Sunday, September 16, 2012

Is this bruschetta? I don't think so.

What you do is take the fresh bakery rolls, pop them in the over and bake them.  Then you slice them in half and brown them in a skillet with butter until they're crispy and browned.  While that's happening, you coarsely chop tomatoes, basil, avocado and toss with salt, pepper, a little balsamic vinegar, lemon olive oil.  Then you take the bread, crispy side up, pour over the tomato mix, top with a bit of mozz cheese and broil until your kitchen smells all buttery toasty.

Then you eat breakfast.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

It's her fault I have the manic giggles today

Wolfe: i am stressed and sickly

Louise: why stressed and how sickly (you can't possibly be sickly after all your kale juice!)

Wolfe: i think i have a cold.. and i slept very little last two nights... the pigeons scared me this morning
Louise: beady eyes
Wolfe: i was awake all night.. finally went to sleep at 5:30 am.. and the damn pigeons frightened me awake... they were digging in my pots so i thought i had an intruder.. cat burgler if you will
Louise: pigeon burglar technically

Wolfe: i wonder wot a pigeon burger would taste like.. prolly like dirt given how much of mine they eat

Louise: pigeon is tasty actually, but probably not urban pigeons.

Wolfe: vile creatures... you know they attacked me in sri lanka... repeatedly... hitchcock style

Louise: sri lankan pigeons are probably more vicious than cambridge ones... cambridge ones are just fat and lazy
Wolfe: full of my potted seeds
Louise: feathery little fuckers

Louise: had egg whites for breakfast with one piece of toast and pb.. have more egg whites for later... and a banana... have some nuts and raisins in bag I think

Wolfe: i'm a nut...put me in a bag with rasins... that is my new pickup line

Louise: i'm not sure that it is a very good pick up line... unless you are talking to a raisin maufacturer

Wolfe: your face is a raisin manufacturer... (collapsing into giggles now)

Louise: your mum etc... weirdo

Wolfe: karen does not think that is a good pick up line either.. and i think i scared daniel from FnDS

Louise: poor boy... try 'i love granola bars but i am missing some nuts' and then wink.

Wolfe: karen says that i am not missing any.. i am nuts... and now i have the manic giggles

Louise: oh dear. face. palm.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Soupy, soupy twist

So like I went to see Hugh Laurie play the blues with his Copper Bottom Band last week.  As is characteristic, while I had it on my diary for about 2 months, I bought the show ticket the day before the event on StubHub and therefore had to pay an ungodly amount.  I was sucker enough to pay 3x the face value and someone out there was clever enough to capitalize on it.  People should do studies on latifs like me to determine my willingness to pay for non-committance.  Oh wait, they already do.

So off I go to the quirky Wilbur to sit on table B, seat 4.  Pleased I am to see that it is 10 feet from the piano (see picutre for proof).  We all know our man plays the piano.  Excitement levels increase at the thought of being so close to celebrity crush while he croons.  Don't even mind sharing table with nice woman and husband and son.

Told Nice Woman that she could be Peter O'Toole's sister while making small talk before show begins (as you do).  Turns out that NW is Hugh Laurie's sister.  Both have faces like horses so should have known.  NW only found out that little brother was playing in Boston the day before so they high-tailed it from Pittsburgh or some such to buy scalped tickets (also for exorbitant price) to see him in action.  Mewonders if there is no love lost there.  Still, she was all very excited to be there and that was nice to see.

The crowd was very mixed.  Young ones and old ones, pressed ones and hippie ones, black ones and white ones.  I tried not to get too annoyed with them (especially the young ones) for encroaching on what should obviously be a private moment between me and Hugh, viz him singing to me, but it was difficult.  Even now, when I think of the phenomenal success the man has become, I feel jealous, almost as if his talent is supposed to be reserved for the enjoyment of those who grew up on P.G. Wodehouse and watched him bring it to life and gleefully stalked him and Fry on the internet and reserved the watching of every single House episode as a secret treat meant only for those deserving after a long week/day/hour of backbreaking consulting work.  Still.  Must share I suppose. 

The show was spectacular.  Vincent Henry played two saxophones at the same time.  Laurie brought on whiskey in little shot glasses to refresh the band.  Sister Jean McClain is now my new favourite person (she sang backup for Tina Turner, you remember).  You should hear her sing.  Kevin Breit did unspeakable things with the guitar (to remind of Peter Tickell and his electric violin at Sting's Back to Bass concert). All throughout the show, Hugh had his eyes either tightly shut concentrating on letting his right foot stomp accentuate the music or gaping at his band members, clearly their biggest fan.  It is so much fun to go to concerts where the folks playing the music are having so much fun.  And the music was lovely too.  All rhythmy and new orleansy and old country and swanee river.  Lovely. 

NW asked how I enjoyed the show after it was all done and dusted.  I told her I was speechless because he was so tremendous.  She seemed pleased to hear that.  I did try and hang about in the hopes that he'd come out to see her and I'd get to talk to him but after a little while of pretending to check my phone and waiting for the crowd to dissipate, it got a little creepy.  Maybe if you were here, we'd have gone together and we'd linger back talking to each other and that would be less groupie.  So basically I'm saying it's your fault I didn't get to meet Hugh Laurie.

