Let me tell you about my day.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Dear Netflix, What is Wrong with You?

I have mixed feelings about Netflix. On the one hand, I am terrible at returning things on time (just ask the law school that is still withholding my diploma because of unpaid library fines [whatever, they can keep it]). On the other hand, I don't want to patronize a company that is single-handedly responsible for 99% of all annoying pop-up ads on the internet. But, they do have several versions of Hamlet on hand, meaning I can keep with my lifelong resolution to avoid Kenneth Branagh. So, whatever. I signed up for it again.

I had completely forgotten that one of the funnest things about Netflix is rating movies and seeing the weird things they recommend based on your ratings. Here are two problems with this system:

1.) (and the reason for the title of this post) Netflix seems incapable of understanding that, if you aren't interested in season six of Doctor Who, you're not going to be interested in seasons one through five, nor seven through ninety. I cannot tell you how many George Carlin and Carlos Mencia stand-up DVDs I have labeled as uninteresting to me, only to have to do the same with all remaining stand-up acts by those two (un-funny) people. What is wrong with you, Netflix, that you think I will want to watch season 17 of The Twilight Zone, when I didn't want to watch any of the other 25 you've submitted for my approval!? Huh!?

2.) This is completely my fault, but I've been rating things based on how I felt about them at the time I first watched them. For example, Pocahontas got a great review! Then I realized that I don't really want to get a bunch of cartoons to watch or even to rate. Now I am thinking I should only rate things I've seen in the past 5 years. But that limits me to only about 30 movies! Ah, well.

At least we know that all Patrick Swayze films are getting a good review.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Pestle 1, Mortar 0

I was making this Smitten Kitchen recipe the other night, for cauliflower and Brussels sprouts in some kind of sauce (I know that's not a good description. Lay off me.) and part of the instructions involved "pounding garlic with sea salt into a paste, using a mortar and pestle." Or was it "using a mortar and a pestle?" I don't remember. Not important.

Hold up! It turns out I am confusing the two pieces here. The bowl-like thing is the mortar!? And the stick thingy is a pestle!? Well, whatever. Pretend that that's true.

So, I start pounding the heck out of the garlic and I pound right through the mortar. So, yeah. I had to finish pounding the garlic in a bowl with the little pounding implement. I wanted to give you a picture and a confirmation that those are indeed the tools as I labeled them, but it's not working out for me. Anyway, I was pretty disappointed because I had been excited about my mortar and pestle ownership for the past few months and now it is to be no more.

Oh, right, the recipe -- it was intended to help me branch out of my broccoli rut by trying to cook and eat and like more vegetable varieties. I think I can add Brussels sprouts and cauliflower to things I will eat under some circumstances! I'm really growing as a person.

I may not be able to show you my tools, but I can show you the awesome Brussels sprouts stalk! I saw a stalk like this in a grocery store in Michigan a few years ago and was super excited. Now you can be, too! Look how pretty!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Lobster Gram!

My de facto mother-in-law is coming into town for a visit and will be staying with my boyfriend for the week. We spent about 6 hours yesterday cleaning the apartment, shoving things into drawers and closets, vacuuming the dingy-looking rugs, and scrubbing all scrub-able surfaces. I'm not sure that the apartment looks even close to what a neat person would consider clean, but at least it's tidier and there isn't a big stack of dishes in the sink. Anyway, this flurry of activity lead my darlin' to the most poignant statement on adulthood I've heard lately, which is this: I guess being an adult means you feel that you have to clean before your mom comes to visit. So true, my dear, so true.

In other news, I have never had a credit card that offered any real rewards before. So, when I'm playing around with my new special credit card, I'm delighted that there are little things I can get just for using it. I'm really drawn to the gift cards, because there are few things I like to do more than shop. And, though I think getting a gift card for Retail Store would be a good idea (after all, the discount helps my money go further there), I'm kind of torn. On the one hand, there is all the good and useful stuff that I could get at Retail Store. On the other hand, there's something called "Lobster Gram."

Now, I don't eat lobster. It's in that category of things that I will not eat (see my previous entry on things I have tried to like). But there's just something so awesome about getting a Lobster Gram! It makes me think of that man-eating shark sketch on Saturday Night Live (which I’ve never actually seen), where the shark would knock on someone’s door and say, “telegram” or something like that. Anyway, wouldn’t you have definitely answered the door if the shark had said, “Lobster Gram!” I think you would.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

I am Appalled. Appalled, I tell you.

Did you know that "Diet" Orange Crush actually has 25 calories per serving? And contains high fructose corn syrup? I AM OUTRAGED. OK, maybe outraged is a bit too strong, but I am pretty annoyed. I guess you can chalk it up to caveat emptor or something. But I really expect "diet" soft drinks to be sugar-free and no calorie. I didn't even know about this gross injustice until I happened to be studying the objects on my desk in a post-lunch stupor and read the words "low calorie" on the can. Anyway, I had bought a whole case of it last week, so I guess I'll just consume my 300 calories worth of "diet" orange soda and move on with my life. Shame to waste all that delicious oranginess.

I was going through the archives of this online diary-thingy that I like to read, looking for a reference to something (I can't remember now what that thing was). The journal writer mentioned Brahms' Hungarian Dance No. 5, which I then had to find for immediate listening (I'm such a sheep). Then I listened to it another 4 times. I don't generally go for classical music, because--at the risk of sounding like an imbecile--it's not focused enough for me to concentrate. I tend to get wrapped up in it and my mind starts to wander. I don't have this problem when I listen to T. Rex, I tell you what. Anyway, I recommend it.