Monday, March 31, 2008

Chocolate: Boynton

Sandra Boynton wrote, illustrated and "overresearched" a book published in 1982 called Chocolate: The Consuming Passion. The book isn't really available through Amazon, rather other used booksellers. The ratings on the book are all 5 star and obviously written by other chocoholics.

I've always enjoyed Boynton's characters and she makes full use of them to get across the basics of chocolate. On the back of the book a pig declares "This comprehensive guide answers every possible question about chocolate." While a turkey (the "bad" character in the book) asks "Is chocolate available in nicer colors than brown?" The response by the pig is "This thorough guide answers every intelligent question about chocolate."

And it does! It has the descriptions of the types of chocolates, the horrors of white chocolate and carob, how to evaluate chocolate, the truth behind vanilla ice cream, chocolate profiles, and recipes all with Boynton's cute characters which I've always been partial to. I have several of her board books and buy her Mom's Family Calendar every year.

Boynton makes mention of the Ghirardelli 5 pound chocolate bar (It took me a full month to eat the one I purchased for my 18th birthday.) claiming its title of "World's Largest" isn't accurate. The internet says Guittard's made a 10 pounder and Nestle made one that was 2.67 thousand pounds. I think I'd have a difficult time eating that one! I was disappointed that Guinness doesn't say what the biggest chocolate bar really is. I will need to write a letter.

Anyway, chocoholic + used book store = glimpse of The Consuming Passion.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Books: Diary of a Wombat

Diary of a WombatDiary of a Wombat (link down further) is a cute and clever story of an egotistical little wombat and its daily adventures as it encounters its new neighors - humans. It is so incredibly delightful that I purchased it for myself, not A or M. The illustrations fit the words perfectly, and you can't help but fall in love with the little creature.

It was released about the same time as Diary of a Worm, which I found was not as endearing. You will find yourself wanting to share it with others who love books. I have read the story to friends or let them borrow my copy (it is better to let others read it on their own). A and M have dragged it from my bookshelf so often that I may need to buy another copy.

Amazon has the "search inside" feature, and I recommend you take a peek. It is among my top 5 favorite books ever.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

TV: Reaper

B and I watch this show on the CW called Reaper. Here is the IMDb quick summary
On his 21st birthday, Sam discovers his parents sold his soul to the devil before birth and he must now be a bounty hunter for the devil until he dies.

Three of the cast: Labine, Harrison, and PeregrymHonestly, it is a ridiculous little show, but I am entertained. So I watch.

The two characters who I think make the show right now are Ray Wise, who plays the devil, and Tyler Labine, who plays one of Sam's best pals. Wise is seriously creepy and extremely versatile, as I've learned from reading his "Filmography" and a little blurb about him at Television Without Pity. He does an awesome job playing evil and humor at the same time for this role.

Labine is nuts without being too stupid. (I can't stand Patrick on Spongebob.) I marvel at the amount of mousse they must put in the guy's hair for the role. You might remember him from Boston Legal or Invasion (neither of which I watched, btw.) Sam can get angry at Labine's character, which is realistic, and still like being friends with him. Other shows let the nutty character get away with everything which messes with my compulsiveness.

I would probably rate this show about a B- because it's not average, but it isn't as stellar as Buffy the Vampire Slayer or Heroes. And you don't have to watch it if you never have because I'd hate for you to feel like it was a wasted hour of your time, but if you like the same kinds of shows I like, then it might not be so bad to watch 10 minutes. Make sure it's the ten minutes with the devil.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Miscellaneous: Ikea Hacker

Ikea Hacker is a blog I stumbled across...oh, I can't remember when, but I was intrigued. They buy things from Ikea and use them for other cool purposes. The types of things people sent in looked like things I would do or have done to reuse or repurpose things in my house. I especially liked the clothing objects under fabrics such as the skirts, one made from curtains and another from a pillow case; and the bathroom sinks.

I thought B would really like the computers inside furniture, but he wasn't as impressed as I am. It takes a while to go through all the hacks, but it is fun to see creative minds at work. Check it out!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Men: Boris Kodjoe

Boris Kodjoe

Name: Boris Kodjoe
Best Known For: TV Show Soul Food
Year of Birth: 1973
Status: Married (Nicole Ari Parker)
Height: 6’ 2.5”
Fun Fact: Jewish and knows four languages

Honestly, I never watched anything he was in. I had only heard of him when I was clicking through the pictures at Hunky Male Celebs. The pictures did me in. Nicole must get a thrill rubbing the bald head of the drop-dead gorgeous man. She’s a lucky lady!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Chocolate: Shirts

"Hand over the chocolate and nobody gets hurt!"

It's a popular saying on chocolate paraphrenalia everywhere. I have a few favorite chocolate shirts. One has a row of colorful peanut M&M's, another says "got chocolate" and the last, which sadly is peeling and now unwearable, is one with the chemical symbol of theobromine on it. I haven't yet put a replacement on my Want List, but I should soon.

So I went on a search for some more chocolate shirts and found this site with pages of chocolate clothing, buttons, and bumper stickers. The sayings make me chuckle and I've found some more things to add to my list. As you flip through the pages the sayings get a little more risque and include some swear words so after the first few pages make sure the young ones aren't looking over your shoulder.

Being the crafty person that I am, I could take some of the great sayings with my own backgrounds and use an iron on transfer...