Buy the album if you haven't already.  I know you don't like the blues, but buy it anyway.  It has wonderful elements of rhythm and new orleans and old country.  It may even have Swanee River on it.  You can think fondly of me when you hear Buddy Bolden Blues or After You're Gone.  Or even better, Let Them Talk!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Just be perfect. Then be perfect some more. No pressure.

I would like to bring your attention to something that I found quite distressing recently.  At my employer, Consulting Firm Extraordinaire, a poll was taken to have knowledge workers answer the following question - "Which fictional character do you think would make an excellent Firm consultant and why?"  I present to you some of the (editorialized) responses, which, to be fair, are also partly a reflection of the personalities and working styles of the folks who wrote them:
  1. Buzz Lightyear: He's prepared to travel, willing to go the extra mile (indeed to infinity and beyond), shows leadership and capacity to handle change in new environments
  2. Jerry Seinfeld: He makes his audience stop and question its everyday activities, he is entertaining, and he is excellent at speaking in front of a crowd
  3. Superman / Superwoman: has the superpower abilities to cover every eventuality – exactly like a Firm consultant, just without the costume (this one worries me greatly since it came from a Big Cheese)
  4. Roadrunner: He's fast, he's great at avoiding trouble and he always blazes a trail
  5. Jack Bauer from 24: no matter how difficult or grave the situation, he fearlessly dives into it and always finds a way to overcome obstacles and challenges to save the day. He knows how to handle stress well and leverage whatever "assets" and clues he can find to solve the problem and save the day. … Plus he has no problem working 24 hours straight without complaining
  6. Mma Precious Ramotswe from the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency: She gives sound advice, will go to great lengths to solve her client's problems, provides a fresh perspective and is market-leading
  7. Disney's Mulan: dedicated, courageous, values-driven and a good problem solver
  8. Chandler from "Friends": charming wit, impeccable fashion sense, perfectly coiffed hair and ability to say anything without saying anything at all
  9. Sherlock Holmes: recognizes that the loudest opinion is not equivalent to the solution, employs deductive reasoning, thoroughly investigates all possibilities, assesses and understands the details (even the supposedly irrelevant ones), finds the relationships among disparate information, asks a lot of questions and never gives up
  10. Dr. John Watson: knows how to solve complex problems, he's a team player
  11. Elmo: he takes all his conversational topics and tries to distill them into the simple, salient points. He always says what's on his mind and the rationale behind it – in a diplomatic, caring way. He keeps things light hearted
  12. Mr. Spock of Star Trek: Logic and fact is the anchor of his character, and analyzes data in the most non-biased way, displays minimal bit of human emotion and dogged loyalty to his team
  13. Eric Cartman from South Park: immature, lazy, narcissistic and ill-tempered, but despite his many personality flaws, he is also depicted as being highly intelligent, outspoken, cunning and streetwise. He tends to make effective use of his capabilities by executing morally appalling – yet highly successful – business ideas (another one that worries me)
  14. Nick Carraway from The Great Gatsby: excellent interpersonal awareness skills and trustworthiness among his friends and colleagues
  15. "J" from the Men in Black movies: full of action, sense of humor to "laugh away" challenges and obstacles. He's a good team player, but also able to think independently and deliver on his own
  16. Inspector Gadget: endless amount of tools and gadgets, overcomes obstacles and survives perilous situations by sheer good luck and with help from his team.
I would also like to point out that this was distributed to employees at large seemingly to motivate us to aspire.  Instead, I have decided to panic.

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Liberian girl. You came and you changed my world.

So, like, I have a question. You know these highly intellectual experts who travel to far off lands to try and make the world a better place by opening microfinancing banks for fishermen in Bangladesh or developing the economies of nations like Uganda or living with bead makers in Ghana? Do you think there's ever an emotional component to their work?

You see, lately, strangely, I've met a few of these folk. More this year than in those past and they all seem to have this purely academic unemotional slightly asocial approach to their work which I don't really get. Having spent days nights weekends living with people in these areas, eating what they eat, sleeping where they sleep, encountering dangers only meagerly deflected by your [insert speciality here] Without Borders membership card... how come you're not affected by what you see? Or are you?

Is it the curse of the highly intellectual to be emotionally divested from and completely objective about your focus? Or is it the other way around and one can only be effective in the field (the actual geographic field rather than the focus of academic and actual efforts) if one removes feeling from reason?

Or do they also scream into their pillows at night when nobody is listening? Is it this that gives them courage and strength and energy to make lives better for those less fortunate?

I wonder how it works.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

"I wonder if, for my olympics party, I could represent some sort of velociraptor themed event..."


Louise: that does not make good news... it must be killer great white otherwise it's just boring. It's like saying "yeah, I was camping in the woods, and it was terrifying, because I was chased down by this... squirrel, it was a squirrel. No, not a bear, a squirrel."

Wolfe: hey.. squirrels can be mean

Louise: but they aren't going to tear you limb from limb

Wolfe: they might if they're mutant squirrels.. i'm just saying

Louise: and if they were hunting in packs.

Wolfe: with lasers!

Louise: one squirrel would have trouble tearing you limb from limb, because they have quite small arms. like velociraptors. Although they can tear you limb from limb.

Wolfe: you are obsessed with v'raptors

Louise: they are the coolest