Tag Archives: Charles P. Rogers
Bedtime Stories: A Little Magic for Grown-Ups
Post by Mark T. Locker.
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern.
Ever since J.K. Rowling introduced the world to Harry Potter, adults have been regularly usurping children’s and young adult literature for their own enjoyment, especially the bottomless pit of fantasy and sci-fi fiction series. Well, once in a while a book comes along for adults which will satisfy the puerile thirst for magic and escape from the realm of the ordinary, and you get to do so under the guise of proper grown-up literature and look all fancy on the bus. (The spine label even reads “Fiction” not “Horror” or “Romance”!)
The most recent of these that I have come across is Erin Morgenstern’s debut novel, The Night Circus. It is, as you may guess, about a nocturnal circus, but it is also about so much more. It’s about rival magicians raising children to compete against each other in the showdown to end all showdowns. It’s about really cool clocks. And contortionists and twins with strange powers.
Set in the late nineteenth century, it is reminiscent of Susanna Clarke’s Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell, which is about Victorian gentlemanly English magicians. But it is also very much its own novel. It revolves around the worlds of a strange circus, and those within it and those outside it. It’s lovely to read, and gives you great stuff for dreams.
Movies in Bed: Real Genius
Post by Josh Zinn.
Dear Val Kilmer,
Hi, you don’t know me, but I’ve been watching you. Not obsessively, mind you—I sort of forgot you existed after The Doors came out, so you needn’t worry about me judging you on all the weight you’ve gained—but enough that I can say that your 1985 movie, Real Genius, is a touchstone of my childhood. Sure, you share that honor with vanilla Dunkaroos, an episode of Punky Brewster where the Space Shuttle Challenger blows up, and the television movie, The Deliberate Stranger, starring Mark Harmon as Ted Bundy, but nonetheless, my 12-year old self’s sense of humor is indebted to the collegiate shenanigans you effortlessly showcased in that film.
Upon the suggestion of a friend, I recently re-watched Real Genius in hopes of stoking those Betamax fires of nostalgia. There you were again, Val, looking as irreverent and crazy as I remembered, wearing an “I Love Toxic Waste” t-shirt whilst sporting toy antennas on your head—Fun! Unfortunately, you weren’t as funny as I once thought. In fact, aside from your penchant for always being in the right place for an 80’s synthesizer-set montage, you were kind of just there, smirking your education (and my time) away in flip-flops and hair gel. I’m sorry to say this, Val, but this time around I found myself far more fascinated by the unusual kid you take under your wing as your protégé. Y’know, the really smart one who looks like a cross between Tyne Daly and Martin Short? Yeah, that one.
See, Val, I’ve grown up and with age, I guess, comes the realization that Real Genius, while still fun in a stay-in-bed-all-day kind of way, isn’t as groundbreaking a film as I remembered it to be. Sure, it may be one of the first movies to successfully combine advanced military weaponry with bikini-beach dorm parties and Jiffy Pop, but even amidst all those fluffy nuggets of combat, keggers, and comedy are kernels of unpopped gold. I know this is all so sudden and I apologize, but I didn’t realize until I saw you again that accentuating your character’s eccentricities by wearing bunny slippers to class just isn’t going to cut it in post-justaboutanythingsinceIwentthroughpuberty world. Times are tough, Val, and it takes a real genius to know when to up the ante. Until you figure it out, my eyes will be on Cagney… or is that Lacey?
P.S. – If it helps, I’m pretty much over Dunkaroos too.
Things we like: Sleeping With the Fishes
Post by Kyle St. Romain.
I came across an inspiring post on my Facebook news feed the other day: a photo of an underwater bedroom. The photo I saw is pictured below, and it puts a whole new meaning to the concept of a waterbed.
Back on Facebook, the photo’s caption read, “LIKE if you’d love to own this bedroom.”
After I wiped the drool off my keyboard, I immediately queried Google to find out the Who, What, When, and Where behind this bedroom. The Why was pretty obvious to me: because you can. Think about it. Many of us landlubbers exert enormous effort to bring a little slice of the ocean into our homes, usually in the form of an aquarium. Aquariums can be very cool, especially ones with live coral. But for those of us who aren’t afraid to get our feet wet, the next logical improvement on the traditional aquarium is to bring a slice of your home into the ocean! I wonder what it costs to insure an underwater home….
Back to the facts: – The image appears to be a computer rendering. I am not able to determine whether it’s from the Poseidon Undersea Resort or Dubai’s Hyrdropolis, and it’s uncertain whether either of those two resorts actually exists. There are news articles talking about these resorts from almost 10 years ago and I can’t figure out how to book my reservation. – There is an actual underwater restaurant that you visit: the Conrad Maldives Rangali Island Resort. It is occasionally converted into a hotel suite for the rich and famous. Click here for more Maldives eye candy. – There are more underwater hotels than the ones listed above; however, none of them are nearly as luxurious as the Poseidon and Hyrdopolis aim to be. Consider the Jules Underwater Hotel, and the Hotel Utter Inn. – Staying in an underwater hotel is not cheap. Rooms start at $150 per night and can cost as much as $20,000 per night! – If you want an underwater palace of your own, I even found a company that specialized in underwater construction: Deep Ocean Technology. I don’t even want to know how much that costs.
