Tuesday, March 18, 2008

somewhat melancholy rambling

It feels like a fall day, oddly. Wind blustery and smelling like burn leaves. The gale force is so strong that no matter which way I turn, my hair is in my face. The sky is grey and overcast--I think we're on tornado watch and huge thunder storms are just around the corner. I'd do anything to be in a soft bed cuddled up next to something warm and comforting be it a human or kitty.

I should have worn boots with my outfit today but grabbed a pair of sandals instead. I feel especially short. I barely stand an inch above 5 feet and my normal shoes give me about 4 inches of lift so that I can somewhat compete height-wise with a standard female, but today, I'm barely 5'2'' and discovered that I can't see what all is located on the top shelf of my work cabinet. Crazy what a couple of inches would do!

On a related note, it's a huge pet peeve of mine when a person lies about their height, especially a guy, on their driver's license. I knew someone who was barely 5'9'' who claimed to be "close to 6 feet." That's a huge turn off and something so easy to disprove! Apparently a lot of men lie about their height (about as often as women lie about their age or weight) even people I would expect to not get a complex about it. I can proudly say that T is not one of these guys. He's 5'10'' and a quarter inch. He towers over some of my friends who claim to be 5'11.''

I'm pretty good a gaging height. My sneaky way of measuring is by hugging the person. For the record, when I hug T without shoes on, my arm comfortably go around his waist and easily rest on his ass while my nose hits the part here his sternum and diaphragm him. I definitely can not see over his shoulder.

Went back to ballet in a long while. I figured I'd rather be in physical pain than be down so often. The lack of dance has really gotten to me and I figured my foot pain has gone away enough that I can manage. Anyhow, it felt so wonderful to be in class again. I kept eyeing myself in the mirror thinking to myself: "Okay not too bad! Not too bad! The little tummy is kinda cute. My legs are still thin. I'm still flexible. Feet are still strong. Arms need more work, but still...not bad."

The funny thing that I did not account for, however, was the weight of my hair! It's gotten so long that the bun in the back is somewhat substantial and I discovered that I now tip backwards whenever I turn. Who would have thought of that? Theoretically, one would continually take classes so the growth of hair would be a non issue as you adjust your technique daily. It's been 6 months or so since I really took class and wow...my center of gravity totally changed!

Anyway, I slept really hard last night and had a whole slew of bad dreams. In one of them I was wading through knee deep water looking for a silver bracelet that my husband had playfully tossed into the water. As a trudged through, just below the surface, I saw two large glimmering cerulean eyes staring back at me. They belonged to a toddler with platinum colored hair and he was smiling slightly. When I reached down to grab the baby out of the water, his body disintegrated into a multitude of colorful guppies. As beautiful as the image was, I felt sad....

I know precisely where I lifted the imagery of the baby underwater from. J and I were exchanging childhood stories not too long ago and he told me of the time when his family went out swimming at a lake when he was 2. He was playing on the shore while his mother watched him. She had diverted her gaze for just a few moments and when she looked back up, her baby was gone. Screams and panic. No child could be seen along the stretch of shore. In a panic, she ran into the lake, worried now that her only son had drowned. It was then that she looked down and saw her toddler looking right back up at her through the water, two big blue eyes opened in wonderment and I imagine a smirk, holding his breath just below the surface. He's not sure if he was lying back or standing underwater, but I'm sure that's a horrific experience for a mother to go through. Anyhow, obviously that story made an impact of me, although for what reasons I do not know.

I haven't slept well for a long time and even though I slept hard last night, I think I could have used another couple more hours especially after that dream. I'm also really sore from ballet last night.

As a side note, one of the cats brought us a dead garden snake as a present. That too set the mood for an odd day.

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Friday, March 14, 2008

super narcissistic post...

I mean really. WTF?

I'm 30 for God's sake!

Aren't you supposed to outgrow acne?

I wasn't feeling too pretty before, but man, this is killing me!


To be honest, I think I'm just trying to get over the fact that today is the anniversary of my dad's death. Musing about my sudden secondary adolescence that's hit me is probably my subconscious not wanting me to go out an enjoy the SXSW festivities going on. Sigh...sorta feeling like I'm not allowed to have fun or something. I dunno.

Oh, and today is apparently Pi day and I look like a freaking pie face. *runs screaming out of the bathroom*


Wednesday, March 12, 2008

You should be...(a farewell post of sorts)

...at SXSW right now. If you're not, you shouldn't be wasting your time reading this blog.

