Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Cristy Road Bad Habits

I can't remember the first time I met this wacky Florida girl Cristy Road who had named herself after the Green Day Song "Christy Road", but I think the first time I heard of her was '97 or '98. She used to call the mail order phone at Lookout and want to talk about Green Day and all things related. Rop, always willing to indulge a girl in the cutest of ways talked to her every day I think. The legend is she would call every day after school and yap about anything on her mind. She's still sort of like that, only now she's an amazing and accomplished artist and published graphic novel author. Rop likes to take credit for turning her on to riot girl and we can let him, 'cuz I think we're all luckier for it.

Her new book "Bad Habits: A Love Story" is out now and she's doing readings all over the place including one at my local barnes and noble this Thursday! I'm so proud!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Simple Social Graces: List Of The Week 9/26/2008

Healthy Korner Vegrtarian Chicken and Turkey Salad sandwiches:

I love these guys when I’m flying out of JFK. Only 200 cals and totally delicious. They come in vegan and non vegan varieties and are absolutely satisfying.  I left a message like a weirdo on their answering machine yesterday to see if I could find out where they sell them in midtown but so far no reply. If you have a tip, let me know!

627 Lb Woman: Jackie's Story

I stumbled upon this show,”627 Lb Woman: Jackie's Story the other night while flipping channels during commercials of some other terrible show I was watching. Although I felt extremely voyeuristic there was something so sweet and positive about Jackie that I wanted to stay and watch the whole thing. The moment where she hugs and kisses  the EMT workers who brought her home from the hospital after her gastic bypass was just so tender. She’s now down about 400 pounds to 200+ and apparently it’s still a struggle but she has the best attitude. An inspiration for us all!

Cooking School

I’ve had two real days of classes and all I can say is, it’s NO JOKE! Besides the fact that I have to rush from work on the Wednesday class night so I feel a little sweaty when I suit up it’s been intense and exciting so far. So far we’ve done:

Knife Skills one 
French Knife Skills (this is really specific and precise and I need to practice a LOT.) 
Equipment ID (here is the difference between a Chinoise and a China Cap)

Tomorrow is Japanese Knife Skills two and I’m excited and nervous. I have to nurse my incoming cold so I can last for 9 hours on my feet!

Dig Out Your Soul

Oasis’ new album is available "Dig Out Your Soul" for pre-sale and I bought it because a friend passed it on to me before street date and I felt guilty for not buying it… so I did. And now I’m listening incessantly to it and loving it. “Shock of the Lightning” is my song of the year so far.

Have a great week!

Monday, September 22, 2008

M.F.K Fisher and Jean on Jean, tonight in NYC!

Tonight is excited because there are cool things to DO! First, http://nicolelang.blogspot.com/ and I are going to the New School to hear a lecture on M.F.K. Fisher the master(mistress?) food writer. We went to the Julia Child lecture here a few months ago and it was fantastic. It's wonderful how many people of all ages, genders and ethnicities are simply interested in food!

The we're heading over to the Cake Shop to see the debut performance of Jean On Jean. This is Molly Schick's new project/band who's album just came out and is a treasure of sweet vocals and infectious songs. I've known Molly since she was about 16 and playing bass in Raooul one of the only all girl bands in the east bay. We're also members of the Dessert of The Month Club and Supper Clubs so we get to see eachother fairly regularly. Besides the awesome fact that we share a name, Molly is one of the kindest and sweetest people you'll ever know. Check her shit out!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Simple Social Graces: List Of The Week

purse contents, bcn, spain nov. 2006

Here are some rad things I learned about this week. Passing on the info!

IRS refund status

If you are waiting for a refund from the IRS (like me?!) you can go here, enter your social security number, filing status and amount your waiting on and it will tell you EXACTLY when you’re check will be mailed. Sweet!

Starbucks Rewards

OK, I’m sure many of you “hate” starbucks and love bad coffee from the bodega but if you’re like me and love a small cup of strong and DELICIOUS coffee with a reliably good taste you go to SB’s once in a while. I’m trying to cut back on some small expenses here and there so I’m not going as often but my friend Tej tipped me to the fact that if you use your starbucks card and it’s registered , you get free refills all day as long as you keep your cup. Also, you get two free hours of wifi and free soy milk or syrup if you happen to like that crap!  

Register your Starbucks Card

Twitter Pic

I admit I have become a total interweb goofball over the last two weeks. I started twittering to update my myspace, blog and facebook all at the same time and with twitter pic you can instantly update with a pic you take from your camera phone. I think it’s fun!

Ted Leo and The Pharmacists “Rapid Response” benefit EP

I already have a whole post about this but if you haven’t bought it yet you’re a turkey.


Food and food preparation safety

So an early result of my new schooling is food safety and cleanliness practices in the kitchen. Here is a cool site to check out to learn more!


Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Today's the Day

A year ago I started dreaming about a new future. A future with nature and water and a different kind of life. Somewhere near a beach, with not too many people and space and time. Now this dream takes time and money to make happen but one of the steps towards it was getting some new skills but in an area I already loved. Through my travels in the last few years I've become obsessed with different styles of cooking and different cultural appreciations of food. This has coincided with what seems like a foodie revolution, awareness of ingredients and preparation is much higher thanks to random things like top chef and food network, but we can always go back to our roots and thank Julia Child for her part in raising the bar for us Americans by bringing true obsession to these shores.

But I also started thinking about my work and my skills. I work in an intuitive relationship based industry. While there are certainly facts here and there, the changing landscape in the music business and the media world at large has made the future of this business tenuous at best. I feel like I need to get some different skills, ones that are transferable and possibly useful in places outside of New York and LA. 

So inspired by many people including my foodie friends and my hope that a world in which vegetarianism and natural foods will only become more and more widely respected, and in honor of my 20th year of vegetarianism, I've enrolled in the chef's training program at the Natural Gourmet Institute for Health and Culinary Arts. It's a 10 months program (almost 12 with the internship) and a big commitment for me! It's longer than a human gestation period!

So wish me luck as I embark on this journey that begins tonight. I'll keep you posted of course!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Ted Leo and the Pharmacists "Rapid Response" benefit EP on sale now

During the RNC convention in St. Paul a few weeks ago, the arrests and brutal treament of the protesters was not widely covered in the mainstream media. In response, Ted Leo and The Pharmacists recorded an EP of four songs to benefit Democracy Now (one of the few places widely covering the treatement of the protesters and home to Amy Goodman who was arrested as well) and Minneapolis Food Not Bombs, the center of the activist community in the twin cities area and homebase to many of the protesters during the convention. Please buy the EP and support this effort to raise awareness to the governments attempts to limit free speach and raise money to those who support freedom of speech and what is righteous.

To purchase go to: Touch And Go Records

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Arriba Con La Seleccion Salvadoreña!!

It's world cup qualifiers week and there is some awesome footie going on. Besides Paraguay's amazing victory over Venezuela, El Salvador beat Haiti 5-0 and will advance to the next round. WOOHOOOO. We at SSG HQ LOVE Paraguay and El Salvador and couldn't be more proud of all the guys!. In celebration we're jamming this tune quite a bit. Baila con nosotros!

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Xocolata en Barcelona

I feel like I posted this before but I forgot if I did and I can't find it in the old posts so... if so... here it is again!

On a visit to Barcelona two years ago I was taken to Granja M. Viader a dairy bar near Raval where Cacaolat was created (basically like yoohoo but better.) The specialty is simply the most decadent pudding like hot chocolate you've ever tasted. You can either get it with whipped cream or without (I got it with) and it's such a treat. You need about 4 cups of coffee to wash it down but it's worth it.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Fitness and feeling good

For the last two years I've been seeing a personal trainer Malcolm Milton, at the  Dodge Y in Brooklyn.  This also has coincided with love and happiness which has brought a lot of delivery meals to my door, all of which I have been able to consume in massive amounts. The sum of this equation is while I am stronger than I've ever been, my lung capacity is up and I feel healthy, I have gained weight. I'm finally facing that reality and not wanting it to remain the case I've decided to actively try to lose what I've put on over the last two years. I just want my clothes to feel right and to feel right again. 

My new program is:
Malcolm once a week (generally on Monday) for a workout that looks something like:
3 sets of core and cardio
  • 3 x 20 bench press w/ leg lift or push ups
  • 3 x 20 squats or lunges
  • 3 x 20 kettle bell swing
  • 3 x 30 crunches on stability ball  
  • 3 x 100 revolutions on the jump rope or 3 minutes on the summit trainer

2 sets of isolated arms, legs and abs
  • 2 x 20 bicep curls
  • 2 x 20 triceps curls
  • 1 x 30 adductor exercises
  • 1 x 30 abductor exercises
  • 100 bicycle kicks
  • 2 x 30 additional abs
  • 1 x 30 calve exercises

cool down stretching
stretch arms, back, quads, hamstrings, calves, core

The other days I'm trying to do cardio, walk more and generally be outside moving whenever I can. 

I'm trying to eat less, cook more and generally eat better.

I'm really only telling you all this so you can check out Malcolms You Tube page and see how sweet he is!  And to wish me luck on my journey!

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Day One U.S. Open Men's Semifinals

So over a month ago we got tickets to the U.S. Open men's semifinals because after Wimbledon I've been so excited about tennis. Venus and Serena were so magnificent and Rafa was so exciting in the final match, I decided I really wanted to see him play live.

So today was the day. We had tickets to both matches and Federer vs. Djokovic was first. Climbing up to our seats in section 333 of Arthur Ashe stadium was awesome and the first three sets were great. Midway through the 3rd set there was announcement that because of the impending storm the second match, Nadal vs. Murray was going to be played concurrently on the much smaller Louis Armstrong court and seats were a first come first serve basis. So we basically ran over there so we could see the match. Joder! It was so small. Rafa and Andy were warming up and we were able to get sets FIVE ROWS BACK. It was tremendous. Honestly, I almost cried. The sets were tough and Rafa was down two and set to win the third when the rain began. They kept most of us in the vicinity for about an hour until they finally announced the match was postponed until 4 PM Sunday. So.... we go back tomorrow. But meanwhile, the memories of today are still unbelievable.

