my coworkers are evil…

No, honestly, they are! I went and lost five pounds over the last couple of weeks, without really trying, and they bring in Girl Scout Thin Mints and jelly beans and Rolos and stuff. One of the very few ways I like chocolate and caramel combined is in the wonder of the Rolo and they bring them in! And GS Thin Mints? Is like kryptonite to me. In the words of Kymm, I am not made of stone, people!

Perhaps I just need to get some walking in today. I did a fair amount of walking with CuteFilmNerd on Saturday and Sunday, so I was feeling good about that. But after the Surreptitious Thin Mint Gorging of 2008, more walking is sure to be in my future.

Evil, evil co-workers…

important tip to keep in mind…

Something to remember.

*************************Just a quick update on the CuterFilmNerd situation:It’s been about two and half weeks since we met on the dating site and a little over two weeks since we met in real life. Thanks to his geographical desirability – clocking in at about two to three miles from my place – we’ve seen a lot of each other in those two weeks. More often than HSTeacher and I saw of each other in our first two months (he lives 30+ miles away). As a matter of fact, during the first week there was only one night we didn’t see each other. Last week we slowed it down a bit, but we still spent most of the weekend together, as we did the previous weekend.It’s really nice.We’ve got a lot of things in common, which is of the plus. As is the fact that the first time we just looked into one another’s eyes I felt electricity zinging through me. I still feel that. We like each other as people, which is a huge plus. But we’re not at all carbon copies of each other. I mean, the man hates tomatoes! And mushrooms! Two things I love! At least he’s got the love of garlic, chunky peanut butter and peanut related sauces going for him. And the whole vegetarian thing. That gets a big thumbs up from me.

He knows of my recent breakup and that I’m still working through emotions related to that. While I’ve got a much better handle on my feelings than I did last month, every once in a while an hereto unknown emotion will creep in and whack me up the head, usually in a really unexpected way, such as losing my shit at my roommate over something relatively innocuous. I work hard to make sure that those emotions don’t affect what’s going on between CuteFilmNerd and me, but he completely understands when it has. He’s said that he doesn’t want us to go any faster than I’m comfortable with.

Dealing with crap isn’t all one-sided: he’s got his own shit he’s dealing with, shit that I’ve experienced myself, so I know what he’s going through and am as supportive as I know how to be. We’ve talked about what’s happened in our lives, revealing things to one another that we either had never revealed to others or didn’t reveal until we had known people for a long time.

CuteFilmNerd and I have compatible long-term goals. That was one of the things that HSTeacher and I couldn’t really agree on and one of the big things that shoved a wedge between us.

I don’t know what to call this thing we’ve got going. Is it too soon to call it a relationship? My instinct says yes. Mainly because I’ve been with men in the past who were promising, who I swore were different than the others, and my associations with those gentlemen collapsed all too soon. But whatever this thing is, CuterFilmNerd and I have decided that we’re going to see where it leads us. It helps that we’ve both been around the block a few times, so we know that the block isn’t all there is.

I’m still sometimes drawn to the past, my memories going over the last 18 months and thinking about both the good and the bad times between HSTeacher and me, because, as I’ve said before, I don’t heal that easily. But more often than not I’m looking at my present and looking to the future.

Crossing my fingers for the future…

constant cravings…

I’m a bit of a fan of Food Network. There have been days (though not many) when I’ve parked myself in front of the TV and kept it on Food Network damned near all day. Once my roommate, while sitting and watching one of the challenges, turned to me and asked, “How do you not eat seventeen times a day?”

“I just eat before watching.” It really does help.

As a consequence, however, I find myself wanting to cook more often. I’ll see a recipe that inspires me and decide that I need to do something similar RIGHT NOW! If I don’t, I’ll feel slightly uneasy until that itch is scratched.

As a result, at the beginning of January I made my first homemade soup: a hearty vegetable/mushroom soup.

While I know that stock is easy to make, I decided to use the boxed vegetable stock, as I was too impatient to wait for hours. I wanted to taste my inaugural soup within two hours. And I did. I’ve got to say – it was damned good. Lots of veggies, three kinds of mushrooms, lots of herbs and aromatics (including an entire head of garlic – half sauteed, half crushed into the soup as it simmered for an hour – and a big ol’ onion) and a lot of freshly ground black pepper. It was one of the best things I’ve ever made. And the recipe was wholly my own.

The next day I experimented with combining eggs with potatoes in a kind of frittata. It’s something HSTeacher has made for me in the past (quite well, I might add) and it just sounded good. So in with the garlic and onion and black pepper and cheese and such. Once again, most yummy.

