25 January 2010

Food I've Made

I finally got a new computer, which means I finally transfered some beautiful pictures of food I've made to a computer that can accept them. For your viewing pleasure, here are a few recent-ish dishes I've cooked, in their natural habitats:

Hello, I'm a deviled egg.

This was my Thanksgiving Friday feast of 2009, when I made a turkey just to see if I could. I could! To the right of the turkey is cranberry sauce, pear-sage-pecan stuffing and mashed potatoes. To the left, blanched green beans, crescent rolls, and butternut squash soup.

This was the dessert for the Thanksgiving Friday feast. It's a sweet potato pie with marshmallow fluff meringue.

Here are the lemon squares I made tonight!

Here are some unboiled spinach ricotta gnocchi. This was my first gnocchi as well as my first pasta from scratch.

Here are the chocolate cupcakes I made for Josh's birthday. They are monogrammed.

24 January 2010

how i found out how married people act

Last week's himym showed us a Robin Scherbatzky drinking game and a beautiful lawyer named Jenkins. Barney was hardly in it at all, except to say that he'd bag Jenkins, which he never did. It was an average January friend hang-out.

THESIS: According to Lily and Marshall's marriage model, all married people really do is nag each other until the other party admits to something. A confession from a past action? A seedy encounter? Nah, they just want each other to admit their horribly boring opinions. This week, Marshall nagged Lily into admitting which of them was the "settler" and which was the "reacher." The week before, Lily nagged Marshall into admitting that the no-suits bartender was much more attractive than she was. Marshall, the eternal husband, refused to admit that any woman could be more attractive than his wife, and in fact, he spun it out into an issue of why Lily thinks the bartender is so much hotter than he is. Lily, the eternal shopper/art guy (?), foolishly admits to being the "settler" after hours of nagging, only to make Marshall a little bit sadder. This is the main thrust of Lilypad and Marshmallow's married life.

Is this what I have to look forward to? When are they going to make a baby, already? Will this season's finale be like "Ted gets the yellow umbrella back again, and Marshall and Lily plot to get each other to admit to not being ready to have a baby...still?" I don't care if Marshall admits anything to Lily ever again, or vice versa. Why is this what himym's married life is like? There has to be an explanation:

1) It could be that this is only the case for Marshall and Lily, and that Ted and Mother will have a shockingly awesome marriage in contrast to this one. But Ted loves Marshall and Lily, so I doubt he's making their marriage seem worse in flashbacks for any reason. Is it just Marshall and Lily who have to wheedle the truth out of everyone, or do all married couples do that? Quite possibly, it's just our two. Lily's uncontrollable need to know everything and guide every action certainly seems to fit right into this situation. And Marshall, the eternal husband, could easily have picked up several of his foibles from his wife, as happens in the real world all the time.

2) It could be that all married life is like this. Once you've won the girl/guy, what's left to do? You can plan your lives together, I guess, but that doesn't take much actual time. You go to work, usually. You eat together. You talk or don't talk about having kids. You watch tv. But I guess if you have to be doing something besides all that, you'd go to a bar and hang out with your friends. And instead of relating to your friends very much, you'd either only converse with your spouse or you'd converse with your spouse only for your friends' amusement. Maybe I should go watch seasons 1 and 2 so I can see if Lily and Marshall were different before the wedding. I feel like Lily read a lot more magazines and was more supportive of Marshall, whose environmental law dreams had not yet crumbled. And Marshall was Big Fudge/Vanilla Thunder literally every day of his life.

3) It could be that this all has nothing to do with marriage, and in fact, it only has to do with who's writing the show right now. Probably this is it.

So I would take from my unpacked thoughts that, although Marshall and Lily's sole shared wish is to make each other "admit it!", that's not necessarily what all marriages are like. Lily's just that way. Maybe she watched too much Seinfeld during her formative years.

17 January 2010

Sigourney Weaver By Moonlight

Sigourney Weaver hosted SNL this week for the first time since 1986. She was the first host after the monstrous brat-pack '85-'86 cast, and she performed with the then-new regulars that I grew up with. Naturally, it was via reruns on comedy central, but The Cast as I first knew it was:

Dana Carvey
Nora Dunn
Phil Hartman
Jan Hooks
Victoria Jackson
Jon Lovitz
Dennis Miller
and the featured A. Whitney Brown and Kevin Nealon.

