the time to read them...

Books I have read. More for me than for you, but I guess that depends on who you are. If you stalk me, than this will probably be more useful for you than me.

Friday, June 09, 2006

moving on up

I am now writing full time (ha!) over at Jennyjenny. I have not yet gotten around to a book posting, but if you want to read only book stuff, it will be tagged as such. Stuff's still a little wonky, but everything will be over there for now!

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Bambi and Her Pink Gun

Like a lot of manga, this book ends with me understanding way less about the story than when I started. It ends with a weird pseudo-hick style language that I am totally confused about how that translated. Also with the sentence "Tatas and violence. What the hell more do you want?" written across the main character's chest.

That pretty much sums it up.

Half Asleep in Frog Pajamas

My friend Matt loves Tom Robbins and insisted I would too, so I have checked out several of his books. This was my first, and probably not the best choice. It's written in the second person, which I liked a lot. It's very funny, and totally made me want to read more of his books. To say it was quirky is a major understatement. Despite generally liking it, I had these problems:

1. Tom Robbins, enough with the freaking analogies already
2. TR, sometimes you add weirdness for no apparent reason. Why is a jewel thief monkey a major character?
3. Tom Robbins, I have no idea what happened in your book. There is a twist at the end that I do not understand. What?
4. Wikipedia words my problem with your writing this way, that you seem to be, ""high-fiving" the reader after every cleverly worded sentence." Okay I get it, you're WITTY. Shut up about it.
5. Your book got kinda slow in the middle there. Blah blah frogs blah blah Sirius. I thought this was supposed to be a statement about how boring and "out there" your character was, but apparently it was a real message about how we are controlled by reptiles. Huh? Are you serious? I have no idea what that was about or how it related because it made me nap. Maybe that's why I don't get your ending!
6. TR, I am by NO means shy about sex talk, but I don't think I have ever read a book which used the word pussy more often. And I have toured the HQ of Hustler. Impressive, but how much vagina monologue did this book need?

I think it's a good sign that I completely missed the point of this book and its message yet still want to read the author again.

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Cell by Stephen King

I love horror and I used to read a lot of King. But then he got kinda boring and he is a bit wordy. But I love the concept of this, since it's a cell phone virus that kills people. I have been saying for several years now that cell phone technology completely obliterates a lot of classic horror, since cutting the phone lines is so crucial in so many films.

And I started out loving this book. The characters are GREAT. But after King killed off my favorite character (I won't say who), I lost a lot of interest. The last 1/2 to 1/4 of this book, there is no action. And the ending is SO BAD. There is really no explanation I had been waiting for the entire time.

Based on the let down ending I dunno if I can recommend this, because the beginning was SO SUSPENSEFUL I could not wait to read more.

Love Sick

by Michael J. Nelson

I wanted to like this, because I love Mike Nelson/MST3K so much. But mainly this is a book of cool clip art/graphics with really unnecessary commentary by Mike Nelson. His commentary seems sort of non-relevant.

It was especially weird since I am also reading this other book called Love Sick:

Potato Salad

I have determined that potato salad without greens is much tastier than potato salad with. This seems like one of those recipes that masks gross food/tastless healthy food by putting it in (relatively) less healthy food. Turnip greens appear to have no flavor, but the same creepy soggy leaf texture.

I am happy with the turnips, but I am throwing away the greens. What is this the Depression? Do we have to eat garbage? :P

Veggie Update

This week I got more spinach and radishes. Both of those will go towards salad, especially in this hot weather.

I also got turnips. I made this amazing soup from the CSA cookbook. I altered it a little. Basically:

Saute a cup of onions or green onions in butter
Add 4 cups of chopped turnips, cleaned
Add a few chopped potatoes, skinned.
Add 2 cans of chicken (or your preferred) stock
add a tbls. of sugar, a tbls. of lemon, a bunch (figurative) of parsley, sprinkle of lemon pepper.