An episode of Throwdown with Bobby Flay – in which muffaletta was the featured dish – made me crave an olive salad sandwich. Days later I finally purchased the desired ingredients (my own recipe again) and chopped and mixed to my heart’s delight. By itself the salad was heavenly. Perhaps not quite muffaletta grade, as I used mayo and mustard (which I understand is a huge no-no), but still excellent, with a nice balance of creamy (mayo) and salty (three kinds of olives) and tart (mustard and chopped dill pickle). I even added my personal cooking staples: onions and garlic, this time so lightly sauteed in extra virgin olive oil (not EVOO, so shut up, Rachel Ray) so as to be barely cooked. Yummy cubed.

Unfortunately, in a sandwich with toasted 12 grain bread, red leaf lettuce, tomato and provolone? Not so good. Quite bland, in fact. The tomato was a bit on the watery side and that overpowered the salad in a way I didn’t think was possible. And the lettuce added absolutely nothing. Next time? Just the salad, please.

I wonder what I’ll be raring to cook next…

it’s an idea…

As y’all know, I fully support the writers in the strike, but I do miss the humorous insight of my pretend boyfriend Jon. Too bad I don’t have a basement…

*************************

So I saw Sweeney Todd last night. As I suspected, I didn’t hate it or find it badly done. Tim Burton and company did a fine job. Was it perfect? No. As a Sondheim fanatic who’s worked on two productions of the show and for whom Sweeney Todd is my second favorite musical (Sunday in the Park with George is #1, also by Sondheim), the chances of me finding absolutely nothing wrong with it is pretty slight.

But it was very faithful to the source material, Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter – if less melodramatic in the roles than I’m used to – still did well, both acting-wise and singing-wise. Alan Rickman was, of course, fantastic (then again, in my eyes it would be difficult for him to do wrong). I didn’t care much about the young lovers Anthony and Johanna, but I rarely do anyway – that’s nothing to do with the actors. At least the actress playing Johanna actually looked like a teen – rarely a given.

All of the other characters were nicely acted (including Sasha Baron Cohen as Pirelli). Plus recasting Toby as a child (instead of the simple minded adult in the stage version) worked well and added a chilling dimension to certain scenes. The child actor playing Toby (Ed Sanders) was terrific.

I loved the cinematography and set design, as I tend to do with Burton’s movies, and the way the musical was made purely cinematic pleased me to no end. And the ending? I know this musical like the back of my hand and I was still on the edge of my seat. Well done.

My issues with the movie are actually quite minor. One or two scene transitions could have been more creatively done (especially with an early scene where Sweeney is singing about the past, which then brings us to the past) and there was some graininess in some of the later scenes, which were especially dark. I also had some problems with the loss of some songs and lyrics. In most of the instances I understood why the songs and lyrics were cut (though I felt that, in one instance – the first scene with Anthony and Johanna – it hurt the scene a bit), but I missed them nevertheless, especially since it would have meant that I got to see Christopher Lee sing. Long-time readers know I’ve been a Chistopher Lee fan since I was five.

Still, I’m happy that Anthony Stewart Head still had a cameo, even if his original role as the Ballad Ghost was cut. Sondheim himself was very much involved with the production, which helped to keep it on track. And the thing that makes me really happy about the movie? Having Johnny Depp as the lead will insure that people who are not familiar with Stephen Sondheim or his music will see this and, perhaps, discover a whole new world of brilliant music and lyrics. Since this was a faithful and handsomely mounted adaptation, that can only be of the good.

The movie opens tonight in general release. Go, Sweeney, go!

oh yeah, bill baby…

Ya know, I’m just loving Bill Maher. Seriously, the more I see of him, the more I’m loving what he’s all about. The man’s got brains, balls and a wit sharp enough to skewer a roasted pig (which he might not do, as he’s a prominent member of PETA). He’s definitely making his way into my imaginary male seraglio (though Jon Stewart is still my imaginary boyfriend – sorry Bill). I may not always agree with him, but he makes a hell of a lot of sense, which wins mega points in my book.

What’s got me joining in on the Maher love? His Dickheads of the Year article.

Ooh, yeah, Bill, give Mama what she likes…

what teachers make

I take it back – THIS is made of complete and total fucking awesome.

Are there bad teachers? Of course. But good/great/fantastic teachers – like my honey – are the amongst the Best. People. Ever.

(Tip o’ the hat to Christopher Naze for this video.)

pretty, pretty physicist…

Like way too many people, I have gotten caught up in the whole LOLcat phenomenon. I tend not to create them, as my brain doesn’t wrap itself around bad grammar and excruciating mis-spellings very easily. But I find many of them cute, if not out and out hilarious.

But then…

I found LOLtheorists.

Made of complete and total fucking awesome.

I’ll be honest. I don’t know a lot of these theorists. Sometimes I’ll look at the picture and say “Huh?” Then I’ll look at the name in the tags and everything will click into place. And sometimes the names mean nothing and I have to look them up. I still love them wayyyy too much.

Then again, there are times when the theorist is just too pretty to be a theorist. Especially of the physics variety.

Who knew?