Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Now for something completely different...

Can the screwball comedy still be done today? I've been thinking about my favorite screwball comedies of the 30s and 40s (The Awful Truth, Love Affair, Bringing Up Baby (except for the leopard of course), My Man Godfrey and The Philadelphia Story -- Cary Grant seems to be in an awful lot of them doesn't he?) and wondering if the style can be duplicated and still be contemporary.
Outside of horror this is my favorite genre, this is my favorite sub-genre of a genre. I know I might be reaching, but so-be-it. The wish is to strive to write something along those lines that tries to remain as truthful to the genre as possible. I suppose the reason why I love the film Hudsucker Proxy so much is because it recalls the screwball era.

After all the research and writing I did for one area of my studies, everyone anticipated that I would write a horror script. I wrote sci-fi. I went back to thinking about horror and now...the screwball comedy? I've got nothing to lose right?

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Vegan Christmas Feast!

Christmas Eve
We snacked on homemade hummus, a veggie pate, fresh olives, pickled eggplant, and D's homemade best ever caponata. Our main course consisted of:
-al dente steamed asparagus with a dill vinaigrette
-sauteed garlic mushrooms with mint and oregano
-Imam Bayadi (I think that is how it's spelled) is a stuffed eggplant that D stuffed with pine nuts, peppers and fennel as the main ingredients.

D. selected a bourdeaux and a Chateauneuf de Pape from his collection. Later, we were too stuffed to think about dessert, but I did bring out the grand marnier and green tea truffles I had made.

Christmas Day

It's all about the food for us. P. had made some panettone style bread with nuts, fruit and chocolate that we enjoyed for breakfast. It tasted very Christmassy.

The dinner:
Chestnut croquettes (I couldn't find the recipe I had used last year so I kind of had to wing it and I'm not sure it was totally successful, but it gave me ideas for what to do next time. Much of my cooking involves ideas for next time.)
P's marinated veg (one of my all time favorites)
Freshly made canneloni crepes stuffed with squash and wild mushrooms. The tomato sauce included jarred tomatoes from P's garden. It was delicious.
I had planned on doing a fennel and orange salad, but there was so much other food I didn't even think of it until well after the meal.

Our wine was a Amarone di Valpolicella.

We did have dessert later. I made vegan cannoli (from the Artful Vegan) that I filled with an almond "ricotta" (from Nonna's Kitchen) and dusted with powdered sugar and chocolate.

After red jane and P left, D and I watched "It's a Wonderful Life." It surprised me every year. I find something new in it each year. I then watched "Going My Way" (the Leo McCarey film), but fell asleep before it ended. Red jane had given us candied pecans and almonds that were polished off during one or both of the films.

Now we can begin planning our new year's dinner. I can't wait!

Merry Christmas every one. I hope everyone had a peaceful holiday and a festive time.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

It's a wonderful...


We'll watch that at a later date.
Being apart from our usual family Christmas with D's parents, I realize that D. and I have Christmas traditions of our own that include:
Trim the tree on winter solstice
Plan a big feast that involves a new vegan dish we haven't done before and share it with people who are special to us.
A Charlie Brown Christmas
How the Grinch Stole Christmas
It's a Wonderful Life
I think that's it. I also try to add Hudsucker Proxy for New Years since that film is one of my favorites ever, but that's next week.

Merry Christmas everyone!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

"Trim up the tree with Christmas stuff, like bingel balls and Who floo fluff!"

We hunted for a tree that would satisfy our nostaligic cravings for a warm and festive Christmas. Being on foot, there wasn't as much choice as others with cars, but we did find a lovely tree that we carried several blocks and then up the hill, halfway up grinch mountain.

Gigi is very excited. After we placed the tree in the stand and anchored it to the wall, we could see Gigi sizing it up, perhaps planning her next move. Prima has started using it as a place to hide behind before pouncing out.

D. and I let wanted it to sit for a day or two before stringing up "bingel balls and Who floo fluff." I have a tradition of decorating on Christmas eve, but since D. and I have rarely been home for Christmas eve, we've often decorated for winter solstice which I may be more inclined to do again this year. Anywho...we've got the tree up and will put the lights on in a couple of days and then decorate. Gigi won't believe it when she sees that she has a tree covered in toys!

* * *

On another note I brought in a dish for our potluck at work on Saturday. I made a pasta salad since I knew that I would have to make something of some substance since there would be little for me to eat amongst the cheese casseroles, devilled eggs and chicken dishes. I picked out this recipe from the fat free vegan blog. I added a few more ingredients like red peppers, snow peas and olives. It was a success. I also made my pesto with a spinach basil mix since basil is hard to come by this time of year in this part of whoville. The spinach gave it a lovely fresh green colour. Yummy. I was going to add hemp seeds, but I thought that might be a little to funky for my co-workers. I didn't want to overwhelm them too much. Afterall, some are still trying to get their heads around the vegan thing. And I thought being out west would be more vegan sympathetic. Yet another myth about the wet (oops!) coast dispelled.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Trim up the tree

It's that time of year. I've hardly had time to think about Christmas outside of work and the Christmas rush of shoppers that I've been trying to help on a daily basis.

We did get our tree today and we're planning our menu. No who-hash or roast beast, but I think we're going with some Turkish dishes for Christmas eve (stuffed eggplant, P's marinated veg (I think), garlic mushrooms, and asparagus with lemon and dill. Christmas day we're going with a simple Italian meal for Christmas day.

Okay D. is bugging me and we have to order our groceries from our delivery box service so I'd better go.

