Escape your life for a little while — come play in mine.

Posts Tagged ‘Frivolous things’


Posted by Lissa on August 24, 2009

Why do I have the urge to take pictures of the food I eat?  It’s not like the edibles need to be preserved for posterity.  Y’all don’t really care what goes down my gullet.  And food pix aren’t as cute as kitty pix.  So why do it?

Simple.  I love food and I love when it’s nicely prepared and I love pretty presentation.  Yeah, we watch a fair amount of the Food Channel (food pr0n!) in the Kitty Den.

So if you’re looking for insightful political commentary, well, you’re not gonna find it here today.  (Or perhaps ever.)  If you’d like to see random pictures of delicious food — scroll down!

1) Lunch at Vinalia Wine Bar, Boston:  They do a great weekday lunch special where you get half a sandwich, a cup of soup and a side of fries in ten minutes for $7.  (The $7 was accurate; they ran a bit over on the ten minutes.)  In my case, it was a blackened chicken wrap with lettuce, avocado and bleu cheese dressing, along with a cup of tomato-basil soup.  YUM!

Vinalia lunch special

(Oh, and a pickle.  But I never eat the pickle.  If you come to lunch with me you’re always welcome to eat my pickle and also to have any lemon that comes with my water.  Although why you’d want to contaminate perfectly good water with ucky lemon is beyond me.)

Mike splurged on the cod and ratatouille, topped with fried onion strings.  I have a feeling that ratatouille is not supposed to be as delicious as this was.  I have another feeling that it was due to the copious amounts of melted butter.

Cod and ratatouille

Random Foodblogging #2) Birthday dinner at Brasserie Jo!

Happy birthday Mike!

It was SWELTERINGLY HOT Friday afternoon.  Thank god I planned ahead and wore a nice shell under my suit jacket.  Mike, having taken the day off, was more comfy in his polo shirt and khakis.

No, the hot weather did not dissuade us from ordering rich hot food.  That’s what air conditioning is for!

Mike ordered the rack of lamb, and was only narrowly dissuaded from gnawing the bones once he’d finished with the meat:


I went with the chicken coq au vin, served with alsace kneffla (whatever that is!):

No, I didn't finish it.  I gave a bunch to Mike.

For dessert, Mike went with Crème Brûlée; I selected the Summer Berry Pot de Crème.

And then we fell over and died.

And then we staggered home and collapsed in a delirious food coma of bliss.

For those of you who were around last year, you’ll be happy to know that this year’s birthday present was a lot more successful than last year’s.  Mike was quite pleased with his pasta maker!

Fire-engine red is the proper color for pasta-makers.  Really.

He was a little less pleased by the clumpiness of the pasta when boiled; I suppose we didn’t separate it enough in the flour-strewn cookie sheet:

Yay for pasta!

BONUS PIC:  After I ate all the fruit out of my Frutta al Forno, I received a subliminal sign that I had achieved Foodie Nirvana:

Yin yang

Happy Nomming!

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Wow, tanning beds are bad for you. Who knew?

Posted by Lissa on July 31, 2009


Tanning beds have been ranked alongside cigarettes, arsenic and asbestos as posing the greatest threat of cancer to humans by an international cancer research group.

The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has moved ultra-violet emitting tanning beds to its highest cancer risk category and labeled them as “carcinogenic to humans” after ruling they are more dangerous than previously suggested.

Are there people who are actually surprised by this?  It’s been pretty well determined that baking in the actual, natural sun does not-good things for your skin.  Popping into a fluorescent booth that will do in ten minutes what would take the sun at least a few hours could not possibly be good for your skin.  This makes perfect and logical sense.

Therefore, I expect to see high taxes being slapped on tanning beds and tanning sessions.  I expect to see salons offering tanning beds to be segregated businesses, far away from schools or ice cream parlors or any place where vulnerable young teenage girls hang out.  I expect users of tanning beds to be treated with the same disgust as cigarette smokers and arsenic-eaters. 


In the run-up to the wedding I hit the tanning booth every weekend.  I wanted to be tan for the Big Day (I turn kind of yellowish instead of pale — it’s the Chinese thing) and I wanted to be not-scorched on the honeymoon.  Knowing now that tanning is “carcinogenic to humans,” not just PROBABLY carcinogenic . . . I wouldn’t change a damn thing. 

