Sunday, May 28, 2017

Mexican FOOD Memories

I'm in my mid-fifties.   I know there are people that are older and compared to them I am relatively old/young.

I have had a good life.  Bad times, sure.  But I have experience the world in ways that a stupid "faggot" from Texas would have conceived.  I graduated high school in 1980.  I did a whole lots of drugs, most of which I had no business doing at my young age.

I moved to California in 1985 when I was employed as a flight attendant.  I was wide-eye and bushy-tailed.  And dumb.

My life really began, in part, when I left Texas.  I moved to LA.  In the intervening years I've been a Southern California nomad, but for the most part I've lived in the Palm Desert (Palm Springs area).  In all of those years I was lucky to have experienced so many amazing and wonderful things in the world.

I lived a life without restraint.  The more money I made the more I spent.   I've owned and sold homes.  I've worked very hard in the healthcare industry but left it in 2007 to pursue my "dream".   There must be one person on the world that started that concept.  I hope they suffer great pain.

Since 2009 fall of the economy every single thing that I was taught in school or programmed afterwards as an adult was a sham.  The world is a lie.

I know a few things though.  Here's the upside to this blog.  I have been exposed to:

  • Good food throughout life.  I love food
  • I've traveled and enjoyed some of the finest of hotels around the world
  • I have always loved music and I have in past years been in the fortunate position to learn and love all types of music, both in concert, on the stage, and recordings
  • I've met many interesting, sometimes strange, people.   Some were celebrities or heroes.  Some were the opposite.
I have a very short bucket list left.  My first, is much like everything in life, no longer exists.   My second still exists but it would require me to go back to Lubbock TX to eat:

  • Cheese enchiladas with rice and beans and sopapillas with butter honey.  As I grew up we went Red River/Taos frequently to snow ski.  There was the BEST mexican food restaurant on the square of downtown Taos.  This would have been in the 1970's.  Does anyone know what it was named?  I know that it is no longer there now. I found a restaurant here in the Palm Springs area that served this dish exactly the way I remembered it.  It was open for many years (El Gallitto) but it closed last year.    All things good must seemingly come to an end.  Why can't my life.



























  • Anything from Taco Villa in West Texas.  I would be so afraid that if I went there, the food would have changed.  That's what happens when you get old.







Do you have good memories of moments that you'd like to live once again?  Can you give me update about both of these favorites. I have learned over the many years, that nothing stays the it once was..either it doesn't taste the way it did.. or it doesn't exist.

Friday, May 19, 2017

BRIE/CAMEMBERT cheese--My new food obsession



I have always loved Brie or Camembert (they are the same but have a very slight variance in taste).  Many years ago, in the mid to late 1980's I was a stewardess.  We served brie or camembert in first class.  I became addicted to it then.  When the service was over (this was usually on long hauls) we'd leave the cart out and my fellow crew members would feast.  It was I think my first exposure to this exquisite culinary experience.

Recently we've been having either cheese before dinner.  I am obsessed.  I love the cheese when it is runny and melty.  I also love the rind.  We put ours in a microwave briefly to soften and melt it.  I don't know if this is de rigueur or not to heat the cheese.  I don't care.

I love it anyone.  Do you have a preference for brie or camembert?  Or do you just not like it.

I have always loved it but I am now obsessed with it.  I will probably burn myself out on it, which is my way.

I know that no one reads this.  So I'll use it as a diary to record my inner thoughts.  I would love to have for my last meal:

brie cheese,
foie gras,
spaghetti carbonara
jambalaya
large bloody rare steak
cheese cake
fried okra
fried green tomato
multiple martinis

I'm sure I've forgotten something.    I would then like to lay down and die.  I read an article about a convicted, condemned to a death sentence who will be murdered by our our government.  The articles reported this man's menu for his last meal.

I admire him.  I don't want to be here.  I cannot stand this country or planet.  I am condemned, but not in a court of law.  I will never have the comfort of knowing when I am going.   Hopefully it will be soon.  I believe in euthanasia.  I think it should be legal in our country.   Oh the meal I would enjoy and the bliss of being out of this nasty, horrid world we are forced to live in.