So how crazy is it that Sigourney literally escorted my favorites into their first episode together? That's mythological. That's...Acting, Thank You! I have to mention that I haven't ever seen this 1986 episode (I think I would've remembered that tie-over-a-bra combo), so I can't compare anything from the two. Except the monologue costume.

The night opened with Larry King addressing the late night talk show fiasco. I'm planning another post about what could possibly be appealing about Jay Leno because, as they say, inquiring minds want to know! And it's really not very obvious at all. Bill Hader played a great Serious Conan. Then Sigourney's monologue covered her fear of everything, including bras.

The first commercial parody of the night was Kenan Thompson's old-man-from-kenan-and-kel-does-sex-positions instructional video bit. What's usually funny about it is that both Kenan and his sex moves are completely, unarguably unsexual. This time around, sex peeked in around the edges of Sigourney's wig, and everything was really bawdy and took forever.

The ESPN lady games made another appearance, but this time it was dart throwing instead of bowling. The best part was when Sigourney threw all three darts at once and two landed in the board while the last landed lightly across the tops of the first two.

What I Liked In Laser Cats V:
  • The justification of the Three Amigos poster in Lorne Michaels's office (it's the standard against which he measures all other films)
  • After someone says "Ripley!", Sigourney says "Believe it or not."
  • A string quartet played the ship (what ship?) down.
Is Jon Hamm back for more, or is that going to be a rerun? According to the internet, he's crawling back for more!

"Disco Booty Junction" opened with a Hey Jenny alert, but the sketch focused mainly on blonde disco duo, "Amber and Cream." I don't want to say it, but I also do want to, so I'll say it: I know what makes the good side of disco great. It's not two girls looking really scared as they sing. It's a pure lack of fear that leads to all of the mad shoulder bopping and closed-eyes believing. Look any member of Abba in the eye and let me know when you find even just a speck of fear. I will be waiting all day.

The Weekend Update Update:
  • Seth Meyers's marriage metaphor of the late night debacle was both appropriate and further proof that Seth Meyers hates marriage. I'll be backing this up more eventually.
  • Looks like Frozen Concentrated Orange Juice is ruling the commodities market again!
  • A doctor wrote a book of a dead celebrity's medical secrets, and I can't remember if it was Michael Jackson or that guy with IBS in room 4.
After a shriveled-leg Avatar sketch (again, with the cues already), the Ben Stiller Show's Skank the sock puppet became Fred Armisen in the form of a rude teen named Riley. "You bitch," "shut your stinking trap"; it's all the same, and it's more fun to say than it is to hear.

Sigourney Weaver googled herself and had classy Georgia O'Keeffe prints in her hallway. Then she performed as the better half of "Fire and Rice," a married lounge act. Atop a piano, Jessica Fire was so scared of heights that she peed. This was Sigourney's second reference to incontinence, and it came right after she outed herself as a member of the I Need Help With Computers generation, but hey, she's a lot younger than most people her age, so mazel tov!

And without further ado, my favorite part of the show:
Jessica Fire's husband's name is Dante Rice.

14 January 2010

Sure, Books, Why Not?

On the subway I was piecing together all the books I've read since my newest reading phase began. It had been a long time since I'd felt like reading anything. I started a few books, only to throw them across the room by page 20. I had to wait for the impulse, and finally, after four years or so, it came back! I like to read again!

Here is what I've read since that happened:
The French Lieutenant's Woman
Babyhood by Paul Reiser
The Unbearable Lightness of Being
hmm, something's missing that would go right here Aha, it was The Santaland Diaries
The World According to Garp (first re-read).

Do you like those books? I did. However, I had heard way too many good things about The Unbearable Lightness of Being before I read it and was thus underwhelmed. The story is good and the structure is amazing, but how many stories have I already read about infidelity and thoughtfulness? One million.

Which brings me to my next point: I'm writing a novel. About infidelity. Ta-da! Wow, what a joke. Here's my impression of me starting a novel:

Le Noveliste

Becky leans back in her chair facing a manual typewriter. There are crumpled balls of paper everywhere, even inside the refrigerator (which we will discover later). She has only one shoe on.

Becky: (reading) "Joe, I want to be married." ARGH!

She releases the page from the typewriter and crumples it up. It lands on the top of her head. A clock face then shows us that seven hours have passed between then and now.

Becky: (reading) "Sometimes, you just want to have an affair. Like, with someone! Oh, you get it. First you're married, then you have an affair! Please enjoy my novel, which is what you are reading right now. It's my first one! Can you believe it? I am having a blast so far. OK, back to the adulterers. For starters, they were adults." Yep, yep, yep, yes. Yes. I have done it!

