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Category: the odes

12/31/10 12:07 - 41.ºF - ID#53362

Exciting bullets. Boring List.

Fine. I will document the boring highlights of my year, just because I want to test out the exciting new list feature. (I am like (e:paul)'s list-guinea pig!)

  • Where were you when 2010 began? At the ((e:PMT)) Party.
  • Who were you with? A bunch of ((e:peeps)), having a great time drinking some pink stuff and then realizing that it was pink because I had switched glasses with someone. The pink stuff was insane.
  • Where will you be when 2010 ends? At ((e:PMT))'s... maybe if I don't fall asleep like I did before the Halloween party.
  • Whom will you be with when 2010 ends? image
  • Was 2010 a good year for you? What is "good" exactly?
  • What was your favorite moment of the year? Definitely that one dance at the salsa class when I was absolutely amazed at how body dynamics clicked into perfect synchrony during dance.
  • What was your least favorite moment of the year? Looking at my experiment results and finding inconsistency everywhere. :/
  • Did you keep your New Year resolutions of 2010? Yep. Got rid of some more stuff from home. Finally let go of old clothes that were never really my size, gritted my teeth and went shopping for new ones almost my size. Picked up a new resolution of maybe sewing a winter coat all by myself someday. Joined salsa class and had a blast. Didn't draw as much I wanted to though... but that might change this year, considering my salsa class is like an ever-evolving muse.
  • Do you have any New Year resolutions for 2011? Oh absolutely. I believe in new days, new years, new re-inventions, new research, new ideas, new wishes and new resolutions! Some mundane ones are to reduce salt in my diet. I think I will leave drawing to fate and hope that my muse gets more interesting. I really can't resolve to do things that are somewhat out of my power but I hope I graduate this coming year.
  • Did you fall in love in 2010? I acquired several new impractical crushes. I am forever crushing on someone or something totally inappropriate or unattainable. Does that count? :-)
  • What was your favorite month of 2010? I am not sure I remember what month it is sometimes.
  • Did you travel outside of the US in 2010? No. I can't. I have to graduate first.
  • How many different states did you travel to in 2010? Hmm... let's see. Cali, Florida, DC with a stop at Atlanta - so 3 or 4? And of course NYC many times.
  • Did you lose anybody close to you in 2010? Well... yes, and no. Maybe?
  • What was your favorite movie that you saw in 2010? Haha She is SO out of my league.
  • What was your favorite song in 2010? Are you kidding me? How could I possibly have a favourite song when I listen to like 500 artists on an average and love them all every year and the next year and forever?
  • What was your favorite album in 2010? I can't choose. It's impossible. I could point at around 50 albums that I heard for the first time and swooned over this year, even though some of them were produced several decades back or were released yesterday. I discovered a whole new world of salsa music. This question is really the most unanswerable out of the lot.
  • What was your most exciting moment of 2010? Salsa class. Several moments but probably when I found that I could actually dance the basic step and it was not confusing. It was awesome.
  • What was your proudest moment of 2010? These little devils didn't die on me. image

  • What was your most embarrassing moment of 2010? Um. So not telling you. Because all of them would probably take up several pages. If I don't get embarrassed any given day, I begin to suspect that something went wrong and I hadn't done anything interesting or worth writing about that day.
  • If you could go back in time to any moment of 2010 and change something, what would it be? Ahhhhhh... why struggle with the hypothetical. They haven't perfected the time machine yet.
  • What are your plans for 2010? How are plans different from resolutions? Do you plan to take over the world but you resolve not to kill everyone while doing it? Is this a trick question?

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Permalink: http://estrip.org/articles/read/tinypliny/53362/Exciting_bullets_Boring_List_.html
Words: 713
Location: Buffalo, NY
Last Modified: 12/31/10 12:11


Category: eating in

12/30/10 06:58 - 41.ºF - ID#53357

My fridge and freezer at the end of the decade.

I was about to do the where-were-you where-was-I end-of-the-year list, but I am somewhat concerned that my fridge is out of control. So I am going to do a what's in my fridge and freezer at the end of 2010 and hope to goodness nothing spoils or gets ignored.

