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Category: music

01/31/09 05:54 - 16ºF - ID#47585

Opera: D. Hvorostovsky and C. Orbelian

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Dimitri Hvorostovsky, Constantine Orbelian And The Moscow Chamber Orchestra - I can only say, what a magnificent team!

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Performing a whole bunch of Russian operas/folksongs/wartime songs with the Moscow Chamber Orchestra (Philharmonia of Russia). I am in operatic heaven. :)

















Now doesn't he have the most awesome voice ever?
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  • Thank you, mrbusy.
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Permalink: Opera_D_Hvorostovsky_and_C_Orbelian.html
Words: 134
Location: Buffalo, NY


Category: eating in

01/24/09 11:56 - 10ºF - ID#47509

Speculoos

Some of my worst and best flying experiences have been on Delta.

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They ALWAYS strand me at a dodgy hotel in Atlanta, where there is always some weird embarrassing party going on. The first time it was an uncomfortable vain-socialites-of-the-world-unite party.

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The second time, it was some religious zealot supergroup from Pakistan and India, combined.

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The less said about these parties, the better.

The happier side of flying delta are these Biscoff speculoos.

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These are unimaginably crisp cinnamony pieces of spice heavens. I used to hoard them while flying and on occasion have lied to the flight attendants to get extra ones. YES, they are that good. Then I moved to Buffalo and found that the Walgreens on North and Delaware carried these biscuits! I was pretty thrilled. I try to forget that they sell them because usually, I have this tendency to gorge myself on whatever I am addicted to till I am sick of them and can let go of them forever. But I like these biscuits so much that I don't want to get deaddicted! See?

{PS: I am happy to report that my unhealthy love-affair with Twizzlers and Andy Capps hot fries is finally over because of intentional overindulgence.}
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Permalink: Speculoos.html
Words: 211
Location: Buffalo, NY


Category: e:strip

01/23/09 06:16 - 41ºF - ID#47502

Do you follow the "e:strip rules"??!

I just found out that apparently, I totally cross and break some of them...

From:

Additionally, all users of (e:strip) (e:services) including guests, visitors of the site, and (e:peeps) agree not to:
1. "stalk" or otherwise harass anyone;



I am the official (and self-declared) (e:mike)'s #1 Stalker. If that is not a blatant violation, I don't know what is! Additionally, I also specialize in annoying and harassing the hell out of everyone.


2. collect personal data about other users for commercial or unlawful purposes;



Oh man. I do collect personal data on all of you for future and present use. I use this personal data to great effect often when I meet you on the streets and in gatherings. Hee Hee.

I am a rule-breaker!
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Permalink: Do_you_follow_the_quot_e_strip_rules_quot_.html
Words: 139
Location: Buffalo, NY


Category: eating in

01/11/09 12:20 - 19ºF - ID#47361

Penang Stir Fry

I made a multi-vegetable penang sauce based stir-fry for dinner today.

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It did take quite a long time by my normal dinner standards but the result was beyond what I expected so I am going to document the recipe here before I forget.

Tofu - Prep
- Freeze Firm tofu (NOT extra firm)
- Thaw and cut into thin cubes

The Penang Sauce
Dry toast coriander seeds, a large number of hot dried red chillies and peanuts.

Blend to a fine paste:
- Freshly Toasted Coriander Seeds, Red Chillies and Peanuts (from above)
- Fresh Coriander (DO NOT discard stems. They are the most intense essence of the coriander).
- Several garlic cloves.
- One small red onion
- One green lime - pulp, rind and juice.
- Galangal
- Ginger
- Regular Soy Sauce

The Stir Fry
- In a wide bottomed pan, take around 1-1.5 tablespoon of peanut oil. Swivel the pan to coat the entire pan. Heat on stove.
- Wait till the oil is thinning out but NOT smoking.
- Lay the the tofu cubes down in one layer over the heated oil in the pan.
- Wait till one side is browned, carefully flip over to the other side without breaking the cubes. Brown this side as well.
- Add some cumin seeds. Saute for a while
- Add chopped green bell peppers. Saute for a while
- Add salt and carrots. Saute for a while
- Add shredded savoy cabbage. Saute for a while
- Add chopped snow peas. Saute for a while
- Add chopped broccoli.
- Add penang sauce (to taste - you probably made a lot more than you need for this dish, if you followed the method above)
- Saute till broccoli is a bright bright green

Take off heat. Serve with basmati rice. :)
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Permalink: Penang_Stir_Fry.html
Words: 306
Location: Buffalo, NY


Category: grocery

01/10/09 09:12 - 18ºF - ID#47358

The illustrated grocery List - Jan 2009

I am quite shocked at how I managed to buy $100+ worth of groceries this week. This post was going to be a contender for the dullest journal of 2009 but I thought about it and really, getting groceries are never a dull experience for me. Its only fair that a post about them is just as graphic and colourful! :)

Super Bazaar

- Red Onions - 4lb - $3.98
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Really, there is no onion like the red onion. Yellow cooking onions bite the dust when you try and make them rise above the oniocasion.

