Yearly Archives: 2016
Post by Mark T. Locker.
It seems my best friend and I have developed a new tradition: whenever we find ourselves alone with a couple hours to kill we find a new high school movie to watch. Most of the time these are absolutely terrible movies. To be honest, I’m not sure we have watched any good movies together, save for the ones I’ve dragged him to (but to be fair, the bad ones are usually better). We have seen all the Resident Evil movies together, each exponentially worse and more confusing than the last. Yet they keep making them and we keep looking forward to them. Last summer I saw Sixteen Candles for the first time and She’s the Man for the first and last time, both with him. A couple weeks ago he came to visit and while everyone else was in bed, we found a movie called Drive Me Crazy, buried deep within Netflix.
I was delighted. It stars Melissa Joan Hart who I had grown to love during adolescence as the star of Nickelodeon’s Clarissa Explains it All. I guess she did Sabrina the Teenage Witch too. Either way, this movie shows us in glaring clarity why she could never break into the big screen scene. She’s not bad; she’s just not terribly charismatic. ANYWAYS. The most surprising part about this movie turned out to be the fact that it was written by Rob Thomas, best known for Veronica Mars and iZombie. Both my friend and I are huge fans so suddenly this got a lot more interesting.
The plot is way less interesting than the writer. Classic story: popular girl and “bad boy” make an agreement to couple up, each for their own particular end. Naturally, their selfish reasons for fake dating all fall away when they let their prejudices go and see each other for who they really are. I won’t say this was a good movie. But it was deeply enjoyable. There’s something comforting about high school dramas. It’s why The Breakfast Club and the other Brat Pack movies were so fantastic. I’m not sure these 90s versions have the same je ne sais quoi but that will never stop me from watching every last one of them.
Post by Tracy Kaler.
Good design knows no size. If this statement is indeed true, then a small bedroom can be a well-designed bedroom. But how small is too small? Unbelievably, if a room is well thought out, size isn’t an issue. Let’s take a look at some tiny albeit creative spaces used for sleep.
This teeny New York bedroom manages to have the necessities as well as a dose of panache. The chandelier and window shade add style to the simple, understated space.
This London bedroom goes industrial and sneaks in two tiny nightstands alongside the full-size bed. What more does a bedroom need?
A rustic New Orleans guest bedroom boasts two Dutch beds tucked into the walls. A single window allows just enough light into the space.
With old and new elements, this straightforward bedroom contains enough space for a single bed, lounge chair, and of course, a house kitty.
A movie lover’s dream, this compact Scandanavian bedroom offers plenty of CD storage as well as a little bed.
Talk about an efficient design! A teen bedroom fits a work station as well as a spot for a guest to sleep in a trundle bed.
A Scotland treehouse bedroom is beautifully designed with its comfy storage bed, side table and chairs, and even a small seating area.
Post by Alison Hein.
Google “Eggs à la Luis” and here’s what you’ll get:
Eggs Louis Armstrong (sounds intriguing!);
Huevos con Jamón (sounds delish!); and even
Dinosaur Egg Fossil (yikes! please don’t make me eat that!).
Well, the real Luis is my friend Luis Acevedo of Luis Acevedo Interior Design, and the real Eggs à la Luis is a healthy breakfast recipe I concocted just this morning. You see, I was having a bit of a design crisis, so I persuaded Luis to come over and help me out. He good-naturedly agreed to come first thing the next day. To me, this means breakfast must be served.
Only trouble is, my usual impressive fanfare of crêpes, pancakes and waffles was not going to cut it, as Luis recently put himself on a strict diet. Thus, I decided to do some simple scrambled eggs jazzed up with lightly sautéed vegetables still with a bit of crunch. I chose asparagus for bright, fresh flavor and a wild mushroom assortment for texture and depth. A dusting of salt, fresh ground black pepper, and a pinch of spicy chives finished the eggs.
Crisped, whole wheat pita triangles served as cute, bite-sized shovels, just right for scooping up tiny gobs of savory eggs. Sweet, juicy grapefruit became a healthy mini-dessert.
