Archive for March, 2011

Jai and Aditi are best friends. They are also absolutely perfect for each other. Everyone knows this: their gang of friends (Rotlu, Jiggy, Bombs, and Shaleen), their parents, all the other students at college, EVERYONE. Everyone except Jai and Aditi, of course. They are convinced that they’re just friends, and that they would never be right for each other. So they decide to play matchmaker. Aditi promises to find a sweet and gentle girl for Jai, and Jai is on the lookout for a macho stud for Aditi. Unsurprisingly, things do not work out as planned. Jai ends up spending all his time with Meghna, which makes Aditi jealous–not that she admits she is jealous. Aditi ends up getting engaged to Sushant, the BIGGEST JERK EVER–not that anyone immediately realizes how awful he is. Finally, after a Rajput rite of passage has been achieved with help from several unexpected sources, Jai and Aditi realize their true feelings for each other.

Yes, the story is predictable: you’d have to be pretty dense to not realize how it’s going to end after the first half hour of the film. There are enough charming, funny, and unanticipated detours along the way, however, that it’s never boring to watch. But my favorite part about the movie is the group of friends surrounding Jai and Aditi. Rotlu, Jiggy, Bombs, and Shaleen are all well-rounded, fully realized characters. Secondary characters, to be sure, but none of them are reduced to the shorthand stereotypes so often used. They’re all real people, with their own stories happening on the periphery. An extra special added bonus is that all of the actors are the appropriate age to be playing college students. It’s quite refreshing!

(The above two criticisms I level equally at Hollywood and Bollywood films, in case you were curious.)

This is my favorite song from the movie. I’ve really become quite fond of all its tacky and catchy glory. Be warned: it will be in your head forever.

Source: Jazi’s copy, but I’ll be buying my own for sure

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Sassy Gay Friend Sells Out!

Great Expectations:

“PS, it’s not vintage if you’ve been wearing it since it wasn’t.”


“Slow down, Lady MacDeath. Slow down.”

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I made garlic soup for my NYT Essential Cook Book project. Soup is tasty and fabulous; we’re having another nasty cold snap, and soup is also warm. Mmm, soup.

You will need:

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 2 large heads garlic (about 36 cloves), peeled and roughly chopped
  • 8 cups water
  • 3 ounces vermicelli or angel hair pasta, broken into small pieces
  • 6 large eggs, separated
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Melt the butter with the oil in a large saucepan or a small pot over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for about 1 minute; do not brown the garlic. Add the water and season with salt (about 1 teaspoon) and pepper. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce the heat, and simmer for 15 minutes.
  2. Strain the cooking liquid and reserve the garlic. Put the garlic and 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid in a blender or food processor and blend to a fine puree.
  3. Put the remaining cooking liquid in a saucepan, add the puree, and bring to a boil. Add the vermicelli, stir, and cook for about 3 minutes; do not overcook.
  4. Meanwhile, blend the egg yolks and vinegar in a bowl.
  5. Turn off the heat under the saucepan. Drop in the egg whites and cover the pan. Do not stir–they will form a cloud-like mixture. When the whites are fully cooked, add the egg yolk mixture and stir very slowly. Taste and adjust the seasoning.

I made the recipe as above, but I omitted the vermicelli and had lovely crusty bread instead. I just don’t like tiny bits of pasts in my soup. There were a few issues: the soup didn’t taste garlicky enough for me, so next time I’ll cook the garlic longer, possibly even letting it get a little brown. My egg whites ended up being a big gross clump on the bottom of the pan instead of the cloud-like mixture promised–I ended up straining the soup a second time to get rid of them. Was the bottom of my pan too hot? Did I wait too long before the next step? And finally, the soup had way too much acid. I’ll use a lot less vinegar next time; for this to be edible, I added some parmesan to cut the acid. The next day I took the leftover soup to Jazi’s house. We added some cooked potatoes, and a pinch of sugar to cut the vinegar, and a touch more pepper. That made it pretty much perfect.

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Steve Almond explains the dark and murky world of drooling fanatics, music superfans who are passionate beyond reason about their own particular favorites. Even if (especially if!) no one else has ever heard of the band in question, DFs can and will go on at great length about what makes this group special and unique and worth listening to. Mr Lush is a drooling fanatic of Elvis Costello and Bob Dylan. (And some other people, but those are the two big ones.) After having read this, I still don’t understand why he likes the musicians he likes, but I do think I understand how his passion functions better. To wit:

As a rule, DFs don’t play an instrument. We don’t even dance especially well, though we do jump up and down at live shows and scream an awful lot, usually the names of obscure songs the band recorded but never released in the States, or covers it performed as a lark on a cable access show nine years ago, a grainy video of which we tracked down online and now own. […]

DFs own at least three thousand albums at any given moment, with a core of our collection represented by any three of four configurations (digital, compact disc, vinyl, and cassette.)

That describes Mr Lush to a T. He also possess the snobbishness that goes along with drooling fanaticism–he thinks 98% of the music I listen to is beyond awful, and has absolutely no comprehension of why I like it. But recently he said the nicest thing ever about my music: “You have very…broad tastes. You listen to a lot more genres than I do.” Aww, how sweet!

If you have a drooling fanatic in your life, or suspect you may be one, I recommend this book! It was entertaining and self-deprecating, and didn’t poke fun in an unkind way, even though the possibilities for doing so are numerous.

I also really enjoyed his earlier book, Candyfreak. I can embrace being a drooling fanatic of candy much more readily!

Steve Almond’s site

Source: borrowed from library

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Reading Dogs

I have a greyhound.

I work in a public library.

Greyhounds make excellent therapy dogs.

We have therapy dogs come in once a month for kids to read to.

So of course, EVERYONE has sent me this article: The dogs who listen to children reading. (And by everyone, I mean three people.)

I’ve actually thought about getting Lush Puppy registered as a therapy dog, I just haven’t gotten around to it yet. Maybe we’ll investigate READ Dogs Minnesota or one of the other therapy dog services this spring.

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