- Cilantro 2 HUGE eye-poppingly fresh bunches - $1.00
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This is the best and the cheapest cilantro (coriander) in Buffalo.

- Tomatoes ~3lbs - $0.99/pound - $2.96
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Life in winter is depressing without Tomatoes. Its also rather harsh and uncreative if you don't have the reds from this beautiful fruit to balance out the foods representing other areas of the colour wheel.

- Fresh Ginger - Quite a lot - $1.35
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Ginger is always best at Super Bazaar. Sometimes, its also the cheapest. Like today.

- Fresh Karuvepalai ("Curry Leaves") 1 measly but oh-so-satisfying-till-it-lasts bunch - $0.99
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- Thai Green Chillies - 0.99 (around 30)
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- Indian Super Hot Green Chillies - 0.99 (around 10)
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- Green Bottle Gourd (aka Ghiya) - $2.88
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- Moong Dal (A "core" lentil in South Indian cooking) - 6lb - $7.98
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- Tata Tetley Elaichi Tea (Cardamom tea) - $4.99 (72 Tea bags)
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- Tata Tetley Variety Taster Teas - $2.45 (Cardamom, Masala and Ginger)
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- Maggie "Healthy" Veggie Atta Noodles - 1 single-serve bag - $0.79
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(The "vegetables" in the whole pack of noodles were 10 dried green peas, 10 dried 2mm flakes of carrots and 2-3 dried flakes of tomatoes and a huge fist of Monosodium Glutamate. Healthy indeed. Good to know that these "newer" "healthier" noodles taste just as uninspired as the originals. Yeah. Somethings in life never need change. )

- Gujarati Bikaneri Bhujia - $1.99
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- Gujarati Jamnagri Ghathiya - $1.99
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- 1 Kg Haldiram Bhujiya - $7.99
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- 1 pack frozen Pillsbury Aloo Parantha - $2.99
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I see some eyebrows go up and you know who you are. YOU are driving me homesick writing about paranthas every weekend!

- South Indian Lime Pickle - Mother's - $1.99
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- 1 pack Asafoetida - $1.99
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(I can't believe I finally ran out! Unbelievable!) The author of a really famous south Indian recipe book suggests that families get 2Kg (~4.5lb) of this crazy spice every month! I am not quite sure why she recommended such insane amounts. It's not as if you use a fistful in each dish! Just a dusting is so powerful! She must have been totally high when she wrote her book! And man, I am scared to even think about how her home must have smelled like...

- 1 pack Tamarind concentrate paste - $1.99
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- 1 Fresh Samosa with two chutneys - $1.00
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Subtotal: $53.28

Guercios:

- 8 Granny Smith Apples - $5.50 @1.29/lb
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- Extra Virgin Olive Oil 250ml - $2.49
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- BIG (3lb?) bag of spinach - $3.99
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- Kalamata dried figs - $3.99
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- Carrots 2lb - $1.00
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- Roasted Red Pepper Hummus 396g - $3.59
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- Zucchini 2 medium sized - $1.35
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- Small white potatoes (3)
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- Canary Beans 1lb - $0.79
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(I don't know what these taste like, yet! Here's hoping they don't flunk my lentil test!)

- Fresh Basil 1 teeny bunch - $1.25
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- Some other produce that I can't remember - $1.15
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(I hate it that they don't put put names on the receipts! I have no idea what this is! Damn.)

Subtotal: $25.49

Wegmans
- Wegmans Fat Free Milk 2 Gallons - $4.78
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- Wegmans Low Fat Vanilla Yoghurt - $1.99
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- Wegmans tomato-basil sauce - $1.98
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This is a standby for tomato deficient days - of which I have had my miserably nasty share these past few days.

- Wegmans Peanut Oil 32oz - $4.99
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AHH! FINALLY.

- Macintosh Apples 3lb - $2.97
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(I don't have hopes of these outshining Granny Smiths - but trying them out just in case...)

- Broccoli Crowns - 3.26lb @ $1.29/lb - $4.21
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- Bananas 3.55lb @ 0.49/lb - $1.74
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- Green Cabbage 2.89lb @ 0.69/lb - $1.99
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- Savoy Cabbage 1.37 @ 0.69/lb - $0.95
(These are awesome for stir-frying with other veggies)
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Subtotal: $25.60

Tops
Mustard Greens $1.72lb @ 0.99/lb: $1.70
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(These are my MOST favourite cooking greens!)

Subtotal: $1.70

Grand Total: $106.07
(Whoosh. That's quite a lot. I need to tone down this crazy homesickness tackling grocery spending next time!)

PS: (e:pmrk), what did you get? :)
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Permalink: The_illustrated_grocery_List_Jan_2009.html
Words: 786
Location: Buffalo, NY


Category: music

01/10/09 12:50 - 18ºF - ID#47342

Grave Digger - YES! THE BAND. DEAL.

