Sunday, February 28, 2010

Best. Birthday Present. Ever

image via The New York Times

No words required.


Thursday, February 25, 2010

This is so much more complicated than the no-knead bread recipe but it does explain how & why it works.

From The New York Times:

THE CURIOUS COOK: Better Bread With Less Kneading

Baking the same loaves daily — firm and wet, kneaded and not — to find out whether less work makes a superior bread.

Get The New York Times on your iPhone for free by visiting

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Sunday, February 21, 2010

Fried Chicken Moment

Last night I finally had my "fried chicken" moment, but rather than just give in to the Colonel I thought I'd try some other spot. One often mentioned place is a Korea Town (West on Bloor, between Spadina and Christie Pits). It wasn't anything special to me. Though it did come with a side of free… something. I have no idea what. Some kind of pickled thing?

Maybe that's just my tongue. It's a lot better than it was but it still feels like a "bad tongue day" and only now, 24 days after my Bleo injection, am I getting more taste back. There's still a white, quarter sized area near the injection site that's been bothersome. I think it's the slow, gradual improvement that's so frustrating. It's hard to know if it's getting better or just staying the same. At least I can eat pretty much anything now, and I've even gained back most of the weight I had lost. If I keep looking for Toronto's best fried chicken, I'll gain it all back and then some. Maybe I'll hold off a few weeks before I take on the Buttermilk marinated fried chicken, at the Stockyard Smokehouse & Larder.

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Tuesday, February 16, 2010

On the Mend... Again

This is just a very brief update to say that 18 days after my Bleo treatment, I've officially finished the second course of steroids but I'm still working on the second batch of anti-biotics. My tongue has improved a lot in the last 24 hours and now sort of just feels bad. Imagine you have burned your tongue, oh and on top of the burns are cankers. Which is what constitutes as an improvement in these parts. Other symptoms still persist. I'm pretty sure I still have some minor infection of the tonsils as my throat is still sore, my tonsils are sore and I still have an ear ache. Unfortunately that may mean another week of discomfort and anti-biotics. It kept me from playing hockey tonight and will keep me from going to the pool for awhile. It seems I'm always sick or recovering during the Olympics.

Ontario today had a "Family Day" holiday, which is odd and I'm still not used to it but I'm glad I had a Monday to sleep in as I think it helped a lot. I spent the day working on a personal project, watching the men's downhill and putting a blind back up in the living room. I'm sure I'll be slowly returning to "normal" this week and hopefully I'll be fully mended in time for a birthday meal of disgusting proportions. I'm already planning the menu. It's going to be like Noah's Ark. Two of every animal shall march through a dipping sauce and step directly on to my hand-built 300 cubit-long barbecue! I'm calling it Pete's Great Eat Meat-apolooza!


Thursday, February 11, 2010

I believe the expression is "I'm chuffed" about our new window.

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Monday, February 08, 2010

This is Your Tongue on Drugs

Image from the Faber Book of Science. Photograhper Pietro Motta.

I'm writing this not for sympathy but for my own public record. It's been ten days since my Bleo treatment and I'm worse than ever. I thought I'd turned a corner this weekend and I had but it was a turn for the worse. There is a searing, sharp pain on the left side of the tongue, along with residual pain in the tonsils and a deeply painful ear ache (by deeply painful I mean it feels like there's a knitting needle in my ear). The whole left side of my head is like a foreign object.

Again, I'm not looking for sympathy, just to record that I thought I was feeling better by Sunday, but by Monday 4:00AM I was feeling as badly as I ever had. Of course this means I haven't slept and can barely put two thoughts together so I've stayed home from work again. My resentment towards healthful, laughing, smiling individuals is complete.

I noticed in the news today that Son Pham, a Vietnamese boy of 13 is going home to Hanoi. Son Pham has had a much harder time of it than me. His venous malformations were like a football-sized growth on one side of his head that made breathing, speaking and eating difficult. After over a year and 26 procedures he's had a major improvement and is leaving Boston for Vietnam soon. Just think of that. 26 procedures. 26. In just over a year. He must've been in constant recovery. I feel like I have a boo-boo next to this kid.

Still, it's not his pain I'm feeling. It's my own and like anything you own in entirety, you're left to deal with it solely by yourself.


Sunday, February 07, 2010

Super Sunday

Unfortunately, I'm still having a fair amount of pain in my tongue this weekend. Mind you, that didn't stop me from making some amazing short ribs to enjoy during the game. After more than two hours in the oven the meat literally melted in my mouth. It would have to as I still can't chew very effectively at all. I had to force myself to eat but I'm glad I did. It's been the first time in over a week I've actually felt full.

I'm looking forward to a post-game milkshake.