Life is not a fairy tail.  All your dreams may not come true.  Happiness is luxury that a small segment of this world can pursue.  The majority, the billions, live in poverty.  They have no water.  They do not have food.  In our country alone, many people cannot eat or do not have a home.  Many of the worlds countries populations are being annihilated by their governments or external forces.  I have learned in my 54 years that everything I was taught in Texas/US/Christian faith is nothing but bullshit.  It is all false.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

RENEE FLEMING is the greatest

I've written before about my affinity for this woman who has the most incredible voice of anyone alive.  She has performed her last performance at The Metropolitan Opera in New York ("The Met".) She is not retiring from performing, thank god.  This voice is truly remarkable.

Here's a great interview with her:  http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/saying-farewell-opera-roles-renee-fleming-career-high-notes-ahead/#

I wish Ms. Fleming a long and successful second chapter of her career.  I hope it will include many recordings and concert performances.   The different genres that she has performed in, the versatility of her voice, is so unique.

This article is from PBS, one of the organizations that the fascist trump is eliminating.  That loss is very serious.  Trump says that only rich people watch PBS.  Well I'm fucking poor, and PBS and public radio have made huge influences on my life.

I hope la Fleming goes on a concert tour!




Tuesday, May 9, 2017

JOHN HAMM is a gorgeous man and a great actor

Here's a ray of sunshine during the dark, ominous days that we live in.  This man is very talented.  And he's gorgeous!






































http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-4487104/Jon-Hamm-forgets-underwear-outing-LA.html

Monday, May 8, 2017

OSCAR Nominated Movies

I realize that no one reads this blog.  My audience is myself.  So I'll just occasionally talk about the things that I find interesting in this horrible world that we are living in.  I'm talking about the dictator trump and his junta government, the GOP legislative branch (we haven't even seen yet the havoc that the supreme court will wreak in the future).  I find it difficult to even get up every day.  Weekdays are especially bad.  That's when our country's structure is torn apart by these barbarians.  I believe these are the bleakest and frightening times in our country, perhaps since the Civil War.

I've vented now.  To an audience that doesn't exist.

In years past, I attended films at the theater frequently, especially during the award season.  I am too old and jaded now.  I didn't see anything until recently when a lot of movies (the one's that I like are released).  I posted recently about Hidden Figures.

Since that post I've watched twice, LaLa Land.  This will go down as one of my favorite films ever.  I have friends who disagree with me vehemently about this movie.  I thought it was a beautiful homage to film, musicals, Los Angeles and many other things.  There were so many scenes which evoked film classics and stars:  Singing In the Rain, Gigi, Cabaret, New York New York, among many.  It also pays respects to jazz.

This movie was exceptional because of the brilliant performances by Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling.  The dancing transported me to Gene Kelly and Fred Astaire days.  This is not a traditional musical which is driven by the vocal talent.  It reminded me more of Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany's when she sang "Moon River."  I loved this movie and will watch it many more times in the future.  I sobbed throughout and some of my favorite scenes were when Emma and Ryan were dancing in the stars and clouds.

The next film we've watched was A Dog's Purpose.  I am very sensitive about animals.  I expected that this would be a movie which provoked "floods", as the Mitford Sisters said.  It did.  It was good.  But exhausting.  The poor dog lives nine lives (I think).  That was 8 more than I could take.

Finally, last night watched Lion.   WOW!  What a beautiful film.  Why do we live in a world where wealth is so imbalanced.  I think Dev Patel is the sexiest man alive.  He is also a brilliant actor.  I have not seen the nominated performances but Dev Patel was worthy of it.  Ryan Gosling was as well.  I refuse to watch the Affleck film that he won for.  Sounds too dark for me.  And he is a mysogynist.  I think the world of Matt Damon but I'll skip this movie.

If you have the opportunity to see LaLa Land, A Dog's Purpose or Lion, then do it.  For me they were a sob fest.  The first and last films were truly masterpieces.






Monday, April 24, 2017

Important PASSPORT changes are here!!! If your passport expired or you do not have one, APPLY NOW.



