Saturday, February 24, 2007

... as redundant as a "PIN Number" ...

... but a LOT funnier!

What am I talking about? The recent ads / previews for the new episode of Monk have been quite funny. Well, *i* LOL every time I've seen it, to the amazement of Kosh, who only thought it was funny the first time around, teeheeheee! So Monk gets introduced to the 'net and e-mail and all that stuff, and they have this blurb where he says something makes him "LOL out loud". Brought to you by the Department of Redundancy Department! Haahahahaaaaa!!! :-D

- - -

Netflix sucks! Or rather - the Customer Service of Netflix sucks!!! I really love the concept, and love the selection of DVDs they have... but omg if you run into even a small bump and try to get them to see what you are talking about, you get lame-ass responses from Customer Service representatives who don't seem to have read your complaint because they certainly do *not* address the issues you bring up but instead they just provide a lame-ass assinine useless reply.

What's got me so riled up? Well, let's see... a DVD that was supposedly sent out on Feb 6th [with an estimated arrival date of Feb 9th! that's already pushing their "within about one business day" delivery promise!] only arrived like FOURTEEN DAYS later. Yes, it took half-a-month to get here, thus gypping me big-time: I'm paying for 3-out-at-a-time but was essentially only getting 2-at-a-time! So I wrote in telling them that [at that time] it still hadn't arrived *and* please could they compensate or make up for it somehow...

And what do they reply?

"Our records indicate there is still a DVD that was shipped on 02/06/2007. This DVD still shows as being outstanding. If you are experiencing difficulties with your rentals, you may report the problem via Rental Activity section. If you have any further questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us."

Wow... useless buggers... I was writing to not just highlight a problem but to also ask for resolution and compensation - and they reply with a useless "if you are experiencing a problem, please tell us".

Buggers!

- - - -

Still relating to the tv scene; not sure what bug bit my dear Kosh, but he decided to upgrade our cable tv plan a few days ago, so we've got like SEVENTY additional channels to flip through before deciding there's nothing to watch, LoL! But seriously - we now have access to the Sci-Fi channel, not that I've watched anything on it yet! And I realise that The Dresden Files clashes with the Fox Sunday night Lineup that we usually tape [&watch later while fwding past them commercials, teehehee!], so we've got to figure out how to address that.... but but but but but ... the best part of all these new channels?

VH1 and the VH1 Classic channels!

They play songs & feature countdowns of songs of "my era" and "my type of music". So much so that sometimes I feel I'm transported back to my first year in the U.S. [1990 - 1991] where if I had control of the tv, it would be on MTV [yes, MTV still was decent back then!].

Really enjoyed catching The Shat counting down the 100 One Hit Wonders [even had Kosh hooked enough to join me on the couch: we stayed and watched the entire countdown till like 3am, LoL! The #1? Macarena]

Then the other day, I stumbled upon a multipart pseudo-documentary HEAVY: The History of Metal [or something like that]. Wow, that was really educational! I knew of most of the names of the groups featured, but I didn't know which came first, who'd influenced whom, who'd sung what song, etc etc etc. And boy it was great to hear even just those little blurbs of guitar riffs and tunes and ahhhhhhhhh, just brings back memories :-)

I grew up a fan of The Beatles, ABBA, and The Sound of Music soundtrack, and was pretty much a goody-two-shoes. Kinda. I always possessed a rebellious streak, but I kept it very much in check. But Oh-My-Gawd, the first time I heard that opening guitar for Sweet Child of Mine.... my dark side was finally represented and could manifest itself!!! Another, bigger, influence at that time was Def Leppard: the Hysteria album at that time seemed deliciously heavy yet polished/melodious. I drank in those heavier sounds that my psyche seemed to have been thirsting for for so long! Faith No More's Epic will always have this hold over me, even if I can never get the lyrics, LoL!

Didn't mean I swung from a goody-two-shoes to a punk-rocker-groupie though. Perhaps if I'd been in Europe/USA I would have, but where&when I was growing up the best I could do was sport a mullet [also known as "rockers' hair"], and just listen to the radio [The Blue Network / Radio 4 - remember?] in the hopes of getting a song or two of the good stuff mixed in with the sappy pop tunes [which, I admit, I appreciated too... just nowhere near as much lah!!]

