New Thing #236: All My Sons

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I don’t get out to real theatre performances often anymore. But tonight I had the chance to see my good friend Janice Gibson perform in Arthur Miller’s “All My Sons”.

I’ve just left the theatre and I feel absolutely gutted. I just want to get home and hug my family. That’s how invested I was with these characters.

I went into this purposely not spoiling anything. It’s refreshing to walk into something completely cold. Without any preconceived notions I was able to be completely overwhelmed by the plot and performances.

Sometimes I feel it’s a gamble when you see community theatre, but the actors did a tremendous job. Just outstanding.

I’m so glad I made it out for this one, even though I’ve just been informed that I got on the wrong bus and am now up at Steeles.

F’n TTC.

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New Thing #235: Watch Paranormal Activity

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Back in the day, The Blair Witch Project scared the shit out of me. I know it shouldn’t have, but I have a certain thing about being alone in the woods at night. And that thing is that it scares the shit out of me.

Paranormal Activity seemed on the same trajectory with it’s marketing push of found footage and weird crap taking place. And it pretty much delivered on that promise.

It was sufficiently creepy and well paced enough that I was mostly on edge for the whole movie. Was it the scariest thing I’ve ever watched? No (see aforementioned Blair Witch Project), but it was a good little horror movie and I’m glad I saw it.

Now if you’ll excuse me I have a few lights to turn on.

 

New Thing #234: Make Hot Chocolate From Scratch

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This one seems like a no-brainer, but no, I’ve never made my own hot chocolate before. I’ve always been one of those Carnation kids.

Thankfully, this is another one of those new things that I could involve Audrey in. Anything that lets her pour one thing into another thing is just the bee’s knees to her.

Also, I seem to have an abundance of homemade marshmallows to make my way through before they go stale. And what better way to do that than watch them slowly dissolve into some cocoa and milk.

I went a little fancy with this one; first infusing the milk with some cinnamon sticks while it simmered and then adding a touch of vanilla extract to the individual mugs at the end. The result was a silky smooth and just sweet enough chocolatey concoction.

The best part is that there’s only four ingredients to keep track of compared to what goes into that canned stuff. (Plus chocolate shavings, but I don’t count them.)

New Thing #233: Attend a Bar Tending Class

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Months after actually purchasing a one time bar tending course from LivingSocial my friend Kathleen and I managed to get our asses in gear and attend a three hour lesson.

The class took place at Empire Lounge, which used to be W.C. Field’s back in the day. Coincidentally it was also Kathleen’s and my local haunt when we worked together at my first real advertising job.

The class was a little overcrowded by people with no professional bar tending ambitions, or any kitchen skills at all for that matter. So our course was running long after just one hands on cocktail making experience.

For the rest of the evening we mostly watched and learned the proper techniques rather than try them for ourselves. Thankfully, we at least got to sample each cocktail he made along the way.

Much like when I took a knife skills class after years of cooking at home I can’t say I learned anything earth shattering tonight. What I did walk away with were some handy techniques that will make my cocktails even better.

Also, I am now armed with the knowledge to convince Shauna that we need a proper citrus press for the kitchen.

New Thing #232: Make Homemade Marshmallows

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I ran across a recipe for marshmallows online one day and realized that they really aren’t that difficult to make. Well, not if you have a stand mixer and a rainy afternoon in which to entertain a four year old.

This has to have been the most fun I’ve had making a dessert. Audrey seemed to have a good time with it too. I can’t wait until the morning when I can slice ’em up and give some a try.

I almost hope tomorrow is as cold and damp as today was just so I can have the best cup of hot chocolate with marshmallows ever!

New Thing #231: Play Stay Alive

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I remember the commercial for Stay Alive with Vincent Price vividly from my childhood. I also remember the shiny marbles on the box enticing me to buy it. But we never did and I never knew anyone who had the game.

So when I saw it for $1.99 at Value Village today in almost mint condition (1 blue marble is missing if anyone has a match), I snatched it up.

And then Shauna proceeded to hand my own ass to me over, and over again.

I’m sure with a little bit more practice and spacial recognition skills I’ll get the hang of this one. It’s really quite fun. 

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New Thing #230: Tangled

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Forgive me for watching a relatively recent movie as my new thing today, my daughter was home sick from school and I’ve been keeping her company. Seemed like the perfect time to thow in Tangled, which unlike my daughter, I have not already seen a half dozen times.

I also have to say that it’s really well done. It’s telling of the times when the villain is a passive agressive mother figure instead of, say, a dragon.

It’s a really interesting take on Rapunzel and I feel really good about Audrey being exposed to a pretty strong female lead. Sure she ends up with (spoiler) the boy in the end but you can tell she’s doing it for the right reasons. Plus, this movie is on par with Pixar in some scenes for sure beauty adn imagination. 

And for the first time in a very long time I actually found some of the songs in a Disney film sticking with me after watching it. 

I would also like to point out the movie poster attached to this post. We saw this around town leading up to the films release and I’d marvel at it every time we passed by. I love its simplicity and ability to telegraph the story in a single glance.

New Thing #229: Read The Little Mermaid

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I’ve never read anything by Hans Christian Anderson before. Sure, I know the broad strokes of a lot of his stories, but that’s about it.

Also, I’ve never actually seen Disney’s The Little Mermaid all the way through either. I sat through about 20 minutes of it at a weird after prom party that ended with me driving the girl I liked home with her date in tow. So I have mixed feelings about that movie. But I digress.

The story, although translated, is beautifully composed and I was quite taken with the descriptions of the little mermaid’s underwater realm. Like most fairy tales of the time there is an inherent brutality to the choices she must make as well, which I’ve always been a proponent of. But somewhere around three-quarters in it sort veers off the track into a really weird, out of the blue conclusion.

Now I can’t wait to see the inevitable Sassy Gay Friend version of it show up on YouTube.

New Thing #228: iOS 5

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This has been the most exhaustive and exhausting OS update I have ever done. What started out as a quick update soon turned into a complete wipe of my devices followed by an arduous install.

Hours later (and about 2lbs of chicken wings later) my iPhone and iPad were finally boasting the new operating system. However, even more hours later I am still entering logins to services I have installed on both.

So although I’ve played with some of the new features and love the new notification system I haven’t had nearly enough time to actually enjoy the damned thing.

I guess that’s what tomorrow’s subway ride is for.

New Thing #227: Larry The Cable Guy

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The above is just a taste of the material that Larry The Cable Guy shat out in front of over 50,000 people for his Tailgate Party album and DVD. I’d link to it, but I’m more considerate than that. 

Nothing about this man is funny, and nothing about him is even remotely intelligent. I listened to an hour of him performing bits about Viagra, farts and Nascar and laughed exactly once at a pretty crude joke he made at Hillary Clinton’s expense. And then I felt a dirty for it.

After recently listening to the brilliant Lenny Bruce and his relentless disection of society it’s disgusting that this man can draw in so, so many people to listen to his drivel.

It almost makes me nostaligic for the good old days of Jeff Foxworthy. Yes, it’s that bad.

UPDATE: I just noticed that this is post #227 which reminded me that 227 is another piece of stupid comedy that is infinitely better than anything that comes out of this idiot’s mouth.

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