Friday, March 14, 2008

W(h)ine

Last night I was supposed to have fun plans. There were to be about 7 of us, and I was excited to get back into meeting new friends. I had to work at the cafe and knew that time would be tight, but I worked fast and got out by 6:00 and raced home to shower.

At 7:15 I hopped on the T and took it downtown. For some reason, I thought that I would be able to find the venue by myself. I thought it would be fairly obvious where I was to go and I'd only be a few minutes late.

That wasn't the case.

I walked up and down and couldn't locate the place for the life of me. So I did what any self-respecting single in a new city & has no back up plans girl would do: I bought 2 bottles of wine for under $20 and vowed to do a side by side comparison of them both.

In the name of blogging, of course. (That's the only way it didn't seem like a drinking problem.)

Near the T station there was a wine cellar that boasted that they have 100 wines for under $10 each. This was perfect for many reasons-but the honest to goodness reason was that I could use this as a column later on...cheap wine, good flavor-you get the point.

The staff was extremely excited to help me and quickly chose 2 reds-both Spanish-for me to try. (I'd told her I like Reds better and that my favorite was a Rioja, hence, the Spanish wines.)

Here is what I came home with...

The first wine was a Tempranillo, which is a black grape varietal from Rioja, Spain. They are to be are ruby red with aromas and flavors of berries, plum, tobacco, vanilla, leather and herb. When I poured this wine into my glass, it was indeed a clear red, but I thought more of a cranberry color-in fact, I wrote down that it "reminds me of cranberry sauce". I lifted the glass to my nose, closed my eyes (b/c that's how I did it in school) and took a big hearty sniff.

All I could smell was alcohol. Literally no other aromas were coming through-this was a bad sign. It wasn't going to be good.

My first reaction to this wine being in my mouth was that it was spicy. It tingled a little bit on my tongue which wasn't horrible but more like...weird. The finish, however, was harsh and bitter and it sort of burned going down, but was quick to go away.

Not a good wine. Unless of course, you are a carnie and you want to do a fire breathing act-in that case, buy all of the bottles so that no one else has to drink this. Ever.

My next wine was a Monastrell-also a grape from Rioja. The wine that this grape produces is characterized by its deep red color, strong aroma and ability to age well. It is said to have aromas and flavors of spices, leather and (they say) in less ripe conditions, herbal nuances.

Again, this wine was very clear and the color was beautiful. This was a bit deeper than the Tempranillo and closer to what it is supposed to look like. The nose of this wine was also closer because behind the (also very strong) aroma of alcohol, I could smell leather. Behind that-and this might sound weird to some of you-I smelled a cow pasture.

When tasting this wine I was brought instantly back to a gas station. Why? Because it tastes like engine oil smells. That was my first and strongest reaction to having this in my mouth, and my second (also strong) reaction was to spit it out. I didn't however because I wanted to see what the finish was going to be like.

It was very, very bitter and very, very dry. Unlike the Tempranillo though, this one lasted, and lasted until I finally went to brush my teeth.

Carnie-if you have a friend, make your show a duo and buy this wine too...

This tasting was the first I'd tried either types of wine (I think-I may have had some in my wine tasting class, but we tasted so many that I don't remember.) and I was very disappointed. I'm willing to try them both again in more expensive versions and perhaps another year. This time I'll get a glass at a wine bar or something so that if I don't like it I can send it back and get another type.

Though I don't think I have to summarize my experience, here it is in one word:

Ick.

TGIF

In a surprising twist of events, black bald men do not freak me out.  In fact, I think some look better without the hair.  And now, to today's post.
 
Which is sort of a rant.  Don't hate me because I'm bitchy....
 
Open letter to the "cute" college girl (who thinks her shit don't stink):
 
It does.
 
You may think you are the hottest little thing since young Britney, but in fact, you're just a spoiled little girl who's got a lot to learn.  This world does not revolve around you.  That means that when the "Do Not Walk" sign doesn't say "Walk" that you must remain on the side of the street until it comes on.  Don't worry honey, you'll know it's your turn when the little man pops up on the screen.  Then, and ONLY then are you permitted to step foot on the street on which I am driving.
 
