Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Depth was our Difference

The day before Thanksgiving almost everyone was gone, Andy was in Maine, Alison was on her way home, so it was just Steph and I hanging out. She enticed me with a homecooked meal and a promise of spooning.

Here is the sweet corn soup with broccoli and carrots. The money shot is the final dressing of cilantro.

The main dish was a sandwich made with grilled lemon pepper tofu, roasted yellow peppers, a semi soft cheese spread on one side of a multi grain roll and some spinach. Oh my god..one of the best sandwiches I've put in my mouth!

I drove to Donal's house in Shrewsbuy on Thanksgiving night. It was a quick drive, about 1.75 hours, but should have taken 2.5. No one was on the road...everyone was in triptophan heaven laying on the couch. So yeah, I went to Donal's to hang out and go to J's wedding. Donal was one of the Best Men, along with his longtime friend and roommate Blake. Here are Donal and Blake in their tuxes.

The night before we got J thoroughly wasted at his house and then his friends from England, Rob and Harry, went on a walk to the Uni-Mart to buy munchies. Here is J with his favorite thing, donuts with cream filling. If you look closely, you can see the donut has a hole in it, but it is still cream-filled! This phenomenon sparked much discussion about the how's and why's of the cream filled holed donut.
Then J got a lap dance.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Sexual Healing

A while back I asked you for suggestions of magazines that might have sexual dysfunction advertisements hidden in their pages. You all pointed me in the right direction, and I've spent the majority of the past two weeks (when I'm not in class or teaching) sitting in the free library going through microfilm of a dozen magazines for the year 2004 and photocopying each advertisement for a product that claims to enhance sex. My sample of magazines is stratified to look at gender and racial differences, but was hand selected to include only those magazines that focus on health, sex and relationships in some section of their publication. All of these ads are my data set for a paper I'm writing this semseter (and hopefully presenting on at the Eastern's in Boston!) entitled, "Sexual Healing".

This is the best title for any paper I've ever written. Thank you, Marvin Gaye.

Most of the ads are so explicit, even I was unprepared. I'm specifically using Erving Goffman's categories to examine the images, but adding in some categories of my own, such as who is the voice who is telling us we're dysfunctional and that we need help, as well as some categories that will help me put an analytical focus on the wording/text of the advertisement. Here is an example:

Clearly the woman is the gaze object since she is the only one with a face, (and geez, look at that face, she must be in ecstasy) she's using her feminine touch lightly on his chest, he's expressing dominance by more fully holding her in place with his hand on her hip. Some of the more subtle things to look for are their clearly displayed wedding bands ( I suppose we're to assume they're married to each other). This ad is unique from many of the others in that it suggests that the sex you're having isn't horrible, but it could be improved. Most other ads focus on some sort of medical glitch that requires a simple and quick fix, such as a little blue pill, when it comes to male dysfunction, but for women it's more complicated. Ads for products that target women focus not on a medical problem, but on a social problem, the inability to get sufficiently aroused by your partner. This is perhaps the most interesting finding of my whole study, women are constantly labeled as passive and merely responsive to male sexual interest, not really having any of their own. This is the "dysfunction" of female sexuality. But ladies, for real, we know this isn't true! Yet, we're bombarded with these images and stereotypes about our sexuality on a daily basis.

Great lovers are made, but I think through subtle, okay maybe not so subtle, messages like the ones pictured above, women are told to create their own inferiority to men. We can't be on equal footing with them anywhere, even in the bedroom!

Friday, November 18, 2005

Pizza, Pizza!!

Trader Joe's makes many great things. One of my favorites is the pizza dough. You buy it, you put it in the fridge. When you want pizza you take the dough out of the fridge and put it on the counter for 20 minutes. Then you take it out of the bag, put it on a floured surface and make a pizza shape.

Andy is responsible for bringing this homemade pizza thing in to my life. I am eternally grateful.

Here are some pies we made last week.

I love a good cheese pizza, this is a blend of parm, asiago and fontina, with just some basic marinara sauce, also from TJ's.

Pizza, Pizza!!

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Steph, Andy and I headed down Poplar street in search of Ethiopian food. I had never had Ethiopian food before and neither had Andy, so Steph acted as tour guide through the experience once we finally got to "The Era" around 28th and Poplar.