2017 marked the beginning of a major policy shift for US passports.  Guidester.com published a great article that every one should take the time to read:

Major changes to Passport(1)

This great article highlights these important changes:
  • Starting this year, there will be a delay in processing passports.  The article recommends you do them now.
  • Effective January 2018, there were be stringent information required for state driver's/ID.  You should get your passport, especially if you fall into one of these states that do not meet federal requirements.  Do not risk your ability to fly domestically by not having a passport.
  • As of 11/2006, glasses cannot be worn for your passport photo (there are certain exceptions).  The State Department has rejected many passport applications because they did not meet passport photo guidelines.
  • Passports are changing.  All new passports will include a chip on the information page.  In the future these chips may contain more personal information.  The State Department is advising that there will be more technological features on US passports.   Also, the number of pages in the book will be decreased.  I guess that's to discourage travel?   There will also be other changes to protect the passport from physical damage.
(1) Baumann, J."U.S. Passport Rules Are Changing – Here is What You Need to Know".  March 2017.  http://www.guidester.com/passport-changes/

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Watching HIDDEN FIGURES

I regret that I haven't seen this movie, Hidden Figures, sooner.  What a remarkable movie and timely a movie it is.  It is sad that the racial discrimination issues that the film depicts about from decades ago are forefront to our political environment theses days.

The movie is about 3 African American women working at NASA during the fledgling first of period of the space race between the US and USSR.  The film is a star-studded cast of actors which deserve kudos:   Taraji P. Henson as Katherine Johnson, Octavia Spencer as Dorothy Vaughan, and Janelle Monáe as Mary Jackson.

The movie is brilliant.  I'm going to watch it again.  It is so hopeful in these days of terror we live in.  It tells the saga of three black woman who work at NASA and ultimately become the most part of NASA's early space missions, with their mathematical calculations and ability to master the new computer systems.  Talk about pioneering!

This film tells the true story and does so with a masterful team of actors also, including actors Kevin Costner and Kirsten Dunst.

I used to watch all Academy Award nominated films before the awards.  I failed miserably this last last award season.  

This movie is fantastic.   Please see it.  I seldom find movies to watch that are interesting and worth the effort.  This is definitely one of them.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Another SAD SIGN of our time. It looks as though THE QUEEN MARY ocean liner will be scrapped.



Don't confuse this with the newer cruise ship, the Queen Mary 2.  This is the original!

I love everything about transportation (both current and past).  But this news just breaks my heart.   The majestic and loyal ocean liner that transported British royals, celebrities and WW2 war troops is such a magical place.  I have stayed there and visited it since the late 80's when I moved from LA to Long Beach.  If you are interested in ocean liners and their illustrious past I'd suggest you go and visit the ship soon.

News reports suggest that The Queen Mary it is not long for this world.  I truly hope this is not so.. See this article which says that the beautiful piece of history needs $300million to renovate:  http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4340748/Queen-Mary-ship-urgent-need-300M-repairs.html#comments

Thursday, March 30, 2017

It's been ages but I cooked last night: One-Pot Cheesy Italian Pasta and Chicken

A friend of mine on Facebook posted one of those short videos that show in quick motion the creation of a recipe.  I can't figure out how to put the video on here.   So I will refer you to the recipes creator and the website.  I've included the recipe below.  All rights are reserved for the photo and recipe with Donna Elick and her cookbook The Slow Roasted Italian copyright 2016.  Bon appetite!

First I'd suggest you watch the enticing video which is probably 30 seconds. Link: http://www.theslowroasteditalian.com/2016/10/one-pot-cheesy-Italian-Pasta-Chicken-recipe.html?utm_campaign=shareaholic&utm_medium=email_this&utm_source=email

The recipe is below.  My comments/suggestions are below the recipe.  Bravo! Ms. Elick.  I have to say this about this recipe:

  • It was incredible
  • It was simple
  • It was quick
  • It didn't require a lot of prep time
  • It didn't require a lot clean up
  • Oh, and it was delicious
One-Pot Cheesy Italian Pasta and Chicken
SERVES 6  |  ACTIVE TIME 20 Min  |  TOTAL TIME 30 Minutes

8 ounces baby spinach leaves, divided
1 cup sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil and Italian herbs, drained (about 7 ounces)
1 large yellow onion, sliced
1 pound uncooked boneless, skinless chicken breasts (cut into 1/2" bite size pieces)
6 garlic cloves, sliced
1 pound dry linguine
2 teaspoons dried Italian seasoning
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
4 cups (32 ounces) reduced sodium chicken stock
1 cup (8 ounces) chardonnay wine
4 ounces fresh Parmesan cheese, shredded

Combine 1/2 of the spinach with the tomatoes, onion, chicken, garlic, linguine, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper and crushed red pepper in a 5-quart Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Pour chicken stock and wine over top. Cover and bring to a boil.