No, your little skirt in the middle of the cold snap does not give you a free pass.  All it does is make you look desperate because all of the other girls are wearing pants, hats, coats, gloves and scarves.  You on the other hand are not even wearing nylons-and I know that it's not because you can't afford them.  Living where you do & attending the school you do makes me know that. (As does the over sized Coach bag hanging on your shoulder.)
 
In short: Don't step in front of my car again because if you do, I will run your skinny little ass down.
 
Sincerely,
 
Maggie Moo
 
 
 
 
 
 

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Top Chef: Episode 1

Hooray! Top Chef is back, and they're cooking in Chicago this season. Sixteen chef contestants (Bravo calls them 'cheftestants' but I refuse) will battle it out for $100,000 to further their culinary career. Ok, enough of the technicalities-let's dish.

And yes-as bad as it may be, the pun was intended.



Contestants met for the first time at the legendary Pizzeria Unos and promptly begin chowing down on hoards of deep dish pizza. Not long after Zoi announces that she and Jennifer are a couple in real life Tom and Padma walk in.



For their first quick challenge each chef had to create their own signature deep dish pizza. My favorite thing about this challenge was the absurd amount of pizza dough that was piled high on a bench in the back of the kitchen. Didn't you just want to smoosh it?!? It was a great advantage for them that they didn't have to make that too.

The weirdest pizza I saw came from Mark-the guy with the sexy New Zealand accent (but not so sexy sideburns). He used marmite which was one of his "can't live without" ingredients. With the exception of another pizza that had peaches and a sweet tea reduction, the other pizzas seemed pretty uninspiring.


The group was divided into the top 8 and bottom 8. For the elimination challenge the top chefs got to choose a bottom chef to compete head to head with. The crap part of this though, was that the loser chefs got to choose which dish they were preparing! That, to me, seems like something the winning chefs should have had control over...in any case, this is where personalities started emerging.

Right off the bat Andrew stands out-mainly because of his excessive use of the "f' word but also because in every kitchen there is an Andrew. He's a cocky son of a bitch who thinks he's the greatest. And then there's the fact that he also reminds me of my top competitor in culinary school...who I grew to love. So, it's no surprise to me that I secretly want him to succeed as I enjoy watching him fail. (Sorry killer.)

Who do I hate right away? Nimma. Not as a person because she seems lovely, though a little passive. I hate her because she's the girl in the kitchen who you have to carry because 3/4 of the time she's in her own world. Kitchens are tough to work in, and you can't be all about butterflies and fairy wings when Andrew the fire breathing New Yorker is on the line. Spoiler alert-she got the ax.

Who the hell makes cauliflower flan anyway? And why can't she make it work-especially when she graduated CIA? Buh-bye.

Stephanie, though a bit unsure of herself, pulls out the win with a nontraditional duck a l'orange dish that looked stunning. I don't know why, but I'm always starstruck when I get an egg roll cut on a bias standing up on my plate. I think Anthony Bourdain does too, because he was practically licking the plate. (I love that he was on tonight-& love even more that he was nice-though I look forward to his cynicism in the future.)

The big question this week was weather or not Zoi and Jennifer have an advantage being a couple. What do you think?

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Randomivity

It's always a fun conversation when you can have it twice...once when it happens spontaneously and again when the person you're talking to repeats it back to you as if you weren't involved.
 
It's a black fly in your chardonnay
 
Being told my a cute boy that he can spot any shady characters and that the next time you go out he'll help you is weird.  Why?  Well, b/c HE'S cute and not shady. *shrug*
 
My camera sucks.  Those pictures?  Gone.  I had to reformat the card because they were corrupt.  :(
 
Time changes really throw me off.  You'd think it would be so bad, b/c it's just an hour...well...that's 1 hour of precious sleep and man, do I need it!
 
People don't really seem to like coconut.  Oh well...
 