Stay tuned for my upcoming post with suggestions about how to incorporate ocean inspired design into your bedroom, even if it does have to stay above sea level.
In the meantime, let us know whether underwater hotels are for you in the comments below.
Breakfast in Bed: Panko-Fried Heirloom Tomatoes
Post by Alison Hein.
We may not be loving the hot, hot weather that much, but the heirloom tomatoes sure are. Homely and humble on the outside, these babies are sweet and juicy on the inside, tasting of warm, summer sunshine and cool, fresh water…
Pick some up at your local farmers’ market. Then try slicing them, coating with panko, and lightly frying the tomatoes to a crisp golden brown. You can stop right here, if you like, for a lovely summer side dish or lunchtime salad topper. Or, keep going. Top your heirlooms with a couple of poached eggs, a light cheese sauce, and garden fresh chives for a sweet, summery breakfast in bed.
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon flour
½ cup milk
2 tablespoons grated gruyère cheese
1 – 2 heirloom tomatoes
1 tablespoon water
1 cup panko breadcrumbs
2 – 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon chopped, fresh chives
Salt and pepper to taste
To make cheese sauce, melt butter in small heavy saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in flour until smooth, thick paste forms. Whisk in milk and cook until slightly thickened, 3 to 4 minutes, stirring constantly. Add grated cheese and stir until just melted. Set aside and keep warm.
To bread and fry tomatoes, cut tomatoes into 4 ¼-inch slices. Beat 1 egg with 1 tablespoon water. Coat tomato slices thoroughly with beaten egg, then roll and coat in panko to fully cover. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil to a heavy pan and heat over medium heat. Add tomato slices to pan and cook slowly over medium to medium low heat, turning once, until panko is golden brown and tomatoes are heated and soft, about 5 to 6 minutes. (Green tomatoes will take slightly longer to cook than red ones.) Transfer to paper towel-lined plate and keep warm until eggs are cooked.
Eggs should be as fresh as possible for perfect poaching. To poach eggs, fill a heavy saucepan with enough water to cover eggs (3 to 4 inches) and heat until very hot and simmering, but not boiling. Break eggs into individual small dishes. Or you can use an egg poacher. Carefully pour the first egg into the simmering water. Immediately use a wooden spoon to wrap the cooking white around the egg yolk to prevent the white from feathering. Repeat the process with the second egg, and cook for about four minutes, until the white is firm but the yolk is still soft. Remove from pan with a slotted spoon and drain. Trim edges if necessary.
To assemble, stack two fried tomato slices on a plate, place one poached egg on top, top with cheese sauce, and garnish with chopped chives. Serve immediately.
Makes 2 servings.
Bedroom Design: Book My Bedroom
Post by Laura Cheng.
The Kindle is a phenomenal idea, but I’m still old school. I collect books of all genres and over the course of only five years, I’ve amassed a collection that is now piling up as four floor to ceiling stacks in my living room. On top of that, my mum recently called and gave me an ultimatum to stop by and pick up the books that she’s been storing for me since high school. Those books hold high sentimental value. Others may call it borderline hoarding. I can’t let my Beverly Cleary collection or my Calculus and Biology text books go to the dump. Being in the situation that I am in, I find the idea of decorating with books in the bedroom to be promising.
The only drawback to a library in the bedroom is the need to clean more frequently. Books tend to accumulate dust and I just don’t have the time every week to pull all my books off and dust. I’d get distracted and start reading the books. A 30 minute task would turn into a 3 hour one. Martha Stewart has a great idea of adding the hair dryer to my dusting toolkit, but the idea of the dust falling in or around the bed is unsettling. Lining my bedroom with bookshelves that are directed away from my bed may be one way to avoid this, as shown in the bedroom below. Even more than the cozy ambiance of the book collection, I really like the unexpected picture frame that is hanging off the bookcase.
Everyone has their own preference and argument in the way they arrange their books. If your memory can’t even track what you had for breakfast, then organizing by author, title or category will be more suitable. When form prevails over function, arranging by color and size will keep the bedroom looking organized.
An open shelf system to display my collection of books could easily lead to clutter. If there are enough books to fill all the shelves, then this next subject won’t be an issue. If not, a bookcase once meant to collect books could easily turn into a convenient resting spot for your stuffed animal or lost coins.
In my previous blog, I talked about repetition, balance, and spacing. The same techniques apply here. When placing items on a shelf, keep an eye on the overall composition. If photos are added to the mix of media, keeping them in the same frame will help maintain order and symmetry. Avoid patterned bed linens. A plain ivory or white outfit for your bed will make sure the attention is drawn appropriately to the stylish shelves of knowledge.