Here is how we got here

Turner Classic Movies is ringing in the new year with a Miyazaki retrospectiveSpirited Away and Princess Mononoke this Thursday, followed by Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, Castle in the Sky, My Neighbor Totoro, Porco Rosso, Whisper of the Heart. Of course, I love every last one of these films, but I wanted to call out the last two — they’re not as well known, but they’re definitely two of my favorites. Also on the slate for January are Takahata’s Only Yesterday and Pom Poko.

Just got Howl’s Moving Castle on disc in Vancouver, too, so this should be a full month of animated goodness. Mmm!

Speaking of goodness, I’m about to do some kitchen experimentation: grilled cheese sandwiches made with Beecher’s Flagship, maybe a splash of white truffle oil. We’ll see how it goes.

Update: sandwiches — best. thing. ever. so good!! the white truffle oil really does it.

Rain and wind on the New Year. I keep smelling phantom wood fires, cinnamon, caramel, cloves — probably memories of the recent spice rack reorganziation. I could make those smells real with a little bit of holiday baking, but I’d rather be huddled here, warm in PJs, blankets on the floor. Spending enough effort practicing, writing “2007” in my new moleskine.

I know I should be out attacking the year afresh, but the year can stand to start tomorrow.

Happy happy, everyone!

Finally, thanks to sugs for passing along a list that must have been compiled just for me:

Lots of pretty, pretty fun there to dive into.




Shiki is Seattle’s only restaurant with a fugu license (and in fact, one of only seventeen in the United States — twelve of which are in New York City), but I’d always thought you needed to give them advance notice and it didn’t really matter since everything else on the menu is so good — not much for those seeking fusiony new age rolls but plenty for the purist, with large and oh-so-fresh slabs of melt-in-your-mouth hamachi and toro and salmon — but today’s list of specials included both fugu kara-age and fugu nigiri, and what’s a little risk of death by poison in the name of culinary adventure?

[Fugu nigiri]

Loved the texture of the flesh, which was somewhere between firm fish and clam, something to linger on and really get to know. I can’t really say how much of the flavor was fugu and how much was from the dressing (which was ponzu-like, tataki-style), but all combined it was really yummy.

That’s yubiki (fugu skin salad) garnishing the plate, which was very much like tiny pieces of squid or octopus — also v. tasty!

Honestly, though, I’m generally squeamish about taking risks and was a little bit timid about the whole thing. So there’s a twinge of disappointment that I liked it so much, since I’ll probably crave it again when I go again. Time to get poison control in my phone’s memory, I guess!

Apparently fugu season will be shorter than usual this year due to typhoons, so if you want to try some at Shiki you’d probably better hurry. But you really can’t go wrong with the safe stuff either.

Also: little fried swamp crabs!


Update: for those curious about prices: fugu nigiri was $16 for two healthy-sized pieces, and the kara-age $35 — but figured, as long as I’m going to risk an exciting death in the name of experimentation, it wouldn’t be a breaded and deep-fried one!
As for death-by-fugu, I’m still breathing, though a night of pleasant, warm tingling and slightly worrisome, but possibly imagined twingeing, I can see how fugu can be addictive (but scary!) stuff.

Confidential to Kallie, remember: a little white truffle oil goes a long way. I used a splash in my melted butter when I grilled the sandwiches. Yum!



Quickies, or what happens when I work too much instead of writing:

Seattle’s 25th consecutive day of rain was not an ideal time for my windshield wipers to break. Yuck. And apparently we’re closing in on a record with the rain thing, though you wouldn’t expect it.

Is it possible for me to tell you that I’m getting addicted to board games without sounding like a total geek? Double yuck.

My poor little laptop is worrying me with lots of loud clicking coming from the hard disk. Yuck!!

But there are good things too: thank you to the lovely person who found my Amazon wishlist and sent me Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World. Also to the divine quartet who gifted Teavana’s tea-of-the-month club, which apparently began in earnest with a knock on the front door this morning. How great is that?


Tales of Earthsea

July will see the release of Tales of Earthsea, a new adaptation of Ursula LeGuin’s fantasy series by Goro Miyazaki, son of Hayao. I don’t quite know what to think — there’s been a public war of words and silence between father and son with respect to this movie, and it’s hard to make out whether it’s rooted in Miyazaki père’s opinion of Miyazaki fils’ worth as an animator, or the usual family drama. So on the one hand, there are huge expectations, but on the other…

Well, there’s no way it can be worse than Sci Fi’s Legend of Earthsea. I mean, ick.

Anyway, if you’re interested, you can find English translations of Miyazaki’s Earthsea blog at nausicaa.net.

Teavana month one, part one: Turkish Tea.

[Teavana Turkish]

An herbal brew, lovely & subtle — almost too much so on first sip; mostly dried apple with a touch of added spice. Smells like mulled cider, v. nice for a cold night.


Media vita

[Media vita in morte sumus]

Media vita in morte sumus
Quem quærimus adjutorem nisi te, Domine?
Qui pro peccatis nostris juste irasceris


Pixelated reality

Well, since the pain hasn’t started yet, I can happily say that so far, this is the prettiest migraine I’ve ever had…

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