Well, hey I'm really all over the place, eh? I may try to explore this more in another post... after all, music was a very very very important part of my life while growing up: I'd throw myself into the music, I'd have the radio on through most of my waking hours, the only reason I didn't have a walkman or equivalent was I couldn't stand any sort of earphones in/on/around my ears!

In the meantime? It's past 1am, and I have to be awake, showered and out of the apartment in 7hrs. Time to sleep?! but there's this Top 20 Countdown of Best Metal Bands on!!!!! I know, I know, I'll catch it often enough, since these channels have a limited amount of new shows, and repeat ad nauseum the shows they *do* have, eh?

g'nite!!

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

some past "happy" days

Happy belated Chinese New Year!

... and Happy Belated Birthday greetings to a bunch of St Marians who have their b-days clumped together on the 16th, 18th & 19th!

And yes, I survived the bitter cold that hit Chicago last week and the week before [thanx for your warm / dry suggestions!] ... right now most of the snow has melted and it's positively B. O. I. L. I. N. G. outside,,, well, relatively speaking, of course! :-D

More updates later. Soon. :-)

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

"Stir & drink!"

Gawd is the weather mega-sucky! Extreme cold. So cold the car wouldn't start yesterday. Today is supposed to be another miserable day. And I actually *need* to get out of the apartment today. I'll be dressed in quite a few layers*, no worries. Pity I lost my scarf a few months ago, I've dug out a turtleneck I have so that my neck gets *some* protection!

And with the mega-cold, it's also mega-dry... so I keep zapping myself on EVERYTHING! I touch the light switch and ZAP! I touch the laptop and ZAP! I pet the kitty and ZAP! Heck, I touch the DVD player and not only ZAP but I also *see* the green spark on the machine! It's so tiring! And painful! Did I mention painful??

And mega-dry causes mega-dehydration! And I'm so *not* a water-drinker... but I *did* find a way around that about a month ago: FIBER!! Fix myself a glass of generic orange-flavoured fiber powder, and "chase" that with another glass of plain water. I do that every two to three days, and sometimes that's all the water I drink all day! I know it's nowhere close to what I need to me having every day, but it's certainly better than not having any at all, eh?

And every time I consume that fiber drink, I am reminded of that FRIENDS episode where Ross & Chandler are bullied out of their usual spot in the coffee house, so they try to fix their own cappuccino in the apartment.. but it's not frothy or mixing together well, so they have to "Stir and drink, stir and drink, never let it settle!"

Hence this post's title.

Ciao!

NOTE: * : My layers:
  • bottom: pantyhose [which I *hate* wearing! but they help with that extra layer for the legs!], ankle-high socks & baggy jeans.
  • feet: "weatherproof" ankle-high boots [which don't really keep me warm - my poor toes get frozen fast! Any suggestions for a brand/model of boots that keep my toes warm and toasty??].
  • top: singlet w/ "chest support", turtleneck sweater, Dallas Cowboys hoodie thingy [before Bears fans cry foul: this is the only piece of clothing I have which is warm *amd* has a hood! and covering your head is *vital* at these vicious temperatures!].
  • hands: thinsulate gloves - not the best in terms of keeping my fingers warm, but they'll have to do. I used to have excellent doe-skin gloves which I lent to a certain relative and never got back :-(
  • overall: my "nice" winter coat that isn't *that* warm BUT it goes down to mid-thigh so it covers my butt [yup, that's one my criteria for a good winter coat!]
[of course, now I have to pee, so I've gotta delayer myself, pee, then relayer myself before heading out. Fun!

Sunday, February 04, 2007

If you were in the cooking mood...

