crush*

Good Goumet

I was asked by an awesome friend of mine to teach her to cook. This is in addittion to about 4 other people, so far. Therefore, the logical step for me is to teach a small cooking class.
And I am SO excited.
I think I'm going to do something simple, the first time around, like French Scrambled Eggs to see where the basic cooking skills are at. Then we'll start with Italian cuisine I guess- lasagna rolls, ravioli, then gnocchi. Maybe move on the Greek cuisine after that, then French after that. Do a class or two on Jewish cuisine and on Mid-Eastern.
I'm so excited to teach it. People need to learn, because I found out that you can't really assume someone has cooking skills. I figured it out after some certain someones had to be told the reason why we let water come to a boil FIRST before putting in the pasta and why raising the oven temperature has more consequence than "baking faster."
Yeah, I couldn't believe it either.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Fast Times in Belfast

I'm sorry about the lack of posting, really, I am; but things have been exhausting here, further reminding me everyday of why I hate the damn summer courses so much.

Not much is happening here anyway. It's that time of year again where I start getting ready for the Maryland Renaissance Festival. That's right, I go to the Renfest. Not only that, I go repeatedly. I have a season pass, even. And if that weren't enough, I dress up! That's right, every weekend during fair season, I put on my corset and dress, drive an hour to Crownsville, and eat food on a stick.
And it's fine, you know why?

Because we're all allowed one quirk.

And of course, the gratuitous picture, me on the right, my darling friend Talia on the left-


On a related note, if anyone's interested in hitting the RenFest and wants company, drop me a line.

Actually, I was planning on posting about the end of the IRA's military campaign. But after that rant on the Renfest, I dunno, it seems sorta out of place. So I'll just sum up. The IRA said "Fine, we'll stop with the warfare. We'll use politics instead. That's way scarier."
Maybe certain places need to take example, hm?

Monday, July 25, 2005

A b-day quickie...

The b-day weekend was awesome. The XX-Mafia girls and I had a kick ass time. Ilana got me a set of Rammekins and a kitchen torch. You know what that means.
Creme Brulee`.
Hot.

Anyhoos, thanks for all the birthday wishes. :-)

Updates and whatnot later, after I wake up. ;-)

Thursday, July 21, 2005

They say it's your birthday.... Well, it's my birthday, too, yeah!

Warning:
Shameless self-pimping ahead.

I'm not sure how much time I'll have to post this pre-friday, so I'll just post it now. This Friday, the 22nd, if you see this girl-


Tell her Happy Birthday and give her a big ol' hug, for it will be my birthday. :-D
What does this mean?
Another excuse to celebrate.
And possibly get rip-roaring drunk.
But we'll play that by ear.

Anyone who is going to be in the Bmore area, come by Artscape and see me and the posse. It'll be fun. And if you know you're gonna be downtown in the Artscape area, give me an email at cruelhazel@gmail.com. We'd love to hook up with y'all, maybe share some birthday cake. ;-)

So, in the meantime, I'm taking a weekend hiatus, so as to properly party my patootie off. I will see you all again on Monday!

Well, the WDC Express thinks so...

Quick love to the darling boys over by CPMC for their mention in the Washington DC Express (PDF) today. Check out the Blog Log on page 25. The boys get a mention for their discussion on why people, especially men in suits and business attire, need to stop carrying backpacks, especially on the metro.
Take a look!

Something to do...

Anyone who knows me knows I can't bear to have free time. Hence my newest and most time consuming project of them all:
The CP Agenda.

It started as a way to co-ordinate events in the College Park area so I would never have to hear "There's nothing to do tonight," ever again. Of course, once I started doing CP events, I had to branch out into DC... and nearby Maryland... And Virginia...
For now, it's pretty much a Yahoo! Group. I update the calendar with concerts and cultural events and everyone has a good time.
It's still in progress, updating the however many huge amounts of events the Smithsonian does takes time, but hopefully by the end of the month I'll have a pretty complete listing for the month ahead. For now, I have a pretty full listing for end of July through August, so go check it out. It's worth a look.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Miri Ben-Ari


I have a HUGE crush and it's on Miri Ben-Ari. She's an Israeli hip-hop violinist and not only is she MAD talented, she's also MAD hot.
So, gratuitous pictures for the masses!

Return to your roots... and leafy greens, and cheeses, and breads...

