Sunday, May 27, 2007

Silver quarters

To promote the new Fantasic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer movie, 20th Century Fox and The Franklin Mint "color enhanced" 40,000 California statehood quarters with an image of the Surfer, and are releasing them throughout the country during Memorial Day weekend. And now, the government is getting involved, saying that neither the studio nor the Mint got the government's permission to alter the quarters (and also, that it's illegal to use currency for advertisement purposes), meaning they could both face fines.

Well, I think it's pretty crass to slap an advertising gimmick on our money, but I'm also a hypocrite and a comic book geek, so I'll be on the lookout for one. I also find it ridiculous that the government has waited until now to get involved with The Mint and their nefarious altering of our precious quarters. Aren't these the same people who offered "color enhanced" versions of the statehood quarters? Was anything done about those?

After searching their site, I couldn't find the color enhance quarters, but I did find this "special edition" "Season's Greetings" Silver Eagle dollar, which costs $39.95. For a $1 coin with a crappy paint job, protective cover, and display box. I can't believe people actually buy this stuff.

So, the studio and the Mint may face fines, or some other slap on the wrist penalty, for altering US currency and using it to advertise a movie. But look at all the free advertising they're getting!

I'm pissed about it, but more because my chances of actually getting my hands on one have significantly decreased. But I have placed the cashiers at the store on full alert, so there's hope someone may come across one...

Friday, May 25, 2007

Potato Wave

When I was in high school, Pearl Jam was my favorite band. I was in love with Eddie Veder and I had that "9 out of 10 kids prefer crayons to guns" t-shirt which I used to wear at least once a week (with my flannel, of course). So that's probably one reason why I find this video so amusing:

Another reason it that it reminds me of this other video:

'Cause Fall Out Boy is unintelligible, get it? Hee.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Girl en mode groovy

This video is oddly hypnotic:

Red Rover

So now NASA's discovered evidence of water on Mars. Between that and the "Goldilocks" planet, I hope we're not headed for a real-life reenactment of Mission to Mars. Mainly because that movie sucked. Except for that part at the end, when a fellow audience member yelled out, "Spoon!" - that was actually pretty funny...

Cowabunga, dude!

There's an article on about 15 (Painfully) Unforgettable Cartoon Theme Songs, complete with accompanying YouTube videos. Watching them took me back to a simpler time, back when cartoons were actually GOOD, and I was ecstatic to wake up at the crack of dawn on a Saturday. A few of my favorites were left off (no Darkwing Dark? That show was awesome!), but for the most part I found myself singing along with their picks. And now I'm left with a feeling of nostalgia that makes me want to go search Demonoid for old-school Disney cartoons.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Whale sharks taste yummy?

The AJC reports that Taiwan wants to whale shark consumption and trade by 2008. The bad news: we may not be able to get those two new whale sharks to replace fill the void left by Ralph's death earlier this year. The good news: people in Taiwan (and other countries where eating whale sharks is commonplace) are starting to recognize that the whale shark population is dwindling, and are concerned. Sales of whale shark meat (eww!) are decreasing, and at least three countries have forbidden whale shark fishing.

And because I think baby sharks are just as cute as baby pandas (in your face, Mei Lan!), here's a link to the zebra shark pups web cam. Aww!

Monday, May 21, 2007

The Golden Compass

There's FINALLY an official trailer for The Golden Compass movie:

I am beyond excited about this movie. I even went to the official movie website and "discovered" my daemon.

That was actually one aspect of the book that really appealed to me, the idea of your soul existing outside of your body. And mine is so cute!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Recipe Tuesday: Italian Chicken with Rotini Pasta and Easy Fruit Salad

Italian Chicken With Rotini Pasta:

1 lb boneless chicken cutlets
1 teaspoon seasoned salt
1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon roasted garlic
1/4 cup white wine
12 ounces tri-color rotini pasta
1 (26-ounce) jar tomato/basil pasta sauce

1. Fill large saucepan half full of water. Cover and bring to a boil on high for pasta.
2. Preheat large sauté pan on medium-high 2–3 minutes. Season both sides of chicken with seasoned salt and Italian seasoning (wash hands). Place oil in pan; swirl to coat. Add chicken (wash hands); cook 2–3 minutes on each side or until lightly browned.
3. Stir pasta into boiling water. Boil 8–10 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until tender.
4. Add roasted garlic and wine to chicken; cook 3–5 minutes or until internal temperature of chicken reaches 165°F. Use a meat thermometer to accurately ensure doneness.
5. Meanwhile, drain pasta and return to same pan. Stir in pasta sauce; cook on medium-high 3–4 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until thoroughly heated. Serve chicken over pasta.