Let's see.
image

In my freezer is
  • a big can of Nido, a super-delicious whole-milk in powdered form. Many uses, but mainly to spike the chocolate.
  • Scharffen Berger Cocoa. Latest cocoa. I might be slightly addicted.
  • 6 different types of coffee - one of which I almost like. What can I say. I think I am compulsive coffee trialist. I buy coffee because I like the smell but later find out I don't like the taste so much for many brands. I really liked Melitta. I should have just stuck to it. Some Colombian coffee in a green bag - I have no idea where to ge this anymore. Not that I want to. Its decent, not great though. Dallmayr is just okay, not so great. I don't like the starbucks, world blends european, and the Hacienda Juanita so much...
  • One slab of firm tofu - could last a month but maybe I will make stir fry this weekend and it will exist no more.
  • Dried chinese dates. Random discovery of 2010. Tastes like surprise-I-have-tasted-this-somewhere. That's as close as I can get to a description of what it tastes like.
  • Trader Joe's unsweetened cocoa. With the grand entrance of S&B, this is getting super-ignored.
  • 10 pounds of raw almonds - my ~6 month supply of Vit E and general deliciousness.
  • 1/2 a stick of butter from god knows when. This needs to go maybe into a cake?
  • Fresh frozen galangal
  • Some boxes of homeground spices that I grind obsessively when I am stressed or when I need to think clearly or when I feel like experimenting. I guess the number of boxes shows a good amount of stress, lack of thought and failed experiments...
  • MANY boxes of 1-serving homemade soup. 4 kinds. Also an indicator of level of stress and experimentation. Instant comfort breakfast, lunch and dinner.
    class="tb">
  1. Swiss Chard and French Lentil Soup with Ginger and Garlic
  2. Butternut Squash and Carrot Soup with Split Yellow Peas
  3. Spicy Zucchini and Green Bell Pepper Yellow Split Pea Dal
  4. Zucchini, tomatoes, kale and Moong dal soup with galangal.
  • Yeast. Some lady at the store told me to freeze it and I did.
  • Chickpea flour - no immediate plans. It can hibernate for a while there.

So what's in the fridge, you ask (or maybe you really don't want to know but I will tell you anyway).
image
Going from bottom to top.
  • Green bell peppers!!
  • Hot green chili peppers!!!!!!!!!!
  • Drying curry leaves for the next 2 months!!!!!!
(Yeah, the exclamation points exclaim that I am really happy about these!!!!!!!!!!!!)
  • Cabbage. Stir fry this weekend? Maybe not... They last forever anyway and this one is a few days old.
  • Apples, Oranges, Grapefruit - my trio of perfection.
  • Some more latest kind of soup - a fifth kind that will soon move to the freezer.(Carrot, ginger and lentil soup with red hot peppers.)
  • Almond milk - Gone!! Just finished the last dregs.
  • Celery - soup maybe? Stir fry? Maybe? Maybe not? But it still has a week.
  • Soy Sauce -- Hmmm.. I am not sure it spoils.
  • Cider vinegar... I don't know what else to do with this other than dress salads... Cider quandry.
  • Balsamic vinegar from Guercios - not sure I have been using this too much.
  • Skim milk gallon - Half down. Milk is never a concern anyway. It goes fast.
  • Whole wheat flour - trader joe's. Make spectacular bread, maybe I should make some?
  • Rolled oats from the coop. I sometimes use it in bread... or make granola, but I need bananas to bind the granola and I don't have ripe bananas now.
  • Wheat bran - bread making supply, another reason to possibly make bread this weekend?
  • Some cooked lentils
  • 2/3rds of a red onion from a lentil salad I made today
  • Fresh Ginger!!!!!!!!!!!
  • Fresh Limes!!!!!!
  • Garlic!!!!!!!!!
  • Lowfat Yogurt - just opened this but this need to be finished within a week.
  • Toasted almonds. My present snack-stash.
  • Toasted sunflower seeds. Almost all gone except maybe a few tablespoons. Another reason for bread.
  • Carrots - maybe next soup with celery... and pomegranate?
  • Pomegranate... I want to make salad with tofu, but maybe soup? Or maybe just a fun salad with apples, grapefruit and with a dash of lime and spices?
  • Coconut powder
  • More curry leaves - current stash
  • Bottled Galangal
  • Egg whites - I am experimenting with this. I think I really like scrambled eggs whites with kale, zucchini, tomatoes, ginger and green hot chili peppers. The major discovery is that there is NO eggy smell with these egg whites and they give me a whopping dose of protein.
  • Black currant jam - makes an excellent sweetener for fun cakes.
  • Homemade banana bread with raisins - only 4 slices. Will go away soon I hope. Having this bread in the fridge is mentally preventing me from making any more.
  • More oranges - need to be juiced into a smoothie pretty soon.. maybe tomorrow. Getting some shrivels I am not happy about.
  • Cedar heavenly spice hummus. Need to finish this soon as well... Maybe a salad with onions, tomatoes and cabbage?
  • Kerala vadu mangai pickle!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • Asafoetida powder
  • Tamarind block
  • Homemade Thai green chillie paste. I need to finish this soon..
  • Zucchini - gone! Just mixed it with the lentils and yogurt.
  • Chocolate-red-pepper shake. Just made this. Super spiky and fun!

I think that's about it. Not as grand as you thought it might be, huh? I really need to work on finishing 3/4th of everything before I buy any more things...

