Monday, March 20, 2006

Guinness, a Movie and a Few Other Things

Greeting from the void. I've been busier than I ever thought I could be lately and finally have a bit of time to post today… and maybe Blogger will actually let me. Blogger has been acting up all weekend when I had free time, so I couldn't post when I tried to – I couldn’t even post THIS the first few times I tried as the network here is down right now...but enough of that whining. It's so refreshing to be busy for a change that I can’t really complain that much.

Guinness and Such

Friday was my day off. There was lots to do and a neat party to go to at a friend's place that night, but I finally spent lots of time in the kitchen (you were right after all Magnus). I do love to cook and I really love it when I can spend a few hours making yummy things and then eating them later - it doesn't get much better than that. So, in honor of St. Patrick's Day I made Guinness Stew and Potato Bread. YUM. J was skeptical (he doesn’t worship at the fount of Guinness like I do) but it turned out great and the potato bread was also fantastic...devoured the rest of the 2 loaves this weekend with jam and pb and the like. I'll definitely have to make some more. I’ll stick the stew recipe in the comments page if anyone wants to know how to make it. I'm having some for lunch today too...I even had J take a picture of happy me as I sat down to eat it. Nothing like a photo of smiley me pointing at some stew to make your day, right?

Homes and Other Black Holes

J had to cover the Home Show on Saturday, so I tagged along as a gear carrier for free and spent the afternoon looking at displays and the newest gadgets. Wow... I must say there is a lot of crap to waste your money on when you own a house! Of course everything I liked was WAY too is amazing to me just how much pointless stuff is for sale that people seem to think they need to have the perfect house, be "unique", or for no other reason than to have something better than the people around them. The funny thing is, every category of stuff seemed to have an “Elite” line, which, as far as we could tell, was way more expensive for no real reason of quality or function-the best we could come up with was that if you CAN buy it you do so, making YOU elite…or... something? We're not really sure. Now I'm the first to oggle over something cool (I mean I do own a Force FX Lightsaber) but, there is a point where one has to look at things for the value they bring. I mean, if I like something, then fine, but why spend money on what someone else thinks is nice or cool if I don't really care for it? If happiness is attached to an item, or worse yet, the need to show off an item, that is where I start to get wierded out. I just don't need a lot of stuff in the house. I mean, I wouldn't turn them down if I liked them and if I had the $$, but I'd rather spend the bit of money we have to spare on things we actually need or on holidays. Money is a means to an end. A house is your home. Life is to live, not buy.

A Hot Date

So I know this guy. He’s really cute and kind and intelligent and when I asked him out Saturday night, he said yes!
Yup, you guessed it, J and I went out Saturday night on a real date. So nice...It's been a while since we did the whole go out just the 2 of us to a movie and dinner (OK, so it was Subway but it was yummy…and it’s where we used to eat back when we were dating so it seemed right). I've been bugging J relentlessly as I’ve wanted to see V for Vendetta for months now and I wanted to get to see it as soon as we could. So, that was our "date" movie. And,yes, I loved it. I was not disappointed at all (after some of the crappy films I’ve seen lately I was expecting to be underwhelmed). It was a good adaptation of the graphic novel and it really had a lot to say & prompted a discussion about rights, freedoms and governments and made me question what I 'm willing to do or not do to keep them and just what justifies what. I actually hope to see it again with some friends this week. Visually it was a great film and Hugo Weaving and Natalie Portman were very good. Go and see it.

Duney Duney Dune...

I just polished off the 4th book in the Dune series yesterday before a trip to the in-laws for supper and a family shindig. I am so impressed by the Dune series. The first three books are some of the best sci-fi I've ever read. The societies and personalities created in the novels are so detailed and fascinating to me. The 4th book was largely conversations between the worm emperor and others...a lot of interesting commentary on society, the role of warfare, gender and religion and many interesting ways of addressing and dissecting human nature…plus a big wormy god guy. What else could a gal want?

And so THAT's a smidge of what I've been up to lately that's kept me away. Add in loads of work you can see why I'm busy. I’m not shunning my weblog, I just have stuff to do and I can’t seem to be able post when I actually have the time.

And so I'm off to get to more of that busy stuff. Bye.


Geosomin said...


1 pound stew beef or a steak
~ 4 T flour
a bit of vegetable oil for frying
1 small onion, chopped
1 c sliced mushrooms
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
2 cups beef broth (or 2 t low salt OXO and 2 c water)
1 1/2 c Guinness (or dark stout)
~3 c sliced carrots
3 large russet potatoes, peeled and diced
a pinch of thyme
~ 1/2 T basil (to taste)
Pepper to taste
1 T cornstarch
2 T water

Dice up beef into 1 cm cubes. Coat with flour, remove excess flour and fry the beef in a few T of oil at medium heat in a big pot or dutch oven until lightly browned. Take out the beef, add a bit more oil and the mushrooms, onion and garlic and saute ~4 minutes until the onions are starting to clear. Add the beer to the pan and use a spatula to scrape all the browned flour off the bottom of the pan into the liquid - it's the secret to making the stew taste great. Add back the beef, beef broth, tomato paste, spices and the other vegetables, stir well and bring to a low boil. Turn down the heat and simmer until vegetables are cooked (~1 hour). Thicken with the cornstarch a few minutes before serving if you need to(it may be thick enough).

Serve with more Guinness and some fresh bakes bread.

afrobev said...

Mmmm Sounds nice to be honest. Going to try that. I like a bit of Guinness and it sounds even better when you put steak along with it.

magnus said...

So next time you and J are out here we'll have to hit the Irish Heather for dinner and a beverage. Not quite as Irish-Irish as it used to be, but still good food. (and the manager usually reconizes me so I can a couple of trad. side orders like colcannon)
Something else we should do is round up the Chuckaways and have hagis. There is a butcher in North Van offering it all year round. I've had it and really like it - not as scarry as people think it is.

Geosomin said...

Having read over a lot of reviews of the movie I am curious...the movie's opposing forces were modernized from Thatcher's time. Is this necessarily a bad thing? I notice that racial purity was changed to a focus on homosexuality in the movie..sign of the times in my mind, making no less of a valid comment. Making a movie more relevant, does not, in my opinion, take away from the message of a story. It was written to be relevant was it not?
Changing a priest from a pedophile into a creepy man who likes young girls or changing the way people are murdered (unless they're vital to the plot) are not unforgivable to me. I wonder why they were bothered to be changed, but if they don't detract form the story I am not offended.
I suppose I should track down the comics and have a read, although I still do really like the movie.

magnus said...

Updating the film is not an issue for me, it had to be done. I just don't think they thought things out very well and just found their attempts to establish a frame of reference for our own period sloppy.
The Bishop is still exactly the same as in the book. He hires out girls from an agency and is a bit distressed that Evey may be too old. In the graphic novel, Evey may be about 16 or 17. The Bishop's faith, indeed the faith of all the Norsefire Party is not the Christian Faith. They use the remenants of a State Church to further extend State control. The Faith of Norsefire is in their Fascist State and the mechanisms of control, in Fascism itself.
Like I say, updating isn't the issue for me - in their shoes, I would have done the same thing - I just don't feel they did a good job of it.
As said elsewhere, we'll always have Guinness and BSG.

Geosomin said...

BSG and Guiness are a good thing.
Together even better.
I've been spoiled because we had the first 10 episodes on DVD. Now we have to wait and watch them weekly...