One of my major hobbies is cooking. Like serious style gourmet cooking. My mother was always a fantastic cook and I just took after her and being a vegetarian necessitated that I learn how. And now, my mother and I spend a good deal of our conversations exchanging menus and cooking tips. What really got me into gourmet cooking was when I first read Zingerman's Guide to Good Eating. It opened my eyes to a world of excellent food. I was hooked. I watch food network obssessively. Alton Brown, especially, has changed the way I cook forever. I have two of his books and his Kitchen User's Manual. I have a bookshelf dedicated to cookbooks. I scour the news for mentions of one of my favorite chefs, Wolfgang Puck. My fridge is always full of Greek and Italian ingredients. I've cooked meals for 50+ people by myself. I find Iron Chef more exhilerating than any sport.
And so help me, if you're a guy that cooks well, I'm all over you.
I take so much joy in cooking and it's helped me to develop a better appreciation for food and a better relationship to it.
Not to mention I developed a recipe for chocolate chip cookies that make men weak in the knees.

Which is why I'm so sad when fewer and fewer people really know how to cook.
Families are eating together less, parents have less time to cook with careers, kids are in the kitchen less, basic skills just aren't being passed down.
And I think it's a shame.
There are few things more rewarding than really preparing a delicious, flavorful meal for you and a loved one. For those who cook, you know what I mean. For those who don't, try it. Grab a 'foodie' friend and ask for a lesson. Learn something. Make something. Experience a joy you simply cannot get out of a can.

"The discovery of a new dish does more for the happiness of mankind than the discovery of a star."
- Brillat-Savarin

I'll miss you, Ms. O'Connor

I liked Sandra Day O'Connor. I liked her a lot. I thought she was warm, fair, knowlegable, intelligent, and an all around good person. Plus, she was a skirt. I was sad when she decided to step down.
But now, I'm just angry.
Bush announced his candidate for the Supreme Court. Who? I'll give you a hint. White, male, conservative, Christian, and republican.
Oh, does that sound like most the men in power these days?
Anyhow, it's John Roberts.
I looked at the Washington Post's profile on him. I figured I should at least know something about him. I was never really happy about this choice becausee if he gets into the job, we can all kiss Roe vs. Wade goodbye. However, while looking through the profile, I saw this one piece at the end that kind of disturbed me. Not so much because it happenned, but because the Post somehow decided that of all the cases to mention, they wanted to mention this.
Let's read, shall we?

"As a judge on the D.C. Circuit, Roberts voted with two colleagues to uphold the arrest and detention of a 12-year-old girl for eating french fries on the Metro train,"

I mean, honestly, it wasn't like they were crack-fries. But I digress. Make your own assumptions.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Forget reaching for the stars... Step on them!

I was reading Johnny DC's blog and he mentioned Life Aquatic which reminded me of the time I met Bill Murray. I was at a Cirque Du Soleil show in NY, celebrating the birthday of one of my best friend's (and future flatmate's), Margo. (As a side note, CdS makes me all tingly in my naughty parts, I love it so much.) Anyhoos, we were about to leave and as per my tradition, I was gonna buy a program as a souvenir.
WELL, I walk up to the stand in a bit of a rush as not to hold the party up and accidentally step on the foot of this guy. I look up to apologize and lo and behold, it was Bill Murray. As a side note, that man has NOT aged well.
Anyhow, aside from my foot assault, it stops being interesting there. I don't gush, just make small talk, like "Did you enjoy the show?" while we waited for our stuff and then walked off.
And that was my story in all it's anti-climatic glory.

Also, two plugs.
One, for a blog. Most blogs I want to plug, I just slip them into the post somewhere. However, this woman's blog, in just the mere week she's been writing, is far more interesting, witty, and enjoyable than most blogs I have ever read, bless her heart. GO, check out Chase-ing Random Thoughts. Not only is her writing style, littered with pictures and points absolutely fabulous, she as a person, or at least, from the amounts I have picked up from her blog and bio, is so so so cool. Anyone who watches Food Network and Family Guy is A-OK in my book.

A second plug- Foucalt's Pendulum. If you read the Da Vinci Code and found it interesting, but not challenging, go read this book by Umberto Eco. It's vocabulary far exceeds Dan Brown's work as well as the writing style. It's witty, intelligent, and mad interesting. Go for it.

Monday, July 18, 2005

What could've been...