Becky stands up too quickly and loses her balance. Her only shoe escapes her foot, knocking over a water glass, which soaks the typewriter and its page. She moonwalks to the fridge, tosses a beer in the trash, and pops open a crumpled piece of paper. She begins to drink.


11 January 2010

How I Met Your Suit Musical!

First a small recap, then an issue.

If there's any man on earth that loves suits, it's Barney Stinson. But if there's anything Barney loves, it's getting women. Tonight, Barney has to choose (but really he doesn't, since suits will always be there). Meanwhile, Ted meets a very special Rachel Bilson, whose boyfriends keep falling in love with her roommate. This roommate is the Mother, and she listens to the Unicorns and plays bass. On the side, Robin loses her composure because she's not hot anymore, which is funny.


Up until this very night, I was all "gimme the mother! give her to me!" I didn't realize until now how quickly Ted's wistful side compliments would get annoying. One or two "your mother plays bass!!"s an episode is fine, but tonight there were like fourteen, and who knows how many there will be when the mother is actually around. GOSH!

[See: "Kids, your mother's rendition of 'Memories' as performed by an English muffin is to this day the most hauntingly beautiful thing I've ever heard." OH COME ON, GET A ROOM. I say this because I would imagine her rendition of English Muffin "Memories" as basically what anyone else's would be. The fact that other people can do it shouldn't detract from its art, but it's not framed as art - it's framed as one of the reasons the mother is the only one out there for Ted. But everyone's english muffins sound that way.]

And here's something else: when the mother is actually around, she'll round out the cast of 6. Friends of mine have suggested that the mother will be just one shot at the very end of the series, but I always saw it: two girls, three guys? Come on. Guys. Come on. And they already paired everyone else up right under our noses. So what will this final, force-balancing, sixth main character be like?

My guess, she'll have brown hair and blue eyes, and that's why their kids look the way they do. She'll be more of an intellectual powerhouse than Robin or Lily because, let's face it, neither of those two are exactly rocket scientists. I guess none of the guys are particularly smart either, which might suggest that, like everyone, these characters can be smart but for the most part are just goofy. But then again, maybe they've been missing a smart guy. (Note from Josh: Ted was wayyyy too smart in college and now seems to have found a way to tone it down. This only furthers my point that the mother character will specifically be smart).

Duh, she plays bass, and I wonder if now the band will become a crazy stepcousin of the show. She's clearly been pursued by several men, so it's not like she'll have an insecurity complex (both because of the pursuits and because of Ted's personality (he's the insecure one in a relationship, thank you)). I bet she'll be really cool with the girls right away, but that's mostly because I don't see himym exploring the arc of a female friendship (remember when Lily was like "Hey Robin, I know you just decided not to date Ted, but come get a beer with us now."?). But what else will she be like? I hope she becomes good friends with Marshall. He needs more play.

In conclusion, meeting this mother is going to be a bigger deal than I originally thought. McLaren's, we're gonna need a bigger suit musical.

And PS, I created a flow chart so that we can observe Ted's labyrinthine path to the mother:

Ted had to meet Cindy, the roommate, to meet the mother.
Ted had to be teaching at Columbia to meet Cindy (and go into the wrong classroom).
Ted had to date Stella and lose her to her ex-husband to teach at Columbia.
Ted had to get a butterfly tattoo to meet Stella, the tattoo removalist.
Ted had to suffer a huge breakup to be upset enough to get a butterfly tattoo.
Ted had to be ready to marry Robin to be that torn up about breaking up with her.
Ted had to decide he was ready to get married to have the relationship he had with Robin.
and that was in the pilot, so the first step to meeting the mother was literally him deciding to get married.

And hey! No tag, no fair!

10 January 2010

Live From New York, It's A Retired Basketball Player

A few weeks ago, I promised I'd recap the James Franco SNL right after I recapped the Taylor Lautner SNL. I broke that promise. You waited, I waited, and the recap never came. But let's face it, it's in the past, and besides, now there's a chance for redemption: tonight was the first SNL of the new decade. "Yep," you're thinking, "if Becky recapped that, she'd really be on top again." I think you're probably right.

Charlie and the Laugh Factory

Charles Barkley hosted Saturday Night Live tonight, and boy was it the first episode of the year. After a Wolf Blitzer cold open ("More al qaeda!"), Barkley gave a straight-up monologue about getting arrested sometimes. After a while, he singled out the only other black person in the studio, who happened to be a nerd. After four short quarters, it was time for a Thomas Peepers Insurance commercial, which illustrated the reason I still change bras under my shirt.