Viva la chocolate!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Books: "Lincoln Rhyme"

Lincoln Rhyme is the fictional character in a series of Jeffrey Deaver's. Deaver's books have that thriller killer thing that I love so much. Though, most know of this author from the movie "The Bone Collector" starring Denzel Washington (More on that later.) I have not read any of Deaver's other books which is why Rhyme's name is in my title. I particularly like the mysteries with this character in them.

Rhyme is a quadriplegic who solves mysteries from his home with the help of a female detective named Sachs. I am not a book critic and, like movies and movie critics, I notice that some things the critics don't like, us normal people do. IMHO, Deaver does a good job of putting in great twists and turns in his books. The Bone Collector (1997), The Coffin Dancer (1998), The Empty Chair (2000) and The Vanished Man (2003) are definite favorites. I read them years ago after being introduced to the author by a friend. I don't remember reading The Stone Monkey (2002) and I wasn't as fond of The Twelfth Card (2005) as I was the others. I'm dying to read The Cold Moon (2006). If you haven't heard of Deaver and you like the genre, check it out. Used book stores and libraries are the best.

Let's get back to that movie. So many books now, especially children's books, are coming out as movies. I sometimes envy those who seem to have no time for books because they aren't disappointed like I am when the movies don't live up to my vivid imagination. For the most part I can live with the movies, but I still refuse to see "The Bone Collector." My biggest gripe is that Denzel Washington is African American while Lincoln Rhyme is not. It doesn't matter to me how good an actor he is. The descriptions in the book of the main character going pale in pain just don't fit with the character on the screen. I'm not sure what the producers or directors were trying to do. It just ruins it for me.

Monday, March 10, 2008

TV: Weekend Movies

The weekend comes and I sit, trying to forget the work week, in front of the television. Inevitably I'm watching a movie that I've seen a thousand times, but have no problem watching again. Because no matter what I can still get the same thrill out of the movie as I did the first time through. Even if the network cuts out the foul language.

Do you ever do the same? What movies do you watch? Mine are: Die Hard, Terminator 2, The Fifth Element, The Chronicles of Riddick, and any of the three Matrix movies. Yes, I do have some of these on DVD, but there seems to be a special thrill in having the movie just appear on the TV. Like I've willed it to happen :o)

B will always groan when he sees what I'm watching and he's stopped saying, "Didn't you just watch that movie?" But, he can't seem to shame me into turning the channel.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Miscellaneous: The Fail Blog

Um. B found this blog. He likes to find things like this. Short entry, but it speaks for itself. At least I think so...get the picture? Surveillance camera behind the exit sign? Have fun!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Men: Gary Dourdan

Gary Dourdan
Name: Gary Dourdan (Gary Robert Durdin)
Best Known For: TV Show CSI
Year of Birth: 1966
Status: Divorced
Height: 6’2”
Fun Fact: He is an accomplished musician and has modeled.

I don’t know where to start. Oh, yes I do, his eyes. They make you want to melt into a puddle right there at his feet. He’s also tall. I prefer the tall ones. I also like his voice. He was married to the beautiful Roshumba and he does have children. I won’t let that ruin the fantasy.

If you take a look at his Wiki they mention an incident with the paparazzi in which he allegedly attacks a photographer. Off the topic, I think the people with the cameras are getting way too up close and personal with celebrities. I still have cravings to be famous, but the lack of alone time would bother me. On topic, he rides a motorcycle! I’d be scared to death on one, but if I were behind him, my arms firmly attached to his middle, I don’t think I’d mind the ride.

Honorable Mention: George Eads, CSI costar. Quite the hottie.

*UPDATE* (contains spoiler) If you haven't seen all the news out there, then you've been living on Antartica. Dourdan is having major issues right now. As with any publicity, it is hard to believe what you hear, but it isn't looking good (and neither do his recent photos). Add to that his death on CSI. Watching the season finale was depressing. I hope things clear up, and his cuter face is in something else soon.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Chocolate: What a Waste!

I love chocolate! Sorry, I'm sure you know this already. I consider myself a chocoholic, and while I know a lot about chocolate from books, cookbooks, television, and the net, I don't know everything. What I do know is that it is a travesty to see it wasted.

It hurts to watch commercials in which the chocolate can be seen swirling and dripping - where does it go when the commercial is over? Don't tell me! I want to mourn. Here is an article about a contest for chefs to create wearable chocolate. Fun! Cute! NOT! Once again my beloved chocolate is wasted. (I just know you don't eat that chocolate.) I found this video on YouTube. I understand its significance, but please tell me it was eaten and not tossed!

At the very least someone needs to tell me the chocolate was inedible. It is usually the highlight - the fact that it can be eaten - so I'm sure no one will tell me that. I'm so sorry for the little rant. Even watching someone wash the chocolate off a chocolate fountain is painful. Oh, and this isn't a plea for chocolate, although if you want to send me some to help soothe my pain...

Note: I write my posts ahead of time...hectic life, ya know. Anyway, B sent me a link to a Ferrari made from chocolate. I was pleased to hear they planned to eat it!


You wouldn't be able to tell by looking at me, but I'm 1/32 Irish. So my foot will be celebrating St. Patrick's Day this month. And I will be thrilled a few days later at the official first day of spring.

For now, I'm trying to sleep better at night after two months of raccoon mating. Yes, we have creatures in our back yard. Giant creatures...just as big as those in the picture. They look so tiny on the screen, but in real life they are easily twice the size of a fat cat or comparable to a decent sized dog. They have been growling and squeaking at each other anywhere from 7 at night to 4 in the morning.

It's a good thing we don't have pets.