Even though I know it's a natural thing and that everyone poops, I still want to go hide when someone (read: a hottie) is talking about it.
 
Top Chef starts tonight!!  This is the first year I actually have Bravo, and I can't wait to watch it.  Before I had to get play by plays from another cute boy.
 
I need to buy my own cafe.  Anyone want to spot me some cold hard cash???
 
There are actually people who are trained to restore violins.  And I can tell you-they are weird.
 
It's funny to see someones true feelings about their siblings come out in conversation-especially when:
1.  You've just met the person
2.  You don't know their family
3.  You don't agree with their opinion
 
Sometimes, you should just shut your mouth-saying, "I don't think that means they are overbearing-I think it means they are supportive." will make your new acquaintance upset.
 
You put the lime in the coconut, you drink 'em both together
Put the lime in the coconut, then you feel better
Put the lime in the coconut, drink 'em both up
Put the lime in the coconut, and call me in the morning
 
And also...I know I haven't visited you all lately-it's just been hard to sit in front a computer when I get home at night...I'll catch up with you and comment soon.  Thanks for still visiting me. :)

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Toosdae ?'s

For some reason, these questions all have to do with exposure. I am curious to hear what you all have to say!

1. You can't wear clothes but you still have to go out in public. What do you cover your body with to keep your private parts private?

2. What is your opinion on breastfeeding in public. Yay! or Nay! ? (I feel the need to put a disclaimer that I mean *children* and mothers on this question)

3. Have you ever been "invaded" when you have been doing something private such as: Changing in a dressing room, going to the bathroom or having sex?

1. I would smear myself with honey and them wrap myself in yarn. That way the yarn would stick and it would be warm.

2. As a woman I think my answer should be yay but in fact, it's nay. I think that women should go into the bathroom when they are in the mall or a public place. If they're at a party they could ask to use a bedroom or something. It's just not appropriate in public IMO.

3. Yes. To all 3. And none of them were fun.

Monday, March 10, 2008

On A Clear Day


Yesterday I had the city to myself-or at least it seemed that way.

After Saturday's rain, I was aching to get outside to explore. I was hosting a lunch at a restaurant on the pier and thought I'd get there a little early to explore the area. Little did I know, the 45 minutes that MBTA projected it would take to get there would really be 20 minutes-so I had LOTS of time.

It was a clear, sunny day with blustery wind-just the kind of day I love. I took the time to marvel at my city and fell in love all over again. With the exception of a few cars and taxis, it felt like I stopped time and had the streets to myself. There were no people walking around and it was calm and quiet-something that normally would feel a bit erie in a city but yesterday, it was simply peaceful.

The views were amazing. I love Boston's architecture and especially love the way the buildings seem to just spring up out of the ground. I can not explain that last statement, it's just something I imagine when I walk the streets.

After a lovely lunch on the water, I decided to explore a bit more. Because of the time change, it was still bright and beautiful and I was invigorated by the city that seemed to be calling my name.

I love the way the light dances on the buildings here. If you've never been to Boston, you really ought to visit.

Slowly but surely I meandered through the side streets making my way to Government Center where I took the T back home. It was so amazing! Being that it was Sunday, a lot of places were closed so I once again felt like I stopped time. It was WAY less intimidating that when people are bustling around. I just felt so free and alive...

It was a good day.

(PS-please read below-I took about 50 pictures but I can't get them to load onto my computer. I really would like to print some and frame them so if you have any ideas about how I can get them email me please!)
Monday's are MoMoLicious

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Help Needed

I have 42 pictures on a ScanDisk camera card that I can view when it is in my camera. (Nikon Coolpix L11) When I try to view them on my computer or transfer them I am told that there are no pictures on the card.

But I know they are there b/c I can view them on the camera. (I already checked to be sure they weren't on the hard drive)

So...how can I get these photos off? They're really great pictures of the city and I'd hate to lose them...any suggestions? I suspect that the camera created a folder which I can't access-so...does anyone know how? Please email me if you do. I REALLY want these pics!!