Easy Fruit Salad:

1 pear (rinsed)
1 (8-ounce) can pineapple chunks in juice (drained)
1/2 cup pre-diced celery
1/2 cup light mayonnaise (or salad dressing)
1/3 cup + 2 tablespoons chopped walnuts
4 Bibb lettuce leaves (rinsed)

1. Quarter pear; remove and discard core. Chop pear into 1/2-inch pieces (about 1 cup); place in medium bowl.
2. Add pineapple and celery; stir in mayonnaise and 1/3 cup of the walnuts. Chill until ready to serve.
3. Arrange lettuce leaves on serving plates; mound fruit mixture on lettuce and sprinkle with remaining 2 tablespoons walnuts. Serve.

Not much to say about this one...the chicken/pasta dish is really easy. But mayonnaise on fruit? That's nasty. Plus, everyone knows fruit salad must have cherries. WTF, recipe writers?

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Teh floor iz lava!!!1!

When your best friend and your boyfriend both love the same website, and you hear about it from them on the same day, you realize you should probably check it out. It's called I can has cheezburger, and it's in the same vein as Stuff On My Cat. Here's my favorite:

Mainly because my sister and I used to play this game all the time when we were little. Which reminds me of a sketch by one of my favorite comedians, Daniel Tosh:

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Cheer up, Emo!Spidey

Monday night, Tiffany, Eric, Pete, and I went to see Spider-Man 3. I wasn't really excited, because I had read all over about how crappy the movie was - one chick on even called it the worst movie ever - and I didn't want to go in with high expectations, because I knew it would just end up disappointing me.

Imagine my delight, then, when it actually turned out to be smack full of comedy gold. Black-suited Peter Parker turned into the cockiest emo-dork ever, complete with guyliner and lame-ass jazzy-finger-snapping.

Guyliner! Floppy emo-bangs! Total dork!

I even perfected a hair-flinging impersonation that cracked one girl at work up so much, I had to do it at least eleventy-billion times today and I think I now have whiplash. I still can't believe the movie made so much money. It's not horrible, just not very good. And it's frakkin' long. I don't think I could sit through it again. BDH did rock as Gwen Stacy, though, and I'll admit, I did get a little teary-eyed at the end. Of course, it could've been from yawning.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Recipe Tuesday: Blackberry Pork Chops, Horseradish Mashed Potatoes, and Green Beans

Blackberry Pork Chops:

1 1/2 pounds boneless pork loin chops (3/4-inch thick)
2 teaspoons Montreal steak seasoning
olive oil cooking spray
1/4 cup blackberry preserves
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon lemon juice
dash cinnamon
dash curry powder
1 cup fresh blackberries (optional, rinsed)

1. Preheat grill. Sprinkle both sides of pork with steak seasoning. Coat both sides of pork with cooking spray; place on grill (wash hands). Close lid (or cover loosely with foil).
2. Grill 4–5 minutes on each side or until internal temperature reaches 160°F (for medium). Use a meat thermometer to accurately ensure doneness.
3. Combine remaining ingredients (except blackberries) in small saucepan. Bring just to boiling on medium, stirring occasionally, to liquefy preserves. Cover and remove from heat.
4. Ladle sauce over pork chops and garnish with blackberries. Serve.

Horseradish Mashed Potatoes:

1 (24-ounce) package refrigerated mashed potatoes
2 tablespoons sour cream
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon horseradish

1. Place potatoes in microwave-safe bowl; cover and microwave on HIGH 3 minutes.
2. Stir in remaining ingredients. Microwave 3 more minutes on HIGH or until thoroughly heated. Stir and serve.

Green Beans:

1 (12-ounce) bag fresh snipped green beans (rinsed)
1 (14-ounce) can chicken broth
1 tablespoon cooked bacon pieces
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper

1. Combine all ingredients in medium saucepan on high; cover and bring to boil.
2. Reduce heat to medium; cook 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until beans are desired tenderness. Serve.