I wrote a post. A GREAT post, explaining why it doesn't bother me to pay $4 for a cup of Starbuck's coffee, in response to a recent post on the DC Bachelors blog. It was a good post. It was an amusing post.
But my computer went off and got PMS and crashed on me.
And now?
I'm too lazy to retype it.
SO, I'm just gonna summarize. I can make my own coffee. I enjoy making my own coffee. I can make damn good coffee. I can even make decent emulations of the frou frou drinks, like frapps or caramel latte`s. However, at the end of the day, I'm usually lazy enough to want someone to do it for me and none of my friends really possess those skills. $4 drinks are not for the day old, black coffees, though. $4 goes for getting me out of my apartment, chilling in the pleasing decor, the frou frou coffee drinks that are far more convenient for them to make than me having to drag out my blender and whatnot.
And why Starbucks and not another coffeehouse?
I do go to other coffee houses. College Perk, the closes non-Starbucks cafe` to me, is a great place and I ADORE it. However, there are two Starbucks between me and College Perk and sometimes, I don't feel like fighting the Rt. 1 traffic when I can walk a block to get to a Starbucks.

My favorite is when smokers ask me if I feel bad spending all that money of coffee. I guarantee you, I spend less on coffee than the average smoker spends on tobacco.

And I'm still allowed to drink coffee in bars.

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Quickie

Too tired to really write much, but I gotta get this off my chest.
Rove is an asshole and Novak is a douchebag.
'Nuff said.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Sufi Fusion ROCKS

Real quick post tonight.
I caught the tail end of the Niyaz concert at the Smithsonian tonight with my friend Alan. It was AWESOME. If Niyaz plays in your area any time soon, I beg you to go see them. They're fabulous. The music is beautiful and soulful while vocalist Azam Ali has a haunting, gorgeous voice. Plus, she is MAD hot.
So, check 'em out.
*dances off*

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

I'm part lesbian!

I built shelves yesterday. I built them in a space barely larger than the shelves themself. I did it by myself, because I, as a bisexual, am part lesbian. I was very proud.

I still have one more set of shelves to build for the common room, but I have faith in me.

You may notice that posting may become sparser, or more half-assed than usual. Don't be alarmed.
For one, I have class in the summer, so I'm busy being studious.
And two, I'm wroking on a new project. Hopefully, I plan to announce it here on the 21st and it will debut for the 23rd.
I promise you'll like it, especially all you DC dwellers.

In the meantime, I can't leave you all without some bit of news, so here goes-

State wants to weed out marijuana-flavor candy

Have fun.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

A Divine Deviation

I'm not in the habit of posting my creative writing pieces or religious material... but I did this piece recently in a slam and it was fun... so enjoy the deviation.

A Letter from the Guys Who Created Religion
((As performed at an open mic))

I got a letter the other day
from the guys who created religion.
Yeah, I didn't know about them either,
but they sounded legit.
Anyways, apparently there's been some misunderstandings
And they heard there was a show tonight
And they wanted me to read this.
So, just give me a second to get this out here...
Here we go, now. Listen up.
"To... well,... everyone-
Hey. What's up? How is the weather..."
It goes on like that for a bit.
Let me skip ahead a little...
Here we go.
"Sorry you haven't heard from us in a while,
But it seems like something went wrong,
So, we guessed we'd try to clear it all up.
We're the guys who created religion.
Yeah, Man created religion.
It makes sense though, right?
What does God need religion for?
Religion is for Man.
Why shouldn't it be created by Man?
But we digress.
We're the guys who created religion.
All religion.
Because really, it all started out as one religion.
What happenned was, we looked around and realized
Man needed something to believe in.
Nothing too fancy,
but something.
So, we introduced God.
(Oh, we should state here, by the way,
when we started all of this,
God was a woman.
Not like in an Alanis Morisette in Dogma sort of way,
more like a Mawu Mother-Goddess figure.)
Anyways,
when we created religion,
it was simple.
There was a God.
and God loved you.
Not so much like a father,
because sometimes they can be distant and disciplinarian, right?
More like a mother,
and not one of those nagging ones, either,
more like one of those 50's Beaver Cleaver mothers
with lemonade and cookies
and endless love and support.
And you know, that was God,
endless love and support.
If you ever felt alone
or depressed,
you knew that God loved you
and everything was good.
It all worked out great.
God loved Man
and all Man had to do
was to love Man also.
It was a great system.
But we hadn't anticipated
what would happen after a while.
Somewhere along the line,
this idea of endless unconditional love
turned into the Crusades,
Jihad,
White Supremecy,
Terrorism,
Wars,
Massacres,
and Jerry Falwell.
All this shit
carried out in the name of God,
a God of endless unconditional love.
So, obviously, something went very very wrong along the way.
We don't want to preach,
another thing we never intended, by the way,
we just wanted to clear things up.
When we created religion,
it was simple.
God loved Man
and all God wanted
was for Man to love Man.
Everything else had nothing to do wth us.
Especially Jerry Falwell.
And we're not telling you how
or what
to believe.
We're just saying,
that's the way it used to be
and it was a GREAT system.
Peace,
The Guys Who Created Religion"
And that's where it ends.