We enjoyed our Eggs à la Luis while working through my design solution. But you should have yours as a solution for breakfast in bed. Perhaps next time we google this will be on the top of the list!
1 – 2 tablespoons olive oil
½ cup fresh asparagus, chopped
½ cup fresh mushrooms, chopped
Salt and pepper, to taste
Fresh chopped chives, for garnish
1 whole wheat pita
1 ruby grapefruit
Heat olive oil in small, heavy pan over medium low heat. Add chopped asparagus and mushrooms to the pan and cook until gently cooked, about 3 to 5 minutes.
Break eggs into a small bowl and whisk well. Add egg mixture to heated pan and allow to cook slowly and gently. Stir and lift frequently with wooden spoon to avoid sticking. Continue to cook until eggs are to your liking, another 3 to 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
Slice the pita bread into eight triangles. Place in toaster and toast until crispy. Peel and segment the grapefruit. If you like, peel off the grapefruit’s inner skin as well.
To serve, place four toasted pita triangles onto each plate. Divide the eggs equally onto each plate and top with fresh chives. Add a few grapefruit segments to each plate and serve immediately.
Makes 2 servings.
Post by Mark T. Locker.
Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White
Sometimes it’s good to go back and revisit some of the classics from the annals of children’s literature. Everyone knows Charlotte’s Web. I grew up with the animated movie with the pig who excels at both whining and singing. Then they made the live-action version with Dakota Fanning, which I never saw and don’t plan to see. But recently my son and I went back to the original book, published over 60 years ago. Not every children’s book has the kind of staying power that Charlotte’s Web has. Heck, I even considered Charlotte as a name if I had a daughter. Even E.B. White’s other novels are notably less known, though Stuart Little and The Trumpet of the Swan are well-loved, neither has captured the hearts of children quite like Charlotte’s Web. Interesting side note: the “White” in Strunk and White’s Elements of Style is E.B. White. Thanks, Wikipedia!
As you know, this book tells the story of a girl named Fern who saves a runt pig from the chopping block. She names him Wilbur and keeps him as a pet until he is sold to the Zuckermans. As Wilbur begins adjusting to life in the barnyard he makes a number of friends but none as remarkable as Charlotte, a clever little spider who lives in his barn. Her incredible ornate webs, celebrating the singularity of the pig, help to spare him once more from slaughter. As he grows older he befriends the sheep and geese and even, to an extent the greedy little rat Templeton (who happens to be my favorite character).
Filled with hope, magic, and of course sadness, they just don’t make children’s books like this anymore. There are thousands of children’s books out there and more being released all the time but it’s great to go back and rediscover the gems of generations past. This one should definitely be on your bedtime stories list.
Post by Mark T. Locker.
As you know, we have already lost a few great artists this year. One of those was Alan Rickman and although he may always be best known for his captivating portrayal of Severus Snape in the Harry Potter movies, he won my heart earlier and it wasn’t for his role in Love, Actually and it wasn’t for playing the villian in Die Hard. Rather, it was for his role as the disillusioned actor whose stint as an alien on a Star Trek-like show had marked him for life.
Galaxy Quest is a surprisingly clever and funny movie about a cheesy science fiction program like Star Trek whose passionate fan base elevated it to cult status. Eighteen years since the final episode, the cast stays together for the comic con circuit though they don’t really like each other any more. Then one day Jason Nesmith, who played the captain, (Tim Allen) is approached by a group of aliens in humanoid disguise who plead for the help of his crew. Turns out, they had watched every episode of Galaxy Quest, believing it to be historical documentation, not fiction. Whether it’s for ego or the chance to make a real difference, Nesmith convinces the crew to join him to fight the vicious enemy of their new alien friends.
With a cast including Sigourney Weaver, Tony Shaloub, and of course Alan Rickman, what I thought would be a really dumb movie is actually quite funny and charming. There’s even a tip of the hat to the die-hard fans whose intimate knowledge of the entire series helps to save lives.
Although it has a little violence, it’s a generally family-friendly movie though the Star Trek references will like be lost on younger audiences. A fun science fiction comedy to watch in bed in honor of the great Alan Rickman.