PS: I will justify all this fridge craziness by pointing you to a fridge of *real chef*
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Words: 985
Location: Buffalo, NY
Last Modified: 12/31/10 12:33


Category: goals

12/27/10 05:36 - 26.ºF - ID#53344

Salt Addicts Non-Anonymous.

They say that the first step to kicking an addiction is to own that you have one in the first place. I am owning it. I am addicted to salt.

I have tried to rationalize this in the past with various reasonable-sounding excuses such as:
-- Food without salt is like dimensionless tripe. Eating tripe is bad enough, but eating dimensionless tripe sounds ghastly.
-- I don't eat processed food so much and it is the "processing" that does you in and not the salt.
-- Salt has added iodine in it. I totally need it for my thyroid gland.
-- True story. I bought iodine-free salt by mistake and my brain stopped working for a week.
- HOW ELSE can I get iodine??! I don't want to eat fishy smelling kelp.

Other dubious excuses have included...
-- It's just salt. At least it's not sugar!
-- I drink a ton of water, surely it must wash it all away
-- Everyone needs to die someway. I choose hypertension.
-- Hypertension has genetic roots and no one in my family has it.
-- Wait, I think one of my grand parents died of a kidney failure. Does that mean there was a possibility there of an incipient hypertensive process at work? Oh well.. shut up. Everyone knows kidney failure is clearly multifactorial.

And some completely bogus ones:
-- Other people also like salt, as do I. It proves that I am not a mutant alien.
-- Salt is like the national food where I am from. It would be so unpatriotic to consume any less. No-one wants to be unpatriotic. I don't! Do you?

But everything really boils down to one truth.
-- Mmmmmm salty... OH SO SALTY!!!!

I don't like pretzels too much. I am not a big fan of peanut-butter either. But around thanksgiving, I somehow acquired a box of Anderson's peanut-butter filled pretzels.

(FINE. I intentionally bought it!).

Because all those perfect crystals of salt on the pretzels were too hypnotizing to resist. Needless to add, not only did I relish the crystals, as a bonus, I also ate the COMPLETE box of nearly 681 grams - all by myself, in ONE week. (That's 1.5 pounds, you non-metric heathen.) You know how much of salt that is? 8000 mg or 8 grams of salt. And of course, I didn't just eat these pretzels the entire week. I also ate other things also heavily laced with salt. And I go through 1 cylinder of salt in roughly 1.5-2 months.

I decided to finally own it and honestly tracked my sodium intake over the past three weeks. Turns out I consume more than 5000 mg (5g) of salt every day. To put it in context, my daily requirement of salt is around 1200 mg ~1.2g. That's more than 4x times over the healthy limit. It is starting to look like I am the druglord of all salt addicts across the planet.
image
So I guess one of my new year, new decade resolutions would be to cut down on the salt. They tell you to go easy on yourself when you make resolutions. But going easy might still mean around 3x salt consumption. I am going to have to tread the hard path strewn with rocksalt.
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Words: 541
Location: Buffalo, NY
Last Modified: 12/27/10 06:02


Category: the odes

12/26/10 05:52 - 22.ºF - ID#53338

Your highness

may not make me taller...



but by the looks of it, might just make me laugh.

These is something so entertaining about absolutely inane fluffy pointless rudderless movies that are sheer stupid fun (and zombie movies of course... but maybe they belong in the same bin). And the team that made pineapple express definitely sweeps the prizes in this category.

Can't wait! :-)

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Permalink: http://estrip.org/articles/read/tinypliny/53338/Your_highness.html
Words: 66
Location: Buffalo, NY
Last Modified: 12/26/10 11:21


Category: music

12/24/10 12:22 - 25.ºF - ID#53326

Son Para Ti

It's like I am having a Spanish version competition with (e:uncutsaniflush).

Maybe I am. ;-)

But I just want this song to be on here because I like the tune so much. Maybe a tad too slow for salsa but absolutely lovely song. I wonder what kind of dance would go along with it... I am guessing a latin version of a slightly fast waltz. While I know a little bit of salsa now, I literally don't know anything about any of the other latin dances. Maybe I should take a general latin 101 dance class - if there is such a thing.



I suspect that if it made my grocery shopping karaoke list, I might get more than my usual share of curious looks, though...

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Permalink: http://estrip.org/articles/read/tinypliny/53326/Son_Para_Ti.html
Words: 129
Location: Buffalo, NY
Last Modified: 12/24/10 12:46


Category: music

12/21/10 08:51 - 24.ºF - ID#53317

The Perfect Salsa Duet

First, la India resembles my aunt and my cousin so much - right down to all that tough attitude! It's so hard to not think of them as I watch her. She may not be the queen of salsa but she is very much the rebellious princess. And second, I love love love this song! I could listen to it on a loop the whole day. It's such a perfectly composed duet. The beats per minute are awesome for dancing and the melody is so uplifting!