Cook covered for 45 mins, or until turnips are mushy.

Puree in blender/food processor.

Put back into pot and add a little less than a cup of yogurt (they suggested milk or cream, but I never have those, and I like how yogurt tastes).

Then I added some chives and salt, and a lot of white pepper, which gave it a really nice heat.

Bring to a boil, then shut off, serve chilled. (Though also tasty hot.)

I couldn't find a good recipe for radish greens, but it seems like radish greens are spicy like mustard greens. So then I found this amazing looking radish green potato salad which I am making as I type. It's carbtastic over here.

I got some green onions, which I will use in both of the above and probably a test batch of cornmeal grean onion pancakes. But that still left 2 things: the much dreaded bok choy and turnip greens leftover from the turnips. I foisted the bok choy onto the aforementioned bokchoy lover Kurt. But turnip greens are sort of yucky seeming when raw. Websites seem to call them bitter, but I think of them more as sour. All recipes seem to have the usual "cook with pork" suggestions. So I searched in the cookbooks and found nothing appetizing. I am sorry people, but wilted greens? Yuck. Consistency of grossness. But then I found this. Mmmm anything cheesy can't be bad, right?

If anyone has more turnip green ideas, let me know. Hey I always thought you threw out this part of the plant.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Road Trip

Anyone up for a Maine to Nevada road trip?

create your own personalized map of the USA
or check out ourCalifornia travel guide

Saturday, May 27, 2006


Recipes from America's Small Farms: Fresh Ideas for the Season's Bounty

I am generally not a food snob. I like hot dogs way more than the next guy. I honestly like malt liquor. I also love lobster (which, depending on how you construe it, is sort of dirty so probably a bad example) and fois gras, no matter if the place I first had it (Chicago) has now outlawed it. I pretty much like the whole gamut. While I am known to my friends as a person who will eat "garbage" (meaning leftovers from strangers) or to my family as a risktaker (I think refrigeration of cooked meat is optional for about a day after it has been cooked), I also enjoy good for you/non decaying food.

Wow, you guys are never ever going to trust my food recommendations or eat at my house again, are you?

Anyways, short story long, I think I should try more things and eat more vegetables. So I joined a farmshare aka community supported agriculture. And all of the correspondance I get from my CSA pretty much is about how I am better than YOU, the big box consumer. I think that's a pretty good marketing scheme, making me feel better than you.

Even tho we CSAers are much better than you, many of us are probably unfamiliar with how to cook the kooky veggies they give us, so they made us buy the above cookbook. So far I haven't really cooked anything out of it, but it's care/handling/general cooking instructions have been very helpful. I am not a very "stick to a recipe" person anyways.

So in order to test this book, and because it's my blog and I say so, I will be logging what weird veggies I ate and how this book was useful. I want to keep track of my weird veggie intake. Also I am an extreeeeeeeme city kid. I don't think I can underline this enough (although I would never underline it here, because then you'd think it was a link.). I saw my first constellation at a rave at 22 since that was the first time I had been far enough out of the city to see one. I have never had a driver's license. I am allergic to all living things. And my family is meatcentric. So I discovered spinach at college and loved it. I am ignorant of non-Italian (ie not tomatoes, eggplant, onions) veggies pretty much, so this "weird veggie" list may look pedestrian to you!

Veggies thus far

  • Many kinds of salad-I like salad, so salad mix, red leaf, green leaf, spinach have all been good.

  • Radishes-I tried radishes in college as well and love them. Other than putting them in salad or dipping them in things, I am still sort of at a loss as to what to do with them.

  • Kale- This one immediately threw me. Okay kale sounds super super healthy. And super healthy things, by and large, just aren't very tasty. My opinion. But I really liked kale. So much so that I threw it in salads. I cooked one batch in a lasagna. It was good too, but I liked it raw better.