Friday, December 15, 2006


I've never been a fan of weather talk. It's banal. It's actually beyond banal because I really kind of like banal and think it can be quite beautiful. There's a conversation that people slip into when they're not sure of what to talk about next or they slip into this dialogue when they're uncomfortable in a social setting. It's filler, it's weather filler talk. "We can't possibily have anything else to say to one another so let's talk about the weather."

At some point in recent years I became aware when people slipped into such dialogues and I think it was right around the time news weather forecasters began saying things like "we're going to see a lot of weather today." What does that mean? What is a day with a "little weather?" That's like saying, "we're going to see a lot of news today." Have you witnessed this? Have you been at a small gathering when talk has turned to the weather? Uh-oh that's a bad sign. I've done it. We've all done it, sometimes aware and sometimes unaware, but we can't help ourselves.

Now (of course) I'm going to talk about the weather. I have been all along though haven't I? We've had a lot of it! (Ha!) I expected days and days of rain. I've lived on the wet coast before and I expected high winds, lots of rain and all that fun wintery stuff that swirls around here. However, I did not expect excessive rains causing a water advisory, snow that shut businesses down and now more high winds and rain that toppled trees all across the south west coast. This most recent bout of stormy weather left us unscathed. We were lucky in that we didn't lose power and our house was fine. The only problem for me today was the commute. With all the traffic lights not working it backlogged traffic for miles. With a little patience and a good book I waited it out.

During the night I did hear sirens and could see the tree shadows on the wall flickering as the wind howled. I lay awake for a bit wondering if we'd be okay. (D. slept through it all. He can sleep through anything.) In the morning, the wind subsided and the sky cleared. I saw the mountains and some blue sky and by the time I reached work the sun was shining. When I left work the temperature had dropped dramatically and now people are talking about snow again. Huh? I can't keep up. Each morning at the door it's a challenge trying to decide what coat to put on. I layer a fleece for sure, but then rain or something thicker for a fall temperature? Faux-woolly scarf or thinner cotton? Gloves? Umbrella? Rain boots? Hat? Who knows what the day will bring? Gortex I understand. It makes sense. It's warm and wind and waterproof. I don't have gortex nor can I afford gortex, but I get it.

So tomorrow as I head for the door I've decided I'm dressing for cold weather and there's no turning back. If it's raining, my puny little umbrella will have to suffice. If it snows, so be it. Go with the flow of the wind, go with the current. After everything so many are going through I have much to be grateful for and little to complain about as I adjust to the west coast winter.

Now, I'm feeling a little weathered so I'm going to get some sleep and look forward to what surprise tomorrow will bring.

Sunday, December 10, 2006


Sis leaves today. She arrived on Thursday with her four kitties and they've all been staying with us. We've been lucky to have them. Originally she was going to fly directly through, but circumstances changed and I think it was best for everyone. It's been so nice to see the cast of characters. They did amazingly well on the flight and I have to say that they are well travelled cats. For kitties who have been through so much starting out their lives, they are very strong indeed.

We'll be driving them all to the airport in a few hours and then they'll be off to start their new life on the Queen Charlottes. I can't wait to visit.

Everyone I've met here who has been there has done nothing but rave about how fabulous the islands are. One woman I work with goes every year for vacation and she and her family camp on different beaches. She tells me that each beach has different sea shells. Apparently the area has some of the most diverse sea life compared to anywhere. Another person told me of a man who lives completely off the grid there and people often sea kayak to his remote place just to visit the possibilities.

I'll admit that initially I was freaked out about her moving so so so far away and to a place so remote. However, now that I've moved and am on the coast (or near the coast) I am so excited for her and I can't wait to hear how her life progresses and what she discovers. We both talked about this a few days ago, asking how many people talk about doing things and never do them? Here she has an incredible desire to be in a place and explore a whole new area of her life and herself and she's going for it.
She's opening up a whole new book in her life with nothing but blank pages. Some would be terrified, but I have to admire her for diving in, packing up her life and her cats and going for the dream. Would I be able to do the same?

* * *

Monday, December 04, 2006

Dutch elect first animal rights MP

P. emailed this article to me about the first animal rights MPs to be elected to parliament. It makes me hopeful.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Photos from the power crunch

We walked the "power crunch." It was quite sunny at one point. There were lots of kids sliding on one hill. We even found part of a broken plastic sled and took our own turn ourselves.

So here's some photos from the power crunch walk.

What Classic Move Are You.

From Red Jane who got it from Wandering Coyote.
T. in N.B. should appreciate this one!

A sleepy Sunday. Today is the first day that I really feel settled. I'm back into the old routine (not rut but routine) of having time to sleep in on Sunday and enjoy my morning coffee.

D. makes a brilliant Noel Nog latte. Did I mention that he works for an espresso machinecompany? We have this beautiful machine that makes delicious coffee.

Working as much as I have been as of late, I find that I rely on coffee much more. I have my two shots of espresso in the morning and go. The people I work with drink this awful stuff made in the standard drip coffee machine. It's diner coffee which is another drink all together. Some people drink it all day at work. I couldn't do it. I'm an addict but I'm not that desperate. When they found out where D worked they all suggested that the company bring a machine in for the day and I could spend my time making lattes for everyone. Hmm. Not possible or probable to happen.

Back to Sunday...
we're heading out for a walk up the hill/mountain to see where it takes us. We may try the "power crunch", I'm told it's called, which is a trail that follows the power lines up the hill. It's also a park so the trail is fairly well maintained. It's a "crunch" because they covered the trail in gravel so you get the picture.

Well, here's some pictures I took earlier in the week of the big snowfall we had. It's very whovillian I think. Now, the snow is pretty much gone and the trees are back to being green again. I love evergreens and they are in abundance here.