Next came a game show called "Reel Quotes," in which two hopelessly uninformed competitors tried to fill in movie quotes. Barkley only answered honestly and hilariously ("Houston, we have a... Arby's," "May the force be...equal to mass times acceleration"), while Wiig wayyyy overanswered, looking like she was in the middle of the craziest hail mary play of her life. It was great.

MacGruber was a racist tonight. Despite his unfortunate small-mindedness, at least he was trying to accomodate his black friend "Darréll" by speaking jive to him. The next time we found MacGruber, he didn't know if it was okay to call a black marker "black." This made me remember the time a girl in my 5th grade class referred to a black kid as "really, really tan." By the last installment of the MacGruber saga, all I got was "Dr. Martin Rufus King" before my brain exploded along with the warehouse.

Kristen Wiig's Betty Boop Floozie went skiing with her coworkers, and Jenny Slate (HEY JENNY!) became the new second-place office lady. I'm sure it's not supposed to be an insult that they would put Jenny into the role that basically exemplified the reason Casey Wilson isn't in the cast anymore. I just wish that they would replace the sad, hateable frumpo role with something new, like a lady who gets so silently angry with jealousy that she wrecks the set unnoticed, but stands completely composed by the time people (and the camera) do notice. Sure, the girls wouldn't be able to interact really, but they don't do that now. I understand the benefits of the snl formula, but I also love the surprise that happens when regular sketches go somewhere new.

Meanwhile, wiiggly Wiig made me remember that she actually can do the sorts of things with her face that I always incorrectly assume I'm capable of doing. Then she performed a morbid striptease that morphed into a Ren & Stimpy cartoon as soon as her butt touched the pole.

A sports commentator sketch cemented my theory that the 35 minute mark will always be a sports sketch, and I'm guessing that this is all thanks to sports-crazed superfan headwriter, Seth Meyers. Which brings me to:

  • That is strange, that Giuliani would so blatantly disregard 9/11 as a domestic attack. Things of this nature are why Weekend Update exists.
  • Simon Rich as a Harlem Globetrotter, now that's a laugh
  • Teenage girl bankrobbers: If I could change anything in my life, it would be to insert a successful teenage bank robbery. Don't worry, guys, it would be an evil bank, duh.
  • My favorite guest was Nicholas Cage, who basically mumbled about nothing and periodically shouted, "I don't have time to explain this to you! Do you trust me!"
Next, the digital short featured Alicia Keys bootycalling the most repellent, foppish dorkus that Andy Samberg could play. It was a little like Shy Ronnie 2.0, but come on, where was that phat "shy Ronnayyyyy" track? It feels like a story's stirring in Samberg's mind - something in which a gorgeous, silky female singer falls for the nastiest, pimpliest, most heinously disgusting guy on earth. There's no ending yet, but it'll get there. Watching this process is like reading a John Irving novel.

The final two sketches were Scared Straight and a Barkley's Bank corporate video that fell away one minute in. Again, with the cues! It's like the person running cues is very sleepy and also totally wasted.

All in all, Barkley made my roommates laugh a lot, and that's pretty great. Here's what I laughed at:
"Houston, we have a... Arby's!"

03 January 2010

Oh Yeah! Mystery Dates!

How could I go three days without making an extremely educated guess on which days will be crazy in 2010?! Don't worry, I'm doing it now.

Just off the top of my head, I'll say:

14 January
5 February (there's something about feb 5th)
23 March (ditto)
10 April
30 May
22 July
3 August
13 September
28 October
and then all of Nov and Dec are typically really important, for holiday reasons.


Three Days Done, Three Hundred Sixty-Two To Go

Last night I live-tweeted Better Off Dead and I still feel a little hungover from it. Or from the three cans of Dr. Brown's Diet Cream Soda I imbibed. Either way, heartburn!!

This afternoon I picked up a megaphone, a box of fortune cookie namecard holders, a cookbook, some socks, and a jar of fig jam my mom made at my brother's apartment, where some of our Christmas winnings were shipped. Since I got back to my place, I have used the megaphone three distinct times.

Tonight I OOPS GOTTA CALL GRANDMA. It's ringing, pause from typing, done. Oh grandma, what a nice phone call. I had to cancel dinner due to it being VERY COLD TONIGHT.

It's pretty cold today, you should know. Really pretty cold. First post of 2010 and it's about the weather. Thank goodness!