|random thoughts and thoroughbred selections|
|"All life is 6-5 against" - Damon Runyon|
Thursday, September 13, 2007
Good Things, Bad Things
It's been a little while, and I should push the hip-hop down the page, so let's do a little rundown of what's up and what's down in the crazy so-called world I'm living in...
GOOD THING: Some days in the kitchen, I really end up pleased with myself. Last night was all about handling leftover chicken, which I had prepared a few days earlier with taco seasoning and hot sauce into sort of a fajita flavor. I could have simply made quesadillas, but I needed to mix a vegetable in with the meal. So I chopped up a quarter of an onion and a couple cloves of garlic and got those kicking in a frying pan with some butter. I added half of a red chili pepper from a co-worker's garden (sliced up), the diced leftover chicken, a can of sweet corn (although I somehow bought a can of creamed corn - which I loathe - and opened that first. I tipped it over the sink to drain and it took me a second to realize the yellow sludge attempting to ooze into the drain wasn't, in fact, a sign of an "off" can of regular corn) and some green chilis (from out of the can) which were also left over. I sauteed that stuff up and put it in tortillas with cheese. Holy hell was that good.
BAD THING: I was speaking with a friend on the phone last night, and while trying to make her laugh accidentally hit a raw nerve of insecurity (you know, saying out loud the one thing we think about ourselves that we hope to hell isn't true) and made her cry instead. I'm such a fucking prick. A totally apologetic fucking prick, who has been absolved of his guilt because she knows I didn't know that was going to bother her, but a fucking prick nonetheless.
GOOD THING: Lions won, Calvin Johnson scored his first touchdown (and Roy Williams amusingly and inexplicably nicknamed him "Megatron")
BAD THING: The Raiders exploited the Lions' inability to contain the run and defend the screen pass to such an extent that I fully believe Adrian "Purple Jesus" Peterson might, in fact, ascend to the right hand of the father sometime late Sunday afternoon after abusing the Lions defense for a rookie record for combined yardage. Nothing like seeing Tarvaris Jackson open the season 2-0.
GOOD THING: A few weeks back I attended a conference with 200 of my peers, managers and associates from the division of my company in which we work. It was a really terrific week. They put us up in a four-star property frequented by visiting NBA teams to Detroit (which explains the shower head mounts well out of reach and the seven-foot beds), fed us well, and kept us busy. Better than that, because my field is HR, the ratio of women to men there was something like 55/45. In other words, the room was lousy with attractive, intelligent and accomplished women from the US and Europe.
BAD THING: I only got to go to this conference due to winning 2006's My Job Title Person Of The Year award, even though my job duties are exactly and precisely the same as the rest of the invitees from my business unit who get an automatic invite. However...
GOOD THING: It was an ego-boosting week for me, as it didn't take me long to understand that my peers respect the job that I do and are nearly as puzzled as I am upset that I don't share their job title. I didn't feel out of place, wasn't treated as such, and came away with a number of new friends (I don't have co-workers who work anywhere near me - I was meeting most of these people for the first time). All that being said, it appears that the earth is moving under my feet and finally getting to the point where the positive things that needed to happen (and were entirely out of my control) to get me my promotion are going to happen soon. I'm sure that I'll find something job-related to gripe about down the road, but it's unlikely to revolve around what's on my business card.
GOOD THING: If/when the good things career-wise start to happen, I'll be given a chance to manage our business' client implementation in Europe, which is an emerging market for our services. Assuming all goes well, I'll be gaining knowledge that's going to be tremendously valuable moving forward. At the conference I got to meet the woman who handles our European group (a Canadian woman who looks a little like Sigourney Weaver crossed with Arianna Huffington), introduced myself and told her that I wanted to be working for her in five years (as the guy who helps our division get things up and running in Europe). Since I told her this right in front of my current boss, I caught a little well-deserved shit for it, but all in good fun.
BAD THING: The other thing I caught shit for during the conference was my vocabulary. We had to give a five-minute presentation during our business unit breakout meeting, and in mine I used the word "fiefdoms." I didn't do this for any other reason than it's a word I already know and use and it perfectly described what it was I was trying to explain. Of course, I'm now "the fiefdoms guy," which is absolutely delightful. Basically, I was told to dumb it down. Who wants to be dumb? It made sense in the context of the presentation, so why beat me up over something a little critical thinking could have helped you figure out on your own?
GOOD THING: My dinner for Maudie and Heather turned out pretty well. That being said, I didn't braise chicken, as Maudie had asserted. I took some chicken thighs, made scallopini cutlets, and fried them. Once they were cooked, I baked them on a cookie sheet topped with some ricotta cheese, a couple of tomato slices and finished them on the plate with a couple of fresh basil leaves on a puddle of tomato sauce. It's my take on chicken Parmagiana, and it was good. They also got to eat my famous cannoli. Jealous?
BAD THING NARROWLY AVERTED: Gracie missed the trip due to landing herself in the hospital. I didn't hear details until a couple days later when she told me a pre-existing condition was exacerbated by a high-fat (Atkins) diet and brought fully to bear by one ridiculously high-fat Mexican meal the night before she left. Of course, every stupid thing I cooked or served was as high-fat as high-fat can get, so had it not been for the last-minute Mexican meal, she could have ended up in an Allentown hospital after eating too much sopressetta. How guilty would I have felt?
GOOD THING: I'm finally making friends - or, at least, friend - in my building. I met a woman who has just relocated to Allentown from Tennessee, and we hit the bar for a couple hours last weekend. She seems nice, we seem to get along so far, and we both have dogs (and, therefore, a mutual need to have backup for dogsitting/walking purposes). Amusingly, she sent her mom (who is visiting to help her get settled here) up to my apartment to see if I wanted to head out for drinks with them. I thought that move (having your mom broker your extracurriculars) was only big in the Jewish community. By the way, I'm just pleased to have a friend and possible dogsitter. Let's not get ahead of ourselves otherwise, mmkay?
GOOD THING: Bob Oedenkirk and David Cross may have a new show in the works.
BAD THING: That means I'm going to have to subscribe to HBO.
LAST GOOD THING FOR NOW: Although I beat Matty in our head-to-head fantasy football league game, I didn't cover the points he made me give him, so I lost our bet. Why is this a good thing? I had to pay up a CD of my choice, and sent him M.Ward's album "Post-War." I'm a fan, and I think Matty will dig it too. Here's a couple of M.Ward videos to close up shop.
Right In The Head (Live)
Chinese Translation (Live on Conan featuring Jim James from My Morning Jacket and Neko Case - and I'd swear I've posted this before)
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
50 Cent Meets John Lee Hooker?
Damned if it doesn't work... Apologies in advance for a hip-hop heavy post.
This whole mashup craze has a lot of potential. How about...
Gwen Stefani's "Hollaback Girl" meets Miles Davis' "Summertime? (via)
Better yet, who's Bobb Deep, and why do the lyrics go down so much easier with those beats? (Grab this one as a good place to start - it's Mobb Deep's most famous song mixed up with "I Shot The Sheriff")
DJ Swindle mashed up Bobb Deep, but I prefer the Nas/Al Green (cleverly titled "Almatic") project better. Seriously, "Love and Happiness" mashed with "Made You Look" might as well have been DJ Premier's final draft creation. It's that good.
Bobby Hip-Hop sent me these (via):
This one will make you wonder why no one's used this beat before...
I'm shocked this one works. Shocked.
Bill Simmons @ ESPN
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