Monday, February 01, 2010

All's Swell

All is swell, and swollen. Late Saturday night I felt it coming and by early Sunday morning, my tongue was large enough to force my mouth open. It hurt. Even the hair on my tongue hurt. When I spoke it sounded as though I was a stroke victim. Unfortunately, I had to wait until Monday to contact the clinic to get a prescription that could help and it wasn't until Monday afternoon I could get said script. Yet, I think the tide is turning, or at the very least the screws in my tongue have stopped turning.

Hey, did you know you could survive for days on just soup broth, sugar water and Advil? Well you can and now you know - so just pack some water, bouillon cubes, a couple of colas and some Advil in that survival kit and you'll be good to go.


Seen in January

image via The Auteurs

1st - A Serious Man
Oddly memorable film from the Coens. Not sure what it all means but it's worth trying to figure it out.

The Scalphunters
Harmless Saturday afternoon 60's Western directed by Sidney Pollack and starring Burt Lancaster, Ossie Davis, Telly Savalas and Shelly Winters. Ridiculous fight scene at the end complete with "tweety bird" sound effects. The film never knows if it's a Western or a comedy. Terrible score lifted straight from Bonanza or Gun Smoke.

2nd - Dogville
Strip away the artifice of filmmaking to reveal the art(ifice) of filmmaking and what do you get? Lars Von Trier that's what. A nihilistic fable that keeps you thinking.

Harvard Beats Yale 29-29
A whole helluva lot more fun than Dogville. There's nothing quite as satisfying as seeing an underdog comeback. Nearly as amazing are the remarkable number of odd connections; Tommy Lee Jones, Meryl Streep, Al Gore and George W. Bush are all participants or get an honourable mention.

3rd - Solaris

09 - Moon
Duncan Jones' Moon is an excellent tale of someone discovering he's not who he thought he was, or an investigation of self, or of man and isolation or of our dependence on technology or the meaninglessness of modern work, or the soulessness of the corporation or all of the above. Would play well with 2001, Solaris, Blade Runner. Well acted by Sam Rockwell and Sam Rockwell. "Wake me when it's quittin' time" isn't just a pithy t-shirt.

10 - My Kid Could Paint That
No real proof that this kid actually painted intriguingly good abstracts on her own. Yet you wonder if the Heisenberg principle isn't at work here. That being you can never observe a phenomenon without affecting the results.

15- Breaking Bad S02 ep1-2

16 - An Education
Why did the smartest, prettiest girl in school want to go with an older guy? 'Cause he drove a smart car & had money in his pocket that's why. This coming of age film is different. The person coming of age is a prematurely mature 16 year-old British school girl. The curious thing about this film is how it adroitly skips over the completely absurdly inappropriate relationship we are witnessing.

17 - Amelie
If you are able to resist the charms if Audrey Tatou then you're a stronger person than I and the CIA may wish to create a charm-resistant vaccine from your blood.

Scott Walker: 30th Century Man
This is what happens when a Beatnik kid grows up to become an avant garde musician who made records in the 60s that influenced people like David Bowie, Brian Eno and Damon Albarn to mention just a few. His music isn't for me but it's interesting to see at least one progressive musician from the 60s continue to evolve. Overall, A pretty boring documentary on an interesting subject full of iTunes style "visualizations" to make up for the lack of footage.

22 - breaking bad s02 e05-06

23 - il Divo
The most confusing but engaging film I've seen about politics, corruption and crime. Sort of like the book end to Gomorrah, which showed the low-end bottom-up end of la cosa Nostra, il Divo shows the high-end top down part.

24 - Objectified
Nice to see a film talking about product design. Now I want to go and design a chair. Or buy one.

29 - In The Loop
Bullies, psychopaths, idiots, morons, weaseling interns, and conniving politicos; these are just a few of the characters you'll see in this expertly written and performed British comedy. The only unfunny thing about this film is the fear you have that maybe, just maybe this is how the US and Britain made the case to invade Iraq. Especially after a scientist's suicide, the outing of a CIA agent, proof of falsified claims of Saddam trying to obtain yellow cake uranium or lack of proof of WMD and allegations of more lies in the march to war.

30 - Pontypool
People become zombies from hearing infected English words. It's like Rush Limbaugh makes people flesh eating zombies. Sort of.

31 - 500 Days of Summer
The music, the animation, the idiosyncratic friends, sage wisdom from a child, -the "aw shucks, ain't love grand" theme makes this film too twee & manufactured for my taste. I guess we've reached a point where "indie film" has become an actual formula, created to reach a certain demographic (like Garden State or Napoleon Dynamite). Also, where in the world does a karaoke bar play The Pixies and The Clash? In Twee-land apparently.

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