Cook 7-9 minutes until pasta is al dente (with a bite to it). Toss pasta with tongs occasionally to keep the pasta from sticking to the bottom of the pot. You will still have some liquid in the pan when the pasta is done cooking. This is going to make the base for our delicious cheese sauce.

Turn off the heat and add the cheese to the pasta. Toss pasta with tongs until the cheese melts into the pasta. Toss in remaining spinach. Serve and enjoy!

DONNA'S SIMPLE KITCHEN TIP: Dried Italian Seasoning is a fabulous convenience ingredient. If you do not keep it on hand, combine 1 teaspoon dried basil, 1 teaspoon rosemary, 1/2 teaspoon oregano and 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme.

This dish is just spicy enough to make your tongue tingle. For a very mild sauce, reduce the red pepper flakes to 1/2 teaspoon.

I know some people are sensitive to alcohol. The wine adds a fabulous rich buttery flavor and a bright citrusiness to the pasta. If you can use the chardonnay, I highly recommend it. However, you can substitute with chicken stock, white grape juice, or lemon water (1/2 cup fresh lemon juice and 1/2 cup water).

Recipe developed by Donna Elick - The Slow Roasted Italian http://theslowroasteditalian-printablerecipe.blogspot.com/2016/10/one-pot-cheesy-italian-pasta-and-chicken.html

Copyright ©2016 The Slow Roasted Italian – All rights reserved.
_________________________

Here's my comments about my first time at trying this brilliant recipe.   There will be many more times that I make this.  But we made slight alterations:


  • We used boneless, skinless thighs--I do not like white meat. (I think that you might find boneless, skinless, white meat in prepared in 1/2" pieces--I was pleased that our grocery store had boneless, skinless dark meat).
  • We should have bought the pre-chopped onions that are available in produce. It would have saved a short bit of time.
  • I used garlic from the jar, which saved prep time. So sue me....it saved time.
  • That was all the prep work that it took and it was very quick (like 10 minutes).  
  • My mother doesn't like heat, so I only added a dash of the red pepper flakes. This was not my preference, because I like things spicier.
  • The jar of sun dried tomatoes weren't cut. They we're large tomatoes. I'd suggest cutting these in half before you put them in the pot.
  • Next time I make this I'd like to try it with three cheeses sprinkled over the top for each plate. The parmesan that was in the dish was fabulous. But I love cheese. I'd like to see what those other would do. I might even try it with a little mushroom. But it is perfect as it it.
  • This is a perfect recipe. It took us at most 30 minutes from prep to finish. You only have one dish to clean, the pot that you dump everything and cook in, and a few prep utensil. I cannot wait to make this again! One of the best and easiest recipes I've ever made




Tuesday, March 28, 2017

A NEW Super Tall Building is proposed in New York

OIIO STUDIO  


A new "supertall" skyscraper has been proposed for New York.  The inverted "u-shaped" tower would be 4000 ft, the longest tower in the world and would stand at its curve approximatley 200 ft higher than One Trade Center, which is tallest tower in New York.  The design is by architect Ioannis Oikonomou. who was influenced by the technology of horizontal elevators.

“'If we manage to bend our structure instead of bending the zoning rules of New York we would be able to create one of the most prestigious buildings in Manhattan,'” he continued. “'The longest building in the world. The Big Bend can become a modest architectural solution to the height limitations of Manhattan.'”  The building is proposed to be built to the south of Central Park on 'billionaires row.'

I'm not sure that I like the design.  What do you think?

Reference:
"The Big Bend: U-shaped New York Skyscraper seeks 'Longest in the World Title."  Moore, J. 2017. http://www.newsweek.com/big-bend-u-shaped-new-york-skyscraper-seeks-longest-world-title-575267/.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

NEW Train Technology that helps to drown out all of the bad news in our country

I love the subject of transportation.  I've always been particularly fascinated with airlines, but my curiosity has included trains and ocean liners.

In the U.S., we do not depend on rail travel as the rest of the developed (and non) countries around the world.  In fact, the fascist trump proposed a budget proposal that eliminates Amtrak's longer routes.  So much for his discussion while a candidate to build and improve the U.S. infrastructure.

Since a kid, I have lamented that railroad was rather an obsolete and rare form of travel in this declining country.


