November 22, 2004

Busy busy

So I’ve had a busy couple of weeks. First off, I got a job. It’s a law office, which is not too exciting, but the people are very nice and I get two Tea & Toast Breaks, with company’s own biscuits, so that’s good stuff.

More importantly, Éclair and Lady P. have arrived and we’re about a quarter-way through the town, paint pots in hand. They got here Saturday afternoon and we went out for a nice dinner in Temple Bar and then we went to Grogan’s, where we had some interested experiences with the locals --- though we’re pretty sure we didn’t believe that guy with the missing finger who kept telling us his great-grandmother was Molly Malone, and then to Hogan’s and then to Ri-Ra. Then we went home, smoothly jumping the cab queue like the city slickers we are.

Yesterday, after a leisurely breakfast, we went to the Wax Museum. It was awesomely cheesy and incredibly hilarious. I plan to take y’all there if you visit, so I don’t want to ruin anything, but let me just say that even if a notice in the lobby did not tell you the Museum was founded in 1983, you would know. Or perhaps I should simply say that if I had to describe it in one word, that word would be: Popemobile. Uh-huh. Oh, yeah, baby.

Then we wandered around a creepy old deconsecrated church, with the November weather doing some nice background work to add to the atmosphere, which made Eclaire happy. Then we went out to a Spanish place by the quays which was really quite excellent, had a pint at the Foggy Dew, and walked home, through a fair bit of fog and dew --- we split the difference and called it Irish Mist.

Today, the two of them are off to check out Newgrange in Louth which has some prehistoric temple-village-cave-ruin things.

I’m off to plan my Thanksgiving dinner (to be given this Saturday, as I don’t have Thursday off).

Anybody know where I can get some cranberries up in this piece?

Posted by Diablevert at 07:46 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

November 15, 2004

Oh, but they did

They did indeed write a children's book called It's Just a Plant. And it is about that. No, not that. Inhale. Yeah, she croaks, nodding with half-lidded eyes ---- exhale--- that.

Link from Pound, which is a blog written by a very funny woman whose book I'm looking forward to reading.

Posted by Diablevert at 12:53 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

November 14, 2004

A Stopgap

The blog disappeared again. Sigh. I hate it when that happens. Honestly, I try and post every couple days. But sometimes nothing funny or interesting happens, and I don't want to be all, "So, um, today...I went to my writing class and ate food and read things and um," snaps gum, twirls hair..."Um. I got some mail." Snap-snap. "I guess that's it."

But let me just pop in another stick of Juicyfruit and see what I can come up with.

I have an agency interview tomorrow, and maybe another interview Wednsday. (Coo.) My stuff finally cleared customs and my friend Dan helped me retrieve it and now it's all in boxes stacked in the hallway and I have to rearrange my room and scavange a bookcase so's I can put it away. Which I really really should be doing now instead of writing this and listening to Tom Waits (which is what I am doing) because Eclaire and Lady P. are set to arrive on Friday (Yay!).

Ladyfest was this weekend; I volunteered all day yesterday. It went really well, lots of people came to the workshops which was the thing I was involved in, and the gig went nicely even though our headliners cancelled about an hour before they were due to show up ---- apparently a gasoline tanker jacknifed on the ring road that encircles London; they had to close it and one of its major access roads down, which meant a couple million people more that usual were trying to drive through central London, which meant utterly impassable day-long girdlock through much of the city. Worse that the Everybody Hurts video, apparently, even when you consider that the London situation lacked a skeletal Michal Stipe caterwauling mournfully on the hood of a Chevy.

I finished a story last week, and we're gonna talk about it next week, I'm excited to hear what people think of it.

I've used the word which too much.

I may delete this once it has served its purpose as a stop gap.

It will not be missed.

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November 07, 2004

On the Importance of Knowing One's Bus Route

If one should decide to save on cab fare by walking into the city center from a friend's house and taking the Nightlink bus home, there are a few things one should and should not do, especially if it is one's first time using the Nightlink bus.