  • Green onions- Okay so not a weird vegetable. But I received a MASS quantity of green onions. Every week. I put them in salads. I love them. But then I accidentally found a green onion pancake recipe and oh boy is it awesome. Basically:

    1 cup pancake mix (less sugar if you are not getting it out of the box
    3/4 cup of water--make as thin or thick as you like
    salt and pepper
    10 green onions (the more the better. use way more than you think you should)
    cayenne (pinch or two)
    tumeric (to taste)

    Yumtastic. If I had made them thinner I think a yogurt dipping sauce might have been awesome.

  • Mustard greens- These also scared me. Looking up recipes for a lot of these new veggies landed me at websites like (made up). I mean I am already eating kale, must I eat tofu as well? I knew if I made this stuff into super healthy meals only, I would hate it and never eat it again. The other extreme was that basically, you can cook any green with bacon. Um, ANYTHING cooked with bacon is good because it TASTES like BACON and is covered in BACON FAT. I didn't think this would give me a real taste of whatever veggie it was.

    So for mustard greens I sort of made it up. I made a pasta salad with lemon and red peppers. On a side note, I LOVE lemon pepper. Like, way too much for my own good. So lemon + mustard greens=LEMON PEPPER. Amazing. I guess the longer you cook them, the less peppery they are. They were awesome and i look forward to buying them again.

  • Bok Choy- Now, I have had bok choy in chinese restaurants. And I sort of avoid all veggies at Chinese restaurants, because all the veggies are soggy, covered in some soy/gelatinous cornstarch mix that grosses me out. My friend Kurt who is moving to China has insisted that bok choy is great and encouraged me to try some of his bok choy and I do and pretend it's yummy and am secretly all icked out. My best friend and her bf expressed how awesome bok choy was and suggested a recipe. In fact it is the only recipe that seems to be available for bok choy, which made me slightly suspicious:

    stirfry bokchoy with garlic, ginger, soysauce, sugar.

    This made it taste like every other bok choy I have ever had--wet, soggy and PF Changy. IE like a fake imitation of Chinese food. I have come to the conclusion that bok choy is not for me.

But 1 bad thing is pretty good so far. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Running with Scissors

by Augusten Burroughs

I was led to believe this book was funny. The next David Sedaris. I have even read Dry by Burroughs, and I loved it. Even though it was a tad disturbing (since it's about the author's struggle with alcoholism) it was more funny and surreal than sad. Now Burroughs is also being compared to James Frey since his foster family is suing him over the book. And they're making a movie about it.

Generally if I like one book by and author, and he is compared in any way to Sedaris and Frey and his books is self-read on audiobook, there's no way I won't love the other books by the author.

But man, this book was SO DEPRESSING. I just can't really focus on the funny/weird things happening when a 15 year old boy gets anally raped by a 34-yr old man, and is giving random medication and "adopted" by his mother's shrink who's raped her.

I started reading this months ago and then had to return it and re-check it out. I liked it, I was just expecting a fun book. The movie trailer also looks pretty fun. I will totally see the movie, but I wonder how they can make it happy!

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Washington Schlepped Here

by Christopher Buckley

This is another of the Crown Travel Series, and perhaps the complete opposite of all of them. This one actually is sort of a walking tour of the city sites, which made it immediately less interesting, since I am not walking through DC anytime soon. However, I can't fault a travel book for this!

It was pretty funny and of course the best parts were Buckley talking about his personal experience working for the (first) Bush administration. My favorite Buckley book, God is My Broker is a complete satire of the self-help genre. In parts, this book does the same with the travel genre, but not enough. i imagine Buckley's publishers actually wanted a real travel book.

I would recommend this to only the fiercest Buckley fans, or anyone going to DC. It's got a lot of good and fun historical tidbots.

And through looking this up, I realized that this series has a book about Vancouver, BC by Douglas Coupland! I wish I had known that before going there, but I hope to read it anyway. Sadly, no library seems to have it.