I did some serious - no make that dead serious grocery shopping today and started posting my grocery list in keeping with the recently established (e:strip) grocery costs and lists tradition. I even ran into my grocery-inspiration (e:pmrk) at Wegmans and my grocery trip was (e:topped) with the perfect (e:inspiration)! :)

BUT while typing up my grocery list - one of my very old favourites somehow sneaked into my playlist and WOW. I am blown away for the millionth time.

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Grave Digger have always been heads and shoulders, my hands down run away favourites, but I forgot just how much this particular self-titled album rocks even after 8 full years!

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Every song has so many catchy, detailed and rich layered riffs by the incredibly talented Manni Schmidt, it's impossible not to be sucked right in.

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I can't comprehend that 8 whole years have gone by so swiftly! I was just as wildly excited hearing it in 2001, completely out of breath and dizzy from too much wild headbanging as I am right now (I do miss that out-of-control-amazon-forest hair that I don't have anymore!). Some bands just have it in them to magically transport me to happier times in a time machine. :)

I know all that dead serious grocery shopping does need some loving grave digging, but it won't be tonight. I am too stoked headbanging to nostalgia to concentrate. :)

Special greets go out to (e:pmrk)! Loved running into you! :^D
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Permalink: Grave_Digger_YES_THE_BAND_DEAL_.html
Words: 255
Location: Buffalo, NY
Last Modified: 11/09/11 08:04


Category: the odes

01/06/09 09:18 - 27ºF - ID#47314

Pearls Before Swine

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Everyone needs a reality check sometimes. But only Stephan Pastis delivers this check with porcine astuteness.



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Permalink: Pearls_Before_Swine.html
Words: 31
Location: Buffalo, NY


Category: science

01/04/09 05:01 - 33ºF - ID#47281

Why brain cells *really* die.

To answer's (e:zzzzzzzoooooob)bbbbbbaarrrr's unasked question:

Current scientific thought points to the following processes:

a)
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+

b)
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+

c)
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But we all know why they *REALLY* die!

PROOF!
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a) Sitcoms
+
b) Arguments with kids
+
c) Beauty Magazines
+
d) Treadmills!
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Permalink: Why_brain_cells_really_die_.html
Words: 45
Location: Buffalo, NY


Category: the odes

01/03/09 10:20 - 22ºF - ID#47261

More New Year Resolutions...

Ranked in descending order from toughest to easiest:

3. Logon and check (e:strip) only once a day!
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4. Complete one page of academic writing every day.
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5. Draft tasklists and try and complete 75% -> 100% of the list every day.
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6. Finish writing and propose before this month is out.
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7. Take notes on worthwhile articles and keep up the running notes diary.
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8. Will finally gather my wits together and start discussion sessions with future collaborators and draft grant ideas @rate of 1/month.
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9. Cut down on non-productive interaction. Reply to relevant emails promptly.
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10. Erase hate-like emotions and cultivate indifference instead because really, sometimes I couldn't care less.
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Here's to a more streamlined 2009!!
TP
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Permalink: More_New_Year_Resolutions_.html
Words: 125
Location: Buffalo, NY


Category: the odes

01/02/09 07:28 - 32ºF - ID#47248

Hope as a construct.

This is going to be a rather boring abstract stream of thoughts from some of yesterday's conversations. Thus, feel free to skip this journal. I am writing it because really, the construct of hope continues to fascinate me. I am not sure whether its this particular holiday season - the only one I have spent away from immediate family or because I am at this crazy unsure point in my school. Every step seems to take an eternity because a thousand thoughts flow and ebb before I complete it.

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At the last minute I see patterns in the waves and that changes the place where my step is finally going to take root. I am almost about to place my foot down but I look down and I see its not solid ground.

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Its a wild desolate marsh full of exotic colours - they are so exciting and pretty but they are also so foreign I can't name them even if I try really hard! I look up and there is a lighthouse but its lights are too distant and fog shrouds its outlines. Its a hint of hope. Every little thing I see is tinged with hope when what I really want is for them to be fully coloured with bold broad firm strokes.

I think hope is very contextual in its distribution. Its in tune with what we do for a living and what our particular situation in life is. Why does this nonuniform distribution even exist? Why is it that our professional lives are, more often than not, tempered with a heavier dose of hopes and convictions than our perspective of the professional fields that others work in? Does this unequal hope temperance only happen when we have invested a high level of effort and deliberation in choosing and pursuing our professions? It surely does not stand a chance when we hate our jobs, but it thrives when we feel even a tenuous and remote connection to what we do for our living.

Are we merely justifying the work that went into being qualified for a living when we cultivate dreams for its future and believe in them? Or do we think that somehow our "expert insight" into our professions extend to also detecting shiny and hopeful visions of this field in the crystal ball? Does all this also stunt our visions for other professional fields? Is it some psychological one-bird-in-hand grapes-are-sour phenomenon?

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New Year Resolution 2. Write down craziness when it occurs. Use writing as a weapon for thought resolution. Check.




Photos:


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Permalink: Hope_as_a_construct_.html
Words: 452
Location: Buffalo, NY


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mike said to mike
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