Marc Anthony should really have kept all that gorgeous hair!
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Permalink: http://estrip.org/articles/read/tinypliny/53317/The_Perfect_Salsa_Duet.html
Words: 100
Location: Buffalo, NY
Last Modified: 12/24/10 12:55


Category: music

12/20/10 10:03 - 27.ºF - ID#53312

¡Azúcar!

With love...

            
            
            
        

::DOWNLOAD SOUND::


image

Celia Cruz - the Goddess of Salsa who lives in the hearts of salsa dancers around the planet and is intertwined inseparably with their souls ...

            
            
            
        

::DOWNLOAD SOUND::


image

It's amazing how she managed to flawlessly breathe life into Salsa for nearly 60+ years and kept on innovating till the very end! She may not be alive today but she is a rockstar who will live anew every time a salsa dancer is born!

            
            
            
        

::DOWNLOAD SOUND::


image


Come and experience the magic and soul of salsa at Configuration Dance with Sarita and Sean in the new year! New Salsa for the Soul classes start Thursday, January 6th, 2011. Email Sarah "Sarita" Hooper and Sean Ortiz at SalsafortheSoul [at] gmail for more information about the BEST salsa classes in Buffalo! :-)

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Permalink: http://estrip.org/articles/read/tinypliny/53312/_Az_car_.html
Words: 154
Location: Buffalo, NY
Last Modified: 12/24/10 12:56


Category: art

12/19/10 02:43 - 22.ºF - ID#53303

Dance battles and such

Thanks to (e:heidi), I had one of the most fun audience experiences I have had in a while. She urged me yesterday to "Get yer butt down here" and I am glad I did exactly what she asked me... after a couple hours.

Even though I was just passively standing in a corner and watching the battles, all the windmilling that went on left me completely breathless... and a bit worried. For those of you who have no idea what I am talking about, this was definitely not what it looked like...
image

Nopes. This was not it either...
image

It was more like a couple hours of this...
image

The breathlessness was a result of all the frenetic action in front of me. I could hardly keep up with all the battles. How does one judge these things? They all looked awesome to me. I am guessing that the three interesting people who were judging the dances were watching for technically challenging moves. I say interesting, because the judges seemed rather young. I wonder if they were experts or just appointed judges for the evening...

But my subconscious worry was because I was approximating the number of subtle shear injuries all these dancers were accumulating as they danced. Most of the battling dancers were pushing their bodies to the extreme. They were achieving what would have been physically impossible without a high velocity movement of their limbs. If I had a speed gun yesterday, I am sure it would have recorded the same velocity as a windmill in buffalo on a particularly windy day... and we all know that's not really a pastoral idyllic scene.

It was absolutely dazzling to watch at close quarters but it left me with some doubts about why I would want to take such an intense hip hop class. On the other hand, life would not be challenging or half as interesting if I limply sat here and chomped on those windmill biscuits with tea, would it?


NB: If you want to experience windmills, worlds apart from what Don Quixote battled, and a completely novel approach to what self-expression through dance can mean, trot on down to Verve Studios on Main street (above the Hyatt Art Store) and see the battles for yourself. Verve studio is electrifying hip hop on the web at this
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Permalink: http://estrip.org/articles/read/tinypliny/53303/Dance_battles_and_such.html
Words: 399
Location: Buffalo, NY
Last Modified: 12/20/10 04:10


Category: buffalo

12/18/10 12:17 - 28.ºF - ID#53296

Buffalo Library Webpage Clutter

Who on earth thought up this splendid idea for the library's homepage?!

UGH. Hurts my brain.

image

If I had been about to donate, I would have second thoughts after witnessing this level of tackiness.
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Permalink: http://estrip.org/articles/read/tinypliny/53296/Buffalo_Library_Webpage_Clutter.html
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Location: Buffalo, NY
Last Modified: 12/18/10 12:22


Category: music

12/17/10 10:43 - 28.ºF - ID#53294

Talismán

I love this song to bits. The lyrics ring so true for me right now and the music is SO incredibly Rainbow + Deep Purple with that unmistakable magic of Rata Blanca...



Fui como un ángel caído
preso de mi libertad
hasta que te conocí
por esas calles

Fue porque quiso el destino
que te pudiera encontrar
y hoy no sé como seguir
cuando no estás

Te agradezco que sanes mi alma
sobrevivo encontrando en tus ojos
el resplandor de un verde talismán

Si al final esta vida es un sueño
sólo sé que a tu lado me quiero despertar
amanecer una vez más

Sabes, cuando era muy joven
nunca pensé que el amor me daría
sin preguntar tantas respuestas

Y hoy me fío de pocos
y hoy que reina la traición
se que alguien puede curar mi corazón
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Permalink: http://estrip.org/articles/read/tinypliny/53294/Talism_n.html
Words: 151
Location: Buffalo, NY
Last Modified: 12/17/10 11:57


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