2009 May 20
2009 May 18
Over the years, I’ve watched a lot of cooking shows. I’ve seen Julia Child and Martin Yan on PBS, then on Food Network I’ve watched Mario Batalli, Emeril Lagasse, and Ming Tsai (PBS as well). But my favorite TV chef has always been Jacques Pépin. I haven’t seen him lately, but now that we are watching more PBS I happened to catch his show ”More Fast Food My Way”. Just as the name suggests, the dishes he prepares are quick and easy, but look so delicious. There’s something about the simplicity of the recipes that give the food a classic, time-tested quality about it. And Pepin is the master of cooking technique so he is just amazing to watch. Everything he does seems effortless. This is a quote from his book ”Jacques Pepin’s Complete Techniques” (on Amazon.com)
“People often tell me that what surprises them most is watching me cook and talk at the same time. This is because my hands are trained to the point where I do not have to think about the processes I use as I make a recipe-it’s automatic. Instead of fighting the mechanics of cooking. I can concentrate on thinking about the combination of ingredients, about taste, and about texture. You may be very creative and imaginative in the kitchen, but you cannot take advantage of those qualities if you don’t know the basics. A solid background must precede inventiveness.”
Pépin also has a charming, gentle way of speaking, and he also interjects a lot of understated humor into his instructions. You can’t help but to like him. It’s amazing that with the proliferation of Food Network and the hyped-up chefs they promote, the quiet master Jacques Pépin completely pwns them all.
2009 May 15
A few months ago I watched an amazing concert on NHK that featured Joe Hisaishi (vΞ χ) as conductor. That evening’s music was a compilation his beautiful compositions from the Miyazaki movies such as Tonari no Totoro, Nausicaa, and Kiki’s Delivery Service. It was pretty awesome, and at the end, Hayao Miyazaki himself surprised everyone by walking down the aisle to hand Hisaishi a bouquet of flowers. The video above was from Spirited Away, and is one of my favorites. Be sure to check out the related videos at the end of the video above for more clips from the concert. It must have been an incredible experience to be there in person to hear all of the great songs from those movies.
2009 May 12
One of my friends who is heavily into World of Warcraft wanted to play the Trading Card Game. He bought some starter decks and we all got together to give it a go. I didn’t know if it the game would be good or not, but at least it would be fun to hang out with my friends. It turns out that the game is a lot of fun! I’ve never played a trading card game before, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. It was surprisingly easy to pick up and play, but you can tell that it can get very complex if you really want to get into it. Not only in the gameplay, but in building your own decks. We just began with the pre-built starter decks so I guess the game was balanced pretty nicely ensuring an even match.
The object of the game is to defeat your opponent’s hero card, by reducing its hit points to zero. Each player has one hero card, and then many other cards in your deck which can be used as allies of your hero, each with different abilities. There are also ability cards, quest cards, weapons and armor. We played one-on-one and then in teams of two. I enjoyed playing in teams of two better since it involved everyone at once. My friend also got a “raid pack” which is a different kind of gameplay where 3-5 players go up against one player who is using a boss-mob deck. That sounds pretty fun! I am actually thinking of buying a starter deck as well, so that I have something to bring to the next gaming session. Plus the cards have some pretty cool artwork on them. The picture above is one of the starter deck heroes, a Blood-Elf Paladin. I’ve used that deck twice, but lost both times. Still, lots of cool cards!
2009 May 08
Posted by Barron • Creativity • Film and Video • Living • Japan • Personal • Bizarre • Comments • Permalink
Crazy little video of a whirlwind on the baseball diamond.
2009 May 02
Posted by Barron • Creativity • Film and Video • Personal • I Like it! • Review • Comments • Permalink
After reading Mikey’s re-review of Manhattan, I decided that I really needed to see it. I just finished watching it, and I have to say the movie is incredible. The dialogue, acting, story, were all excellent, but the beautiful black and white images of the city were what really got to me. Couple that with the Gershwin soundtrack and you have a classic. And it really does have one of the best ending lines of all time (and the delivery by Mariel Hemingway is perfect).
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