Match One, Roger vs. Novak
View from our seats in section 333, but still rad

Turkey Reading The Paper During the Match
This turkey was reading the paper during the second set.

Match 2: Rafa vs. Andy
Warm up

Rafael Nadal. This close
This is how close we were!

Love Or Perish Tour Pics

photo by chip
I can only imagine the van conversations of Carlos, Massimo, Chip and Dan, my brothers in crime in Love or Perish. These pics give you a glimpse. Carlos in particular seems to be enjoying himself!

Friday, September 05, 2008

The Word Is Out: Jermaine I love you.

When I was in highschool my best friend and I volunteered a few times to work at the Adams Morgan Day event every September. If you live in D.C. you should go next weekend! Anyway, one year Jeramaine Stewart (another year Atlantic Starr!) was a performer and we worked his stage. I was able to dance on stage and I am still psyched about the moment. RIP Jermaine. You were a treasure. 

Thursday, September 04, 2008

green getaways with V.C. Andrews

Escaping from NY is a common theme for many of us who live here in the city. It's wonderful to have so many places to go within just a few hours of train or driving but everything requires lots of detailed planning and can be a pain in the butt! We decided to make this weekend "green" by taking our bikes on the train to go back and forth to the beach (only 3 miles from the hotel we were at.) Yay us!

Anyway, one of the sweet not too widely known about spots is Greenwich Point Beach, easily accessible from the Old Greenwich metro north train station. Besides being a relatively quiet beach visited by mostly locals, having a decent snack bar with veggie burgers as well as your standard dogs and fried clam sandwiches, it has a lending library of books beach goers have left behind. The pickings were pretty slim but I was happy enough to stumble upon Garden Of Shadows by V.C. Andrews.

I actually never read Flowers In The Attic when I was a kid although I did see some part of a movie version at some point. It seemed creepy and I never did like the idea of confinement, preferring tales of greenery and liberty like The Secret Garden and Ballet Shoes. Garden of Shadows is a fantastic read as in, it takes 2 seconds to finish and is super creepy (incest, god, sexism) therefore entertaining, but how can it be for kids??

Crema Catalana

I had the desire to make Crema Catalana (I'm not exactly a dessert girl) for a dinner party a few weeks ago. In addition to the recipe below I made some blackberry/raspberry syryp and added one fresh blackberry and two raspberries. I made an error after I had added the eggs and returned the creme to the heat and removed it before it was thick enough, so it never became the smooth delicious custard I had envisioned. When I realized it was not coming together properly, I consulted my personal dessert guru aka Lang, and we decided to freeze it. It actually "tasted" delicious, but I was a little sad. As always, cooking is science and experimentation!

6 egg yolks
1 liter of milk
6 oz. of sugar
1 lemon
1 vanilla cane

boil the milk in a pot with the lemon peel, vanilla bean (scraped inside and cane) and sugar.
once it starts to boil, take it off the heat and strain.
slowly add the egg yolks to the hot milk, stirring constantly.
return the milk to the heat, stirring with a wooden spoon, let it boil and THICKEN, once it's as thick as a soft custard, remove from the heat.
pour custard into ceramic pots and let it cool, approximately 3 hours.
as you prepare to serve, sprinkle sugar on top, heat cake slice and press on surface to crystalize sugar.



this is a link to my girl Nicole's blog and her accumulation of comment on the Palin atrocity. 

Thanks Nicole!

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Donate to Obama/Biden here

If nothing else, it's just easy as hell!
Donate NOW!

Listen to new Delorean remix of the Mystery Jets

There are few things I love more in the world than the people in delorean. one of the things I love just as much is their music. While we wait for their new songs, they are busy doing remizxes for The Teenagers from France and the Mystery Jets from the UK. If you listen to this new mix of Half In Love With Elizabeth you just get so psyched. And really, you just want to listen to them more. SO DO THAT!

Wednesday Sept. 3rd: a day of action!

Well the world sure can be tedious, especially when the republican (I'm trying to think of a way to say that diminuatively as republicans like to say "democrat party"but so far nothing clever has come to me) party is really pushing it. Ever since the Sarah Palin VP announcement has been made I've done everything I can to avoid hearing her voice. Today at the gym was pretty easy because on the news they had her doing a walk through of her speech but the audio wasn't on. So the image of her is annoying and unpleasant, but her voice is what kills me. Anyway. I will do what I can to avoid hearing her except at the biden debate and do what I can to get Obama-Biden elected in November.

Speaking of feminism and sexism and other annoying things, today in a meeting someone referred to someone as "having a boner for" a certain musical group, and later in reference to getting paid back for a debt in records that he was going to "rape the walls of the store." I didn't confront it, and was sickened by myself for having not.

But in the world of feeling good, those of us who support Manchester City Football Club can be thrilled with the new owners and new signing of Robinho and whhile we can celebrate we can listen to this!

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Welcome to the revitalized Simple Social Graces Blog

This is where we talk about:

And smart things!!