GO BEARS!
No, I probably won't be watching-watching, but will certainly flip to the relevant channel once in a while to see how it's going. Not so much a "football" person, but I do have faint stirrings of loyalty? pride? support? for the local team that's actually made it to the Super Bowl this year... I do hope they win :-)

On to other news: A while ago, Dawn requested "my" meatloaf recipe, and I finally am able to share it:

First, the "original" version:
Ingredients:
1 envelope of Jewel's Onion Soup & Dip Mix [there are two per box]
2 lbs ground beef
1.5 cups bread crumbs
2 eggs
3/4 cup water
1/3 cup ketchup

Directions: Preheat oven to 350F. Combine all ingredients. In a large baking pan, shape into loaf. Bake 1 hr or until done.
Yup, VERY descriptive, eh? Certainly looked simple enough, anyway... but here's:
LYNNE & KOSH'S VARIATION

Ingredients:
1 envelope of Jewel's Onion Soup & Dip Mix
1 lb lean-ish [15% fat] ground beef
1 lb very lean [1% fat] ground turkey
1.5 cups Contadina brand 3-cheese bread crumbs
2 eggs
2 hard boiled eggs
3/4 cup water
1/3 cup ketchup
1/2 cup finely chopped celery [about 1/2 stick]


Directions:
- Preheat oven to 350F.

- Combine all ingredients except the hard-boiled eggs. This is quite the b*tch to ensure a uniform mixture. Use a large bowl. Start with the onion mix & bread crumbs, then add the raw eggs, water, ketchup & celery and get that all blended. Then mix in 1lb of ground dead animal, and mix thoroughly. Once it's well mixed, add in the other 1 lb, and mix some more.

- I used a 9" loaf pan. Line it with aluminum foil, leaving enough "extra" on the sides to help lift the cooked loaf out later. While cooking it can be folded down on the outside of the pan.

- Fill about 1/3 full with the meat mixture. Place the peeled hard-boiled eggs in the pan, evenly spaced from each other and sides of the pan. Fill in with the rest of the meat mixture. Make sure to pack the meat densely into the pan to avoid crumbliness later.

- Pop into the oven. 1 hour was a good length of time for me, although times will of course vary depending on the oven.

- Lift loaf out of pan and onto cutting board / serving dish.

- Cut yourself a slice and enjoy!

btw, it's a LARGE and extremely filling dish; it may take a while to finish off the leftovers [I was decidedly muak of it after my 3rd meal/snack of it, LoL!]

Do drop me a line if you decide to try this out, k?

Cheers!

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Bonus!!

Oh maaan, yesterday / last night was soooooooooo awesome!

Okay, so for the past few weeks, I've been this pseudo-tv-zombie, right? Among other things, I moaned about not being able to watch The Dresden Files since it was on a channel we weren't getting, but at the same time I was absorbing all these CSI and L&O episodes.... but, one thing I hadn't mentioned was that I'd discovered a fascinating series... The 4400.

Those who know me will immediately understand why the premise of 4400 people "abducted" over the past 60 years are all returned at the same time appeals to me: to their perspective, no time has passed, but to the rest of the world, well, the world has moved on. These returnees of course are viewed with fear and distrust, the government wants to keep tabs on them and figure out what was behind the abductions *and* the returns. Oh, and did I mention that the returnees have been returned enhanced/changed in some way - some good, some bad? And of course *everyone* is grappling with this new life in this new world [even if you got abducted only a year or two ago]. So there's ample leeway to have a story arc PLUS a "freak of the week" feature.

Have I mentioned how much I luuurve Netflix?

So over the past few days, I've received and watched Season One [only 2 discs / 5 episodes] and have gotten the basic foundation: and it's only whetted my appetite to see the rest of Season Two to see the development of the story leading to where I dropped in on it when I stumbled across it one midnight a few weeks ago.

But here's the best part: So last night, another episode was supposed to be aired at midnight [this is on USA network, btw], so I stayed up for it... and instead of The 4400.... can you guess what was aired instead?

The pilot episode of The Dresden Files!

Yay!

Gotta say I enjoyed the story, but wow is it *so* totally different from how I imagined it to be... but at the same time, I think it keeps to the "spirit" of the books. So I will have to keep an eye on that spot and see if it's gonna be featuring more episodes as they become available, since I don't know if this was a freak in programming/scheduling!

In the meantime.... waiting on those The 4400 Season Two DVDs - hurry up, Netflix!

p/s> Kosh is finally off of that crappy 6pm->6am "night float" rotation, perhaps that'll get *me* back on a more normal sleep/wake patern, *and* have me blogging a bit more, and on more interesting things than just tv progs, eh? ;-)
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