On a more positive note, there was an article in today's Daily Mail Online (3/21/17) that was very exciting developments in both the US are happening today regarding the advancement and deployment of train travel.  Shame on our government.  It looks like the US government, in the near future, will no longer be the leading driver of developing infrastructure and technology in any way.  If this is true, then the US is no longer the greatest country.

This article was an update on the previously announcement that a new high-speed product which is being developed by the maverick, Elon Musk.  The fast train is expected to travel at the speed of 760 miles per hour.  This article talks about the development of the first passenger capsule pod of the "Hyperloop" system, as it has been named.  The first test prototype of the pod is currently being built.  In addition, there is a "1.8 mile (3 km) full-scale and full speed enclosed prototype is taking shape in the desert in North Las Vegas in Nevada – and the company is expected to perform a public trial in the first half of 2017."

This technology miracle of train traveling train Pod vehicles "will carry a total of 164,000 passengers daily, departing every 40 seconds."  There are a number of routes that have been proposed for implementation of the Hyperloop, including LA-Las Vegas, SFO-Las Vegas, and in the middle east to Dubai, and other routes.

It is such a tragedy that our current country doesn't appear to care about technology and infrastructure development.  These are the investments that made us a great country through the last century.  In my opinion, this is creating a decline of America as a world power.  I don't know if I will live to see this amazing technology come to fruition.   I do know that the current US administration and legislation will do nothing to encourage technology.

Horray for Elon Musk and the other mavericks out there that are moving the world forward.  Shame on our government.



Reference
MacDonald, C. (2017). Hyperloop gets real: Work begins on first passenger pods for Elon Musk's futuristic transport system Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-4336584/Hyperloop-firm-begins-building-passenger-pod.html#ixzz4c1iia26a Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook. Retrieved from http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-4336584/Hyperloop-firm-begins-building-passenger-pod.html 

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Thank You to the blogging community and the town that I live in

The world is so tenuous and doubtful these days.  I often feel that the sky is falling or has fallen.

I want to take time to thank all fellow bloggers/readers and all the people that are in my community.  These factors are what I can rely on in this frightening day and age.


I find that in the US, our future is very frightening and tenuous based upon this fascist president and legislative branch that we put in office.  I want to focus on things that are still in existence, before these people that are currently in office, eliminate all life as we knew it.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

A Renovated GREY GARDENS goes up for sale

The famous Grey Gardens mansion in the Georgica Pond neighborhood of East Hampton has gone up for sale for $20M, according The Wall Street Journal. The home was featured in the 1975 documentary, "Grey Gardens" which featured its owner Edith Ewing Bouvier Beale, known as "Big Edie" and her daughter "Little Edie" (shown in the photo below in front of the house.  Bouvier Beale was an aunt to First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis.

Little Edie’ Beale at Grey Gardens. PHOTO: EVERETT COLLECTION

The documentary illustrates the tragic, ruined lives of these two ladies and their house.  There was also a 2009 great television film dramatizing the story which starred Jessica Lange and Drew Barrymore as Big Edie and Little Edie, respectively.  A 2006 Broadway musical which continued to bring this tragic tale to the forefront. There was an LA production done of the musical at the Ahmanson Theater which starred Betty Buckley and Rachel York in the title roles which I saw in 2016.

Back to Grey Gardens the mansion which in the documentary was shown in complete ruin even though it was occupied.  The mansion eventually was bought by Sally Quinn and Ben Bradlee, editor and journalist, respectively, of The Washington Post .   The property was restored by the couple.   According to Ms. Quinn, it was furnished with refurbished pieces that she found in the attic which belong to the Beales.

Interesting footnote, I thought, to a legendary story.



https://www.wsj.com/articles/grey-gardens-goes-on-the-market-for-nearly-20-million-1486570126


   

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

GEORGE LUCAS selects LA as home to his $1B museum



http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/arts/la-et-cm-la-wins-lucas-museum-20170110-htmlstory.html


George Lucas finally selects LA to build a museum to house his huge collection.   He's paying for the $1B structure as well which will be located in LA's Exposition Park, adjacent to his alma mater SCU.   This is after a decade of work.   Initially his choice was Chicago on the shores of Lake Michigan, but the city wouldn't allow it.  So Mr. Lucas changed his shortlist to Los Angeles and San Francisco.  San Francisco offered Treasure Island as a location and LA offered Exposition Park which is central to LA and in close to the LA museums.  I think it's apropos that he chose LA since much of his collection that will be on display is movie related.