Bluefish on the grill

Today's New York Times has an article about Chris Schlesinger (from the East Coast Grill in Cambridge MA) grilling a delicious-sounding dinner of chourico, cherrystones, and bluefish: A Perfect Change-Up With Bluefish, Sausage and Clams.

"Everybody stresses recipes, but it doesn't work that way," he said, piling fresh logs onto glowing coals in the round fire pit he dug into his patio six years ago. "Technique is the whole deal."

"Here's the thing about recipes," he said. "You can follow them as close as you like, but the recipe doesn't know how big or small your fire is, or whether you have a four-ounce fillet or a six-ounce one or even what the temperature outside is." He pulled at the shoulder of his baseball jersey and wiped his brow with the material. "You have got to have the confidence to screw things up," he said.

It sounds delicious, and just the thing to try and make in a few weeks when I'm on Nantucket. And I like Mr. Schlesinger's approach — if you're afraid of screwing up in the kitchen, you're paralyzed. You need to just go for it, wing it, and just keep your wits about you, whether it's fish on the grill or a mango salsa. (Except baking, don't wing it with baking, baking is all about exactness, and you'll be very sorry if you wing it while baking.) Also, I very much like Mr. Schlesinger's Red Sox jersey. Very much.

From the New Yorker archives

David Denby's got a review of Seabiscuit (the film) this week in the New Yorker, and the magazine's dug into its archives and pulled out a profile from 1937, "detail[ing] the busy life of Man o' War, from birth to stud." Of course, Man o' War is another famous racehorse and "Seabiscuit was a grandson of War Admiral's father, the legendary thoroughbred Man o' War." (Wait, does that mean that War Admiral is the Biscuit's uncle?) Anyway, here it is: Big Red by Arthur Bartlett from 12/18/1937 issue of the New Yorker.

Lazy Girl’s Guide to Budgeting

Though we've still got five months before the end of the year, it's never too early (or late!) for financial resolutions, especially with handy articles like The Motley Fool's Lazy Girl's Guide to Budgeting. The Fool reports that,

[H]alf of the 3,136 people surveyed said they do not always stay within their monthly budgets.

And how many people even have budgets? Every time I mention to anyone I have a budget I hear responses like, "Oh, how funny!" or "Wow, I could never do that." I'm here to tell you (along with the article) that yes, you can! And you really should, no matter how much or little money you're making. The more aware you are of where your money goes, the less likely you are to "spend" it unwisely (bank fees, interest payments, gigante frozen latteccinos, etc.) And that means more money for you and your vacation/house/emergency/[insert your fantasy here] fund.


Grown, nicely-dressed woman, walking down the street, talking on her cell phone:

"Yesterday I had the greatest day ever, I mean the best day I've had in a really long time. First, I got together with Ross, which was, of course, great. Then I made a prank phone call…"

This moment in time

TriBeCa, Franklin @ Church, New York City. Right now. First a siren, then a few more. I say, "Jeez people, get out of the way." We keep working. Sirens continue. Louder. I go look out the window. Gridlock. Back to work. I realize the sirens are still going, really loud. Everywhere. Sirens. Traffic's snarled. All the sudden I get a cold feeling. "Something must have happened," I say. I rush to check Google News, breaking story, Gunman Opens Fire At NY City Hall. Sirens continue to sound.

Ok weird. Now I read that it happened shortly after 2 PM. It's 3:22 PM. Is something else going on? Why are there so many sirens now?

Update: apparently the gunman's still at large. And Brooklyn Councilman James Davis has died. News here.

Update update: Gunman isn't at large. Was never at large. Was killed by security guard at scene. Yay security guard. Boo City Hall security. How'd the gunman get a gun into City Hall? He never went through the metal detector. He walked in with Councilman Davis and wasn't required to.

Seabiscuit misc.

The American Experience episode Seabiscuit will be re-run on Monday, July 28, 2003 at 9pm ET (check local listings). I caught this back in April and it was quite good, lots of information and original footage.

Here are some photos from the premiere last night in LA. There aren't any of any horses though, didn't they get invites too?

And I got tickets to Seabiscuit, alas I had to buy them myself for a Friday (opening night) showing. My experiment in getting tickets through the site failed. Waaaaaahhh! But I also learned a lot, like I should have started earlier because big movies like Seabiscuit have screenings further in advance. But no matter, I don't care. If I survive until the end of the week, it will all be worth it so I can go see Seabiscuit.

Oh, and there's a bunch more stuff about Seabiscuit at EquiSearch's Seabiscuit Central. [thanks Lenny!]

And Seabiscuit director Gary Ross on NPR's All Things Considered, from yesterday.

Buried in work

I'm in heavy-duty work mode for the next few weeks and probably won't be posting much. Just an FYI. Also quick updates: no luck with Seabiscuit tickets yet and I'm quite sure it's birds eating my garden. Also, NYC is weirdly cold but sticky today, humid, gray. I want Mr. Golden Sun to please shine down on me.

How to revive Niagara Falls

Apparently the once-great travel destination of Niagara Falls is in a serious slump. The Independent (UK) reports the city is looking to open casinos to attract more visitors.

The windowless casino is a mark of desperation from the city on the American side of the falls to attract more visitors to its roaring water and hanging mists. The depressed community, stricken by high unemployment, believes the casino may be the only chance to turn around the city's fortunes.

But I've got a better idea. Those familiar with the area know that Niagara Falls sits on the border with Canada, where the government of Ontario has recently legalized same-sex marriage. So rather than build a casino, the city should organize gay marriage packages: help with the arrangements, shuttle people across the border, renovate all those honeymoon suites, and bundle cheap airfare from Boston and NYC into the deal. Niagara Falls was always known as a marriage & honeymoon destination, why not uphold the tradition and revitalize it for the 21st century?

Garden woes

So for the most part, things are going along swimmingly (or should that be sunningly?) in my garden. The tomatoes are ripening, one is even now orangish! My basil is growing like mad, and following the instructions in the wonderful McGee & Stuckey's Bountiful Container, I've cut the flowering plants back so that only four leaves remain on the stem (thereby creating a "basil factory" as they say, because now it will start growing again). With all the basil, I've been making pistou, a sort of French pesto without nuts, which freezes really well and tastes delicious on the grilled pizzas I've been making (recipes soon). So yes, things are going well. Except something's eating my climbers! 😦

I came home a few days ago to find a bunch of my morning glories all wilted and fearing I'd failed to water appropriately, dashed out my window with my watering can in hand. Upon inspection though, I realized they'd been bitten off at the base. By a bird? A squirrel? Also the top of one was bitten off as well, so I lost two morning glories and one cypress vine and maybe the top-bitten-off one will cease to grow too. Does anyone have any idea what could have done this? And how to protect my garden from future attacks? I fear for my luscious tomatoes! And all my other lovely plants.