One should not assume that if the bus' number is 15N it will have pretty much the same route as the 15, except, you know, at N(ight).

If one should find that the bus' route deviates abruptly and considerably from the expected, one should not stay on the bus thinking it will circle back to a more familiar area momentarily, whether or not the description of the route on the sign would lead one to think so.

One should not further presume, once it becomes clear that one has no idea where the hell one is, that the bus will loop back to the city center and that one can get off at some point during the return journey.

When the bus driver kicks one off the bus at the last stop, Arse End of Nowhere, one should head toward the gas station on the corner to see if one can find an ATM.

Further, when one reaches the corner and realizes that the busy dual carriage-way (a small highway) one is standing in front of is the same busy dual carriage-way that passes close by one's house, one should commence to walk down it rather than hunting for either an ATM or a cab, both elusive at this late hour. After all, one merely has to walk straight down a mile or two, take two quick lefts, and bang, home.

One should do this despite the fact that there is no sidewalk alongside the road, just a soft and grassy shoulder, whose dew-bestrewed leaves will soak through one's shoes in about ten minutes.

After about twenty minutes, one will feel relieved to see a large roundabout, for one remembers from trips to the airport that there is a single such roundabout between the exit for the M50 (the road to the airport, a highway which encircles Dublin and defines the city limits proper) and the turnoff to one's street.

About ten minutes after that, one should feel dismayed and bewildered to see a second large roundabout, even bigger than the first and totally unfamiliar, along with signs for the M50. One is permitted to worry that one has been going in the wrong direction this whole time. One shall, however, persevere, because now one has to find an ATM again. One will walk through a creepy and desolate pedestrian underpass, studiously ignoring the drunk teenagers walking in the other direction.

One shall emerge from the second roundabout and think, "Hey, actually, that Texaco looks kind of familiar." One will walk about 100 yards more and realize that one was actually on the other side of the M50, thus accounting for the unfamiliarity, and that one in fact is now where one thought one was 40 minutes ago. With new, firmer sense of geography, realize this means that if one continues straight about a mile or two one should be able to take two quick lefts and bang, home. One should consider further that hailing a cab at this point would be a pretty pussy move. One should continue on and arrive home in approximately 20 minutes.

To sum up:

Time for homeward journey: 2 hours, 45 minutes

Proportion of that time spent walking: 73%

Cab money saved: Pric--- actually, it was about 12, 15 bucks. Probably ten if you deduct the bus fare. Strike that.

Life Lessons Learned/Sense of Geography Gleaned: Priceless.

As a final note, if one should ever find one's stomach unpleasantly sloshy after a rich meal and several glasses of red wine followed by a brisk half-hour walk, try following that up with a forty-five minute bus ride and another brisk hour's walking. It's oddly invigorating.

Posted by Diablevert at 10:57 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

November 06, 2004

Hey, there, you:

Read this lovely essay about Ramadan in Cairo by my friend Amira, and then go check out her pictures. They are both awesome.

Posted by Diablevert at 07:39 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

November 05, 2004

Spicy Tumeric Stew

Well, one good thing came out of election night --- I made some chicken stew with Indian spices that came out pretty well, so in the interest of my being able to recall what they hell it was I did if I should want to make it again, I'm posting the recipe here while I can still remember it. Now all the internet shall know its glory. Lo! And Behold!