Wearing heels gives you knee problems later in life, I’ve heard.  Good luck prying my stillies off my cold, dead feet.  (Now there’s a macabre image !)

Add this to the long, long, ever-growing list of things that will be banned/heavily-penalized under government-run healthcare . . .

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Who says “soweet!” anyway?

Posted by Lissa on February 1, 2009

Walked into South Station on Friday night and encountered this:




Any wonder which presidential candidate got most of Boston’s votes?

Oh, and did I mention how much I like Diet Coke?  🙂

P.S. Got two cute little kittens into the Lissaville (Home of the Evil Conservatives) Animal Shelter this week.  The poor things are wearing cones on their heads — they’ve had their little kitty-bits removed — but are just as sweet and good-tempered as one could wish.  One is named Barack and the other is named Obama.  So, see, I *am* a fan of Barack & Obama!

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I’ll have the briquette, please. Extra-charred.

Posted by Lissa on December 17, 2008

With the kind link from Caleb and the hits pouring in from last night’s Gun Nuts, it’s obviously time for a dose of the Humble.  After all, these new folks might think that a mention from intelligent people like Caleb and Breda mean that my blog has Teh Smart.  I assure you that while a stopped clock is right twice a day, I have no such guarantee.  (I don’t even POST twice a day, you know.) 

Therefore, let me tell you about my sad, sad first experience at Morton’s Steakhouse.  I first entered The Land of The Happy Pig (they don’t serve pork, you see) during my sophomore year in college.  As a member of an eating house (like a sorority, only no national ties), I was gung-ho about setting up a friend-of-a-friend with a potential recruit, a first-year who sang next to me in choir.  Accordingly, I rounded up a date for myself and brought our happy foursome to Morton’s Steakhouse in Charlotte.

Rest content, pig.  Pulled pork's not till next week.

Rest content, pig. Pulled pork's not till next week.

I was fresh and pretty.  I was friendly and charming.  I was elegant and sophisticated.

I ordered my filet mignon well done.

Oh, the humanity!

Yes, dear readers, I went to one of the prime steak places on the East Coast and had them BUTTERFLY my insanely expensive, tender, delicious, juicy piece of delectation so that the cook could efficiently transform it into a crispy, blackened coal.  Julia Childs WEPT.  Oh, and I didn’t finish the pre-ordered, unbelievably decadent Morton’s Famous Hot Chocolate Cake either.

(hangs head in shame)

Ah, well.  Turns out, I wasn’t the saddest diner in our party.  I feel confident that Potential Recruit took that honor, as she turned out to be bulimic.  I’m guessing that even my blackened lump of cow tasted better going down, than her perfectly cooked medium-rare steak did coming back up.

P.S.  After many years of yoga, self-discipline, apprenticing-as-a-young-Grasshopper etc., I now like my steak medium rare.  Your mileage may vary.

Dinner last night

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Hope they’ve got some serious protection around that lab . . .

Posted by Lissa on December 3, 2008

 . . . cause I know quite a few folks would be willing to do some, um, HANDS-ON research:

OTTAWA – Researchers say they have located the world’s oldest stash of marijuana, in a tomb in a remote part of China.

The cache of cannabis is about 2,700 years old and was clearly “cultivated for psychoactive purposes,” rather than as fibre for clothing or as food, says a research paper in the Journal of Experimental Botany.

The 789 grams of dried cannabis was buried alongside a light-haired, blue-eyed Caucasian man, likely a shaman of the Gushi culture, near Turpan in northwestern China.

Can we consider this a kindler, gentler approach to Chinese drugs than the Opium Wars?  Damn Caucasian drug-pushers!

Reminds me of a night Mike and I spent in a bar in downtown Lissaville.  It’s a very odd bar, in that it combines two very different atmospheres.  It’s a sports bar — plasma TV’s, Celtics jerseys, boxes of Flutie Flakes and everything — but the decorations are vaguely Asian and they serve things like teriyaki ribs and edamame.  I was confused.

ME:  “Mike, this is such a weird combination.  Who would want sports and Asian at the same time?”

MIKE: [raises eyebrows, then raises hand] “Ummmm, me???”

ME: “Oh yeah, good point!”

If we apply the same combination to the stash in China . . . well, I think I’ve got a few old friends who would find the combination of cannabis and Chinese quite delightful!

P.S.  Yes, I’m very glad Question 2 got a Yes vote, for common sense as much as libertarianism.