Here she is with her lovely vegetarian dish. The menu, which I should have taken a picture of, but didn't, was a bit confusing. Each entree was given a number 1 - 9. I had the number 4, not spicy. Andy had the number 8, spicy and Stephanie wanted the number 9 which was a potato dish. Unfortunately there were two number nines on the menu, one potato, one lentils. She ordered the first number nine, but was brought the second. I was brought the correct meat with the wrong spice level, mine was bright red and hot! Poor Andy who wanted to hotness got the mild version.

We consoled ourselves with beers. The food also took an enormously long time to get to us. Around 45 minutes, which wouldn't have been bad in a crowded restaurant in old City on Saturday, but this was Fairmont Park on a Wednesday night and we were the only people in the restaurant! Here is Andy's lamb dish with green beans.

Again, to the pass the time, we watched Andy develop the biggest granny ash ever while using his cigarette holder.

This is my beautiful, but really spicy, dinner of beef with greens and salad. The bread they give you under the food is really amazing. No utensils are offered, you simply tear some bread and load it up with a combination of things from your plate and chow down. I liked the eating with my hands part, but I wish they'd provided a wet nap so I could have cleaned myself up better.

Here is a close up of the bread. You can see the little holes in it if you look closely, this gave the bread a sort of elastic and spongy texture that really worked with the food, because the sauce from the meat and the juices from the veggies really soaked in and flavored the whole thing.

So, The Era was interesting, I enjoyed the Ethiopian food, it's a cross between Indian and Moroccan I think, it's hard to explain really, but give it a try if you've never had it.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Your Apocalypse is Fab

Q: What do you do with pumpkins that you didn't carve for Halloween?
A: Make roasted pumpkin tacos!

Here is Alison (after she broke my carving knife) with the cleaned out pumpkin pieces. We reserved the seeds and I roasted them later, but they were so salty no one would eat them :(

We melted some butter and added hot chili sauce and garlic and poured it all over the cut sides of the pumpkin. Next I sprinkled a mixture of sea salt, cumin, allspice and cinnamon all over the butter drenched pumpkin. They took about an hour and half to roast in the oven, and then they looked yummy and were soft enough to cut and eat.

All that was left to do was make a quick tomato and onion salsa with a roasted anaheim chili and heat up some black beans. We scooped out to pumpkin flesh, threw it in some tortillas with some sala and beans, and viola! Dinner.

Best pumpkin taco I've ever eaten.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Halloween was a while ago, I know, but I've been busy, so I'm just posting the pictures tonight. This very scary woman was mary's idea, and she did a lovely job.
Mary the fairy, and the super creative costume of "One who smells like dirty hippie" from Futurama. Yes.
My roomate Andy (far left) and Jen's boyfriend Morgan (middle) were both dressed as Hunter S. Thompson. Stesphanie did not dress up, but we still love her.
E and Alison
Stephanie with Che Guevara, I mean, Donal. No, that's not Donal's boxers, it's a patch, but awkward placement. We all had a good laugh about it.

Sunday, November 06, 2005


Last night I went out to a nice dinner, my date started the night off right with some pretty Gerber Daisies.

We took a cab down to Old City, and since the SEPTA situation is so shitty lately, we were afraid it was going to take forever, but we got a cab in like under 10 minutes, and the ride was quick. We had some time to kill before dinner, so we walked around the city a bit, and then stopped in to Charlie's Pub. I thought it was going to be kind of low key, but I had somehow forgotten where I was, because nothing is relaxed and low key on 3rd and Arch, so it was a little too bourgeoisie for me. I still had a great martini (pictured below) that raspberry flavored and had some Razzles candy in it. I also had two Magic Hat #9's. Yummy.

We were so hungry by the time we got to Chloe and ordered starters that we devoured them before I had time to take the picture. But we shared a baked feta cheese with tomatoes and pepperoncini and a lobster strudel with an orange burre blanc. Wicked. Sorry for the lack of photographic evidence. I did remember the camera when the main courses arrived. Here is my seared scallops with baby greens on a potato pancake.

This is Lindsey, our waitress extraordinaire!

And lastly, the cornmeal and crab stuffed trout with garlic spinach and roasted tomato coulis. Oh-my-god!
The food at Chloe is awesome, the owners/chefs, Dan and Marianne are also outrageously funny and friendly people. The restaurant is reasonably priced for the quality of the food, the ambiance is nice, the whole place only seats 32, and cash only, but it's a BYO, so do like I did and bring a nice big bottle of Shiraz and drink it all.
If you go, chat with host, he's a laugh. I think we made plans to watch the new Family Guy movie together. I had so much wine this is completely possible or completely made up.

Later that night, Alison and I had a few drinks with the staff at Chloe and then shared a drunken cab ride home.