You should visit this site instead:
SXSW (South by South West Festival and Conference) Austin, TX

Especially the music portion:
SXSW Music Festival

It does a lovely job with interviews, blurbs and info for all the musicians and includes downloadable MP3s for your listening pleasure. Now, if you just have to get the attendees scoop on things, Matt over at Earfarm (a blog I read religiously) is blogging away about his road trip down to SXSW and it's fantastic.

Not sure if you gentle readers can tell, but this blog has been dying ever so slowly. I didn't intend it to die a slow pathetic death, but unfortunately with the job, friends in crisis, being in my own band and shift in "real world" responsibilities, I ran up against time and energy. I think Shawn is in the same boat too as he's been unable to post as well (and yes, for the record, we like NIN's Ghosts)

The real issue though is motivation and intent. In the past few weeks I've seen an ass load of shows, but just couldn't find the will the write about them, not because they sucked or because they lacked anything to write about, but because I'm a totally different head space now. Ya know: What right do I have to critique another musician, when I as a musician have so much to work on myself?

To be honest, I think I get more joy out of reading and processing other people's opinions about music than spewing my own. At least, that's how I've been feeling for the past few months.

Because I'm on stage now sharing space with acts that I've adored over the years, collaborating with musicians I'm flat out in awe of...I'm feeling mighty quiet and humble.

That may seem strange, but that's how I feel.

This isn't exactly a farewell post because I haven't decided what to do about this blog yet. So many great opportunities have come out of this blog (heck, I wouldn't be part of Lucid Dementia if it wasn't for posting). Musicians have benefited from it in the past. It's a wonderful symbiotic relationship, but right now, not exactly sustainable. I may merge it with my personal blog...not sure.

Regardless of what happens to this blog, I will always continue to support Tim Young and the Contrast Podcast team, SAS Radio and of course Matt from Ear Farm. If it weren't for these guys I wouldn't have started MP3 blogging in the first place!

You can always count on continuous ranting interspersed with my recipes over at the Blatherings of an Adzuki Bean blog.

Listen to:
"After the Curtain"- Beirut

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Monday, March 10, 2008

Munchie Mondays: Saag Paneer

As I mentioned in my previous post, I decided to cook Indian for the Book Club luncheon. Most of what I make was Indian inspired (some would call it "fusion cuisine" and others would say "bastardized"), however, I stuck to a pretty traditional recipe for Saag Paneer, which is essentially Indian Creamed spinach. What makes the dish fantastic however, are the chunks of home made cheese (the "paneer") that swim in the creamy sauce.

You can buy the cheese pre-made in blocks at any good international grocery, however making your own is pretty easy. I used this recipe from the Mahanandi blog for the paneer and as promised, it really did turn out delightful. I personally think using lime juice instead of white vinegar makes the paneer taste better, but that's my opinion. To get the consistency firmer and compacted, make it way ahead of time (say the night before). Be sure to press the cheesecloth bag between two plates and add a weight on top (like a dictionary, fat cat, or perhaps a hubby's foot press) to squeeze out excess moisture.

Use tofu and omit the heavy cream for a vegan version

I have my friend Monika to thank for teaching this dish to me back in high school as well as Avani who helped tweak the spices to make it taste more authentic. As alwaysyou can adjust the spices to taste

Saag Paneer (Palak Paneer)
feeds about 4-6

1 1/2 cups of prepared paneer
4 tbs of olive oil or ghee

1 small onion finely sliced
2 garlic cloves crushed
1 inch cube of ginger finely grated
1 tbs of garlic salt
1/2 tsp of crushed coriander seeds
1 tsp of turmeric
1 tsp of chili poweder
1/2 tsp of cumin
1/2 tsp of fresh grated pepper
1 lb bag of frozen chopped spinach thawed
1 cup of heavy cream

Heat oil in a heavy skillet. Meanwhile cut paneer up into 1 inch cubes and then fry in oil until golden brown. Remove the paneer and set aside. Fry onion in hot oil until wilted and slightly caramelized. Add garlic, ginger and spices and continue to fry until fragrant. Add chopped spinach and mix thoroughly until spinach is heated through.

Carefully add the heavy cream and paneer chunks and cook on medium heat until thick and creamy (roughly 20 minutes)

Serve with Naan and/or jasmine rice.

I've had some variants that add chopped tomato to the mixture and that tastes good. Some people also like to use fresh spinach and butter milk. Anyhow, if you try this recipe please tell me how it came out for you and how you'd improve upon it.

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