Ode to four-posters and canopy beds.

I have always had a thing for four-posters and canopy beds.  Call it a princess syndrome, but I think it's more to do with the comfort of curling up in a small space, a room within a room, or maybe a tent.  There is someting so giddily secret and safe about it.  Here are some outstanding, sleek and lovely examples I found while trolling around the internets.

Chili dreams.

Tonight I made chili for the first time in my life.  Chili is one of those things that seeps down deep in your soul.  I can never pass it up, if I see it on a menu.  I have fond memories of cracking open a can of Stagg chili when I was a kid, but I have since graduated to ever-soaring heights of flavor with all the fancy-like chilis to be found in diners, cafes, and the like.

But I really wanted to be able to wield this kind of power myself.  I want the freedom of having chili whenever and however I please. 

I love chili so much, that I refrained from eating it tonight (except for many taste tests to make sure it was coming together).  Instead, I'm letting it sit overnight in my fridge, to let the flavors meld together in that magical way stews have of tasting even better the next day.  It's hard, though, not to fantasize about spooning up a bowlful tomorrow evening, topped with shredded cheddar (aged 3 years!) and diced onion, and with a fat square of fresh buttered cornbread to go with it.

I can't wait!  Pictures forthcoming.

Movie trailer as a form of art, part 2

I've been getting a few naysayers who hate trailers because of how much they reveal.  While a trailer that reveals too much is probably poorly cut, I, like Pooja, maintain that the story told by the trailer is pretty much independent of the movie, so it almost doesn't matter what the trailer shows.  I love that they are miniature movies in their own right, that they have their own structure (intro/beginning, exposition, rising action, climax, resolution/suggestion), and yes, they keep you wanting more.

Case in point: a few years ago there was a contest among students of film editing, and the task was to take a popular film and recut a trailer for it that would make the movie look like it belonged in a totally different genre.  The best of the bunch was this, The Shining, recut.

Now it's got a bunch of copycats on YouTube, but this was the original.  Total genius.

Movie trailer as a form of art.

I'm not the best with timeliness when it comes to blog posting.  So expect me to dredge up a lot of stuff I've been interested in for a long long time.  This is not of-the-moment stuff.

I love movie trailers in general, and trailers for coming-of-age, relationship-building, indie, and romantic comedies in particular (I tend to shy away from horror and thriller/suspense).  I can watch them over and over and over again, and before I know it I have wasted 1.5 hours instead of doing whatever it is I'm supposed to be doing.

Case in point: a couple years ago I was obsessed with the trailer for Shopgirl.  I only half wanted to watch the movie (I finally netflixed it long after...it did not disappoint, but was not quite as delicious as the trailer).  There was just something so beautifully restrained and lovely about the way this trailer was cut, besides the fact that I love Steve Martin, Claire Danes, and am even a little fond of Jason Schwartzmann.  Tonally--it's pitch-perfect, conveying this spartan emptiness that moves cautiously into shy pleasure, wonder, and then warm human contact.  I love it.


And then, after thinking more about it, I realized the music really shaped my perception of the trailer (hah, what's new, right?).  One of my pet peeves is when a trailer editor uses a song in the trailer that is nowhere to be found on the movie's actual soundtrack.  That's another blog post in itself. 

Anyway, I used my google search prowess to find the songs used: "Consequence" by The Notwist, "First Breath After Coma" by Explosions in the Sky, and "The Sound of Settling" by Death Cab For Cutie.  I'm including the first two mp3s for your listening pleasure =)

Hey kid, do you like muffins?

A couple weeks ago, a local farmer dropped off a tall stack of boxes at our office, each containing a dozen beautiful, organic stone fruits: white nectarines, white peaches, and yellow nectarines.  I guess it was a rather expensive marketing strategy.  I ate all the white nectarines because they were so luscious and sweet.  But the others I had trouble finishing.  So I started trolling AllRecipes.com for something that would put these fruits to good use.

Someone had suggested a peach/nectarine crisp.  While I love crisps of all kinds (especially peach), I thought this was too obvious, and it's hard to get myself to eat too much crisp.  I wanted something more useful and unexpected.  And I knew I had my answer when I came across this recipe for peach muffins.

I read through a good number of reviews before deciding which tweaks I would make to the recipe.  I decided to add 1/2 c. milk (adding milk is always a good idea!), replace some of the cinnamon with nutmeg, and put in 3 c. of fruit instead of 2.  I also halved the sugar because I don't like really sugary sweets, and the extra fruit would add enough sugar.  I baked at 400F for about 21 min.  They came out perfectly delicious.  The only thing I regret is forgetting to add chopped pecans, which would have made my muffins transcendant.

Also, you might enjoy www.muffinfilms.com.  It was just one of the many ways I procrastinated in college.  I recommend the films 'Psst...,' 'The Muffin Tree,' 'Muffinless,' and the genius 'Bluebirds in Spring.'

4pm luncheon for one.

Made this souped-up chicken stew last night.  Mirepoix, corn, broccoli, potatoes, wild rice, pasta stars, white and dark chicken, and TJ's low sodium chicken broth.

Would be very healthy indeed, if I had not added an over-easy egg and half an avocado for good measure.

Too bad I burned my tongue on it.  Now it's game over for the rest of the day  -_______-.