Of course, the only thing I actually tried from this batch was the potatoes, and they were awesome. I love horseradish - I even use it in my egg salad sandwiches. Also, one (semi-annoying) customer gave me a great idea: he came up and asked, "Is this tofu?" EVEN THOUGH there was a big sign on the front of my booth that clearly read "PORK" AND I had the recipe cards (with the names of the dishes) prominently displayed in front of the food. So I was like, (exasperatedly) "No, sir [meaning: moron], it's pork chops." And then I thought, "but I bet tofu would be awesome!" So now I'll have to try that sometime.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

How do you explain racism to a 2nd grader?

My Wednesday mornings are spent as a "Book Buddy" at a local elementary school. I go, listen to the kids read their books, and occasionally help them when they have trouble with a word. Today really threw me for a loop, though. One little girl read me a story called The Bus Ride, which was about a little African-American girl who gets "arrested" for sitting at the front of a bus in the 1950's. I didn't care for the book - it wasn't particularly well-written or -illustrated (all of the "White" people looked Hispanic, I thought, and it seemed to trivialize the historical importance) - but it raised some interesting questions:

Girl: "But...wasn't Rosa Parker the first Black person to sit at the front of a bus?"
Me: "I'm not sure. We're taught that Rosa Parks was the first, but maybe there were others before her."
Girl: "Why did people care so much? It's not like it matters what color your skin is..."
Me: "Well, people didn't always feel that way, though. But it's good that you know that."

Wow. I really had no idea what to tell this poor kid. She even asked me who "the first Black person on earth was." If I really felt like getting in trouble with her parents, I would've told her that some people think Jesus was Black, or that humans originated in Africa.

You know, the fact that she couldn't comprehend the idea of racism makes me think that her parents are pretty cool people, and probably wouldn't have minded.

Vegans or baby killers?

That's the question asked by this article in today's AJC.

How about morons?

Seriously, how could these people not know that babies need more than just soy milk and APPLE JUICE to survive? Why wasn't the mother breast feeding? Are vegans anti-breast milk?

[tangent: This reminds me of an anecdote someone told in class a few weeks ago:
Classmate: You know, humans are the only animals that continue to drink milk after infancy.
Classmate's friend: That's because we're the only animals who also have cookies.
Hee. So true!]

Look, I'm not saying veganism is bad. I was a vegetarian for years, and only recently started eating seafood again. But I've always said that if (God forbid) I were to get pregnant, I would definitely start eating meat again. It's not right to inflict your lifestyle choices on other people, especially people who can't choose for themselves.

Stupid hippies.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Recipe Tuesday: Pork Steak Mojito with Island Potato Salad

Pork Steak Mojito:

6 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 1/2 lbs Spanish-style pork cube steaks
8 ounces pre-sliced yellow onions
1 teaspoon adobo seasoning
3 fresh garlic cloves
1 lemon (for juice, rinsed)

1. Preheat large sauté pan on medium-high 2–3 minutes. Place 2 tablespoons of the oil in pan; swirl to coat. Add pork steaks (wash hands); cook 3–4 minutes on each side or until browned and internal temperature reaches 160°F. (Use a meat thermometer to accurately ensure doneness.) Remove from pan and cover to keep warm.
2. Reduce heat to medium; add remaining 4 tablespoons olive oil, onions, and adobo. Crush garlic, using garlic press, into pan. Use knife to remove garlic from bottom of press.
3. Squeeze juice of one-half lemon into pan (about 2 tablespoons). Cook 5–6 minutes or until onions are tender. Serve sauce over pork steaks.

Island Potato Salad:

1 cup tart apple slices
1 (16-ounce) container Deli NY-style potato salad
1/4 cup sliced green olives

1. Cut apples into bite-size pieces and place in salad bowl.
2. Stir in remaining ingredients, mixing gently, until blended. Chill until ready to serve.

Believe it or not, the potato salad is pretty tasty, once you get past the idea of mixing apples, olives, and potatoes together. Not sure about the pork - some people said it was "ok," one customer said it was too tough, and one lady told me it was "the best recipe we've ever had!" She may or may not have been drunk.