(article h/t to JWF, by way of Ace)

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Ziva versus Buffy

Posted by Lissa on December 2, 2008

Shoothouse Barbie’s  comment here made me ask myself the über-important question:

Who would win in a fight — Buffy or Ziva?

Buffy, of course, has all these supernatural ass-kicking powers and fights off monsters on a regular basis.  On the other hand, Ziva knows her way around an ammo shop — I recall that Buffy was almost killed when Warren shot her with a simple pistol.  Tell me Ziva wouldn’t bring a machine gun to a stake-fight?

This question is too important to ponder by myself!

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Book Review: The Twilight Series

Posted by Lissa on December 1, 2008

Well, you already know my weakness for vampire fiction, so it will hardly surprise anyone that I took a gander at the Twilight series.  Short review: A bit young — I think teenage girls are the main demographic target — but definitely read-worthy, and potentially addicting; I finished all four books over the weekend.  (See, THAT explains my lack of posting!)

Longer review: Okay, pretty classic storyline going here — turns out, vampires live among us, and gee whillikers, not all vampires are evil.  Bella (teenage heroine, aged seventeen) meets up with Edward (vampire heroine, also aged seventeen although he’s been seventeen for quite a while).  Luckily for Bella (and our story), Edward happens to belong to a rare family of vampires that don’t eat humans.

With such a seemingly-trite storyline, you may wonder why I (and half of America, seems like) found the story addicting.  Three simple reasons:

1) The writing is good.  I’m not pretending it’s Jane Austen, but there’s a good deal of humor, which always makes a book tastier.

2) Vampire books are fun.  No, seriously!  Check out the success of Laurell K. Hamilton and J.R. Ward and Anne Rice; all three exploited a simple not-all-vampires-are-evil premise and laughed all the way to the bank.  (Yes, I do have all three authors in my bookcase.)

3) Like the Harry Potter books, the Twilight books seem ALMOST believable.  It’s the kind of plot that has you kicking yourself — “Why didn’t *I* think of writing that?”

And yet, it’s something more. 

To be honest, I think this is the female equivalent of a well-done Batman, or Spiderman.  Growing up, what guy doesn’t want to step into those shoes?  What guy doesn’t want to believe that his awkward, gangly growing pains could be consumed in a frenzy of super-heroism if a radioactive spider happens along?  What grown-up guy doesn’t enjoy a well-made superhero movie?

What gangly, awkward teenage girl doesn’t have a massive crush on a guy and think, “He would never, never, never be interested in me, I’m not worth it”?

Bella feels that way about Edward; she knows she could never be smart enough, talented enough, beautiful enough to earn his attention, let alone his regard.  Yet as it turns out, she is unique in the entire world and has his full attention.

Simple, sure.  But it tugs at my heartstrings all the same: Bella’s absolute certainty that her major crush won’t — can’t — like her in return; the miracle that he actually does; the constant self-doubt and amazement that somehow this glorious creature loves her.

Of course, I could be wrong.  Perhaps only girls who go through an ugly duckling phase — mine was, oh, from when I was about twelve till I turned seventeen — recognize those feelings of loneliness, of unworthiness, and rejoice that somehow Bella was lucky enough to be intrinsically what Edward would want and need and desire.

Ah, well.  Lovey-dovey stuff aside, there are great themes to these books: friendship, self-sacrifice, restraint, family bonds, and men (er, vampires?) not afraid to be men.  (Remember this post?)  And, parents, the morals found in these teenagers are practically . . . Victorian.  Surely that makes them good books for your dear ones to read 🙂

To conclude: No, I do not eat my words regarding “the new teeny-bopper fetish — that o-so-studly (gag) teenage (vegetarian!) vampire.”  I never claimed to have high-brow tastes, y’all; consider me a 28-year-old teenybopper.  At least it’s older than the Little House books!!

P.S. I was playing my Classical mix while blogging, which includes the Hoedown from Rodeo

MIKE: “Am I the only one who caught the irony?  That you’re playing the “Beef! It’s what’s for dinner!” song while the pot roast cooks?” 

ME:  “Ummmm, no.  I just like that song!!”

Apparently my irony-meter is broken!