It did sound like a great system, didn't it?

Friday, July 08, 2005

Where's the Beef?

A brand new development in food science is bound to change the vegetarian world forever:
Synthetic meat.

I'm not talking tofu, here. I'm talking actual meat cells grown in vitro. Taking a single animal cell and reproducing it over and over to produce meat. It's already been proven possible. Engineers at NASA have already managed to grow small amounts of meat to be used as food for space-travel. The question of how to mass produce this lab meat is what is being worked on now. The meat not only needs to be grown, but needs to be stretched like a live animal would to develop the same texture. Using in vitro meat alleviates such problems as the health, environmental, and animal suffering issues currently associated wit the meat industry and eating meat.

The brings a whole new issue to light for vegetarians. Will we eat this test-tube cow? I'd imagine that Vegans certainly wouldn't, as this is obviously a by-product of a real animal. However, for those vegetarians among us who aren't so hardcore, will we eat it? I can only speak for myself on this issue, but here's how it would roll for me. If it got down to the point where meat can be made using very few cells from the actual animal, and the extraction did not kill the animal or cause it large amounts of pain; I would eat it. This is because it fits in with the reason I am a vegetarian.
(For those, unaware, my main reason for vegetarianism is the fact that we have enough advances in food development and soy processing that we no longer need to eat natural meat. With the advances of soy product, it is no longer worth the ecological, environmental, and animal rights damage that comes with eating natural meat.)

The meat eaters out there are bound to ask, "Why should I switch over?" The advantages of in vitro meat are numerous. For instance, because it's lab grown, the nutrients in the meat can be controlled. Example? The fatty acid Omega 3, known to cause high cholesterol and other health problems, can be replaced with Omega 6, a healthy fat. Another plus is the fact that growth hormones and other drugs used in the development in natural meat would not be needed in in vitro meat.

So, in conclusion?

Cruel Hazel is in favor of beaker beef and lab lamb.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Stewart Loves... Stewart?

First, an apology for not posting for a bit. I was busy bowing to the Academic Gods. For the record, probability is "teh sux0rz." To make it up to all y'all, I'm extending an invitation to my readers. July 22 is Cruel Hazel's birthday. To celebrate, the posse and I will be hitting our yearly outing, the ARTSCAPE festival in downtown Baltimore. It's a kickass festival that runs Friday through Sunday in downtown B-more in Mt Royal. There's art exhibits, vendors, food, shows, demonstrations, people, a short-film marathon by the Maryland Film Festival, the whole shebang.
My crew will be getting there around noon, when the festival starts and we'll designate a meet-up point for anyone who wants to frolic around the festival with us. I'll post the time and place a little closer to the fest here in the blog. Anyone who needs info, do email me at cruelhazel@gmail.com. We're a friendly group, we loves the peoples, we promise.

Anyhow, on to other business...

Martha Stewart recently talked to Vanity Magazine about her jail sentence. She claimed that her nickname in jail was M. Diddy. I know when I think of Martha Stewart, I think of black male rappers. She described lockdown as "hideous."
Apparently, prison facilities do not quite live up the standards of her Bedford mansion.
Cry me a river, M. Diddy.

A gem in the article was when Stewart talks about her ankle bracelet, saying:

"I watched them put it on. You can figure out how to get it off," she is quoted as saying. "It's on the Internet. I looked it up."

Her publicist's eyes "widened with alarm" when Stewart made the remark.

On a side note, Martha only took off the bracelet to do some custom embroidery and add a silk lining. She will be featuring her project on her next episode of her TV show, as well as showing the importance of window treatments in cell rooms and tea time with fellow inmates.

She also made mention of her new show, similar to Trump's "Apprentice.":

She says her version of "The Apprentice" will be different than Donald Trump's and that she doesn't want to be portrayed as mean and harsh. She says she would never use Trump's catchphrase, "You're fired."

"We are trying to come up with other ways to say it," she says. "For instance, if someone is from Idaho, I could say, `You're back in Boise for apple-picking time.'"

I'm not even going to comment on that.

Particularly amusing is her comment on Jon Stewart of the Daily Show. She makes reference to being aware of the jokes made at her expense with no hard feelings. In fact, she states that he is "even better looking in person than on TV" and has "such a crush on him."
All I'se gotta say is,
Step down, bitch.
I called dibs on him already.