C's Spicy Tumeric Stew


6 Chicken Thighs
4-6 Tbsp. Olive Oil
Salt, Pepper

Spices [1]:

1 1/2 Tbsp. Cumin Seeds
1 Tbsp. Corriander Seeds
2 Tbsp. Ground Ginger
2 Tbsp. Tumeric
2 Bay Leaves
1 Cinamon Stick
4 Cloves Garlic, minced


1 large (or two medium) Onion(s), diced
1 Red Bell Pepper, diced
1 Green Bell Pepper, diced
3 Scotch Bonnet Peppers, minced
1 large can Crushed Tomatoes

For Sauce:
16 oz (one box/large can) Chicken Stock
16 oz. (two small containters) Plain Yogurt
4-6 oz. Goat Cheese
3/4 cup Flat-leaf Parsely, chopped

1. Get a heavy-duty pan (a large, deep one, so we can add a lot of liquid, or use a stock pot) and heat it well, then add about half the oil. Dredge the chicken thighs in seasoned flour and brown on both sides, then set them aside.

2. Toast the cumin and corriander seeds in the hot oil. This happens very quickly; as soon they go brown and you can smell the spice wafting up off the pan, add the the other spices, (ginger, tumeric, cinamon, bay) the garlic, and the onion, and give 'em all a stir to coat. [3] You might need to add the rest of the olive oil at the point if it looks a bit dry; you want the veg to have enough to fry in. Then add the peppers, stir together, and let sautee until the onions are soft and traslucent, say 5 or 6 minutes.

3. At this point, add the crushed tomatoes and the chicken stock. Return the chicken to pot and taste for seasoning (Don't worry if it seems too spicy at this juncture; see [2].) Let the whole come to a boil, then turn the heat down to a gentle simmer, and let work for about an hour, or until the chicken is falling-off-the-bone tender.

4. Fish out the bay leaves and the cinamon stick. Remove the chicken, take off the skin and seperate the meat from the bone, and return the meat to the pot. Turn off the heat, add the yogurt and the goat cheese, and stir thoroughly until everything's incorporated. (The yogurt goes in pretty easy, the goat cheese is a bit slower to incorporate.) Add the parsley, give it a good stir, and you're good to go.

The end product should be a rich, meaty stew, bright yellow in color, with green and red flecks from the pepper and parsley and darker spots of spice.


[1] Spice amounts are kind of approximate. I eyeballed it at the time. But I thought people might find "A hefty amount of tumeric" a bit vague. Adjust to taste, of course, but if you don't like a lot of spice, then, um...don't make something called "Spicy Tumeric Stew."

[2] The heat pretty much comes from the Scotch Bonnet Peppers in this dish. If you don't like a lot of heat, you could knock it down a pepper. If you're a real wuss, you could even take out two peppers. But I'd leave at least one in; you want some kick, and if it tastes too hot initially, that's fine, as a lot of the heat will be mellowed out by the yogurt 'n goat cheese in the completed dish.

If you can't find Scotch Bonnets, you could use another very hot pepper. Maybe Haberneros. If you use jalepenos, you might want to make it, say five or six peppers rather than three.

[3] Adding the onion immediately after the powdered spices is Very Important, as it prevents the spices from burning. So says one who once drove people from her apartment in a fog of burning somph, they eyes and noses streaming.

Posted by Diablevert at 12:28 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

November 03, 2004


Seriously, America, what the fuck?

On the Go Playlist for today:

"People Ain't No Good," Nick Cave
"I Let Love In," Nick Cave
"Waking Up to Us," Belle & Sebastian
"Get Me Away from Here I'm Dying," Belle & Sebastian
"No Name No. 2" Elliot Smith
"Fool," Cat Power
"As I Sat Sadly by Her Side," Nick Cave
"I See A Darkness," Bonnie Prince Billy
"Let it Die," Feist
'is it Wicked Not to Care?" Belle & Sebastian

Posted by Diablevert at 08:24 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

November 02, 2004

Today's the Day

I just want y'all to know that if anyone needs to crash on my couch for, say, the next 4 years, you're totally welcome. Just drop by anytime. I'll stock up on kleenex and booze, and we can all learns the words to some really sad Irish drinking songs together. Maybe even make up a few of our own.

But in the interests of that not happening, go vote.

Now everybody put their hands in the middle --- 1, 2, 3, Go Democracy!

Posted by Diablevert at 08:26 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)