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Plus, I’ll bet he could kick Harry Potter’s pasty little butt

Posted by Lissa on November 26, 2008

Via The Corner, it turns out that the new teeny-bopper fetish — that o-so-studly (gag) teenage (vegetarian!) vampire — has some pretty old-fashioned manly attributes that the teeny-boppers adore:

Apparently, the perfect guy should:
be too much of a gentleman;
be really smart;
smell extraordinarily nice;
have eyes only for you even if he is surrounded by hot girls;
quote Shakespeare;
stand in front of you in a protective way when you are in danger;
give you his jacket when you are cold;
have morals;
love you for what you are inside, not for how you look;
be charming;
sparkle in the sunlight;
have a nice family;
always pay for everything;
have been pretty much single since 1901;
hold your face while he kisses you

And just think how much they’ll SQUEE when they find out you can have all that — and from a guy who doesn’t drink blood!!  (Well, they can have most of it, anyway; I tend to think poorly of women who expect men to pay for everything, men who sparkle in the sunlight usually have an offputting addiction to body glitter, and if he hasn’t dated since 1901 . . . well, the times they are a-changing, y’know?)

And the funniest part?  An old-fashioned gentleman who had all of those attributes listed above but DIDN’T happen to be a blood-drinker of a different species would probably be labeled as an old-fashioned, out-of-touch fogey by those girlies.  Truly, it is to laugh.

(P.S. The article refers you to the actual site with “50 Edward Cullen Characteristics That Every Guy Should Have” and I know I should have sifted through there for my list, but DUDE — they lost me at “10. Have an extended an [sic] sophisticated vocabulary”, “14. Suddenly appear out of nowhere and kiss you passionatley [sic]” and “20. Quote Romeo ( Shakespear ) [sic].”  Oh HELL to the NO.  This job doesn’t pay enough for mental torture like that.)

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Hooray for commercials that DON’T make me want to put the remote through the screen

Posted by Lissa on November 5, 2008

Ahhhh, commercials.  Most of them I hate with the power of a thousand fiery suns, because they’re so STUPID.  I swear, nineteen out of twenty commercials are either totally forgettable, totally idiotic or so irritating as to make me mentally vow to NEVER buy their damn product, EVER.  One of the reasons I ADORE our Tivo is that I don’t have to watch commercials, yay!!!!  (That, and an hour-long show only takes forty-five minutes to watch.  Who could say no to an extra fifteen minutes in their lives?)

That being said, I therefore give extra credit and warm fuzzies to commercials that do NOT suck.  Like this one:

Seriously?  AWESOME.  The fact that they coordinate the tenor’s high note with the open-mouthed bobblehead makes me jump up and down with joy.  And then there’s this one:

Makes me absolutely shriek with delirious glee!  And let’s cap this off with sheer “AWWWWWWWW!”, shall we?

P.S. Yes, a woman who hates commercials just wrote a post that consisted solely of three commercials.  Yes, I intend to post more commercials in the future if they strike my fancy.  Live with it.

UPDATE: Brad K linked.  Thanks!

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Gentlemen, start your WAXING

Posted by Lissa on October 16, 2008

Okay, do y’all remember this post?

Men, welcome to the new level of pussy-whipping.

This whole thing blows my mind, truly. It’s one thing for punk-rock stars and effeminate High School Musical types to wear make-up, but they really want regular guys on the street to wear it too? And they want WOMEN to buy make-up in order to FORCE THEIR MEN TO WEAR IT?

Well, I spoke too soon. That was not the new level of emasculation. This is:

Men have invaded ladies’ fashion domain a little further, for after ‘man-bras’ and ‘manscara’ the latest must have for men is “mantyhose.”

“Mantyhose”or pantyhose for men have become a popular sheer garment from truck drivers to cowboys.

A self confessed male hosiery-wearer, Harisnya is so passionate about the issue he set up e-MANcipate, a website which he says aims to “accelerate the acceptance of male pantyhose as a regular clothing item”.

Dear readers of the male persuation (who still have your wedding tackle attached and functional), allow me to save you the effort and assuage your curiosity:


Also, it will run when you least want it to, so if you’re THAT desperate for a fashion-boosting extra layer of warmth, don’t forget that you’ll also need a spare pair in your man-purse and a bottle of clear nail polish to take care of small snags.

The ONLY acceptable time for a man to wear pantyhose is when surfing, as it will prevent being stung by jellyfish. And even then, I’d recommend a wetsuit.

Good lord.

How about a poll redux?

(h/t The Corner)

UPDATE: Ted linked.  Thanks!

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