I confess

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Monday, February 26, 2007
I confess!

harmonica confession: I have limited harmonica tolerance. I was out walking around listening to my ipod like I do almost every day, and a Bob Dylan song came up with a lot of harmonica -- I can't remember which one for sure, maybe I Want You. I got to thinking about it and realized I quite enjoy harmonica in Bob Dylan sized doses, but it makes me homicidal in, say... Blues Traveler size doses. I want to cram that harmonica up BT guy's nose until his brains come out of his eyeballs. Behold, the healing power of music! (I know I am getting increasingly tedious on the subject, but I just find it so interesting. Why does something sound good to one person and terrible to someone else? I don't think it's simply a matter of taste. My BT issues go beyond my intolerance for jam bands -- it really makes my head feel like it's going to explode, and not in a fun way. Maybe I'm a sleeper agent with a harmonica trigger...)

volunteer confession: I have been enjoying my stint as a library volunteer very much, although I can see I am going to have to start being a little more social or I will be the "she was so quiet, we never suspected she'd be in jail for harmonica assault" girl. I'm thinking cookies may be a way to bridge the divide. It's not that I'm unfriendly, I just tend to keep to myself until I can suss out the situation and dynamics. I think I'm starting to get a handle on how things work and who's who (categories including: the always nice, the inexplicably resentful of my very existence, the chronic masturbator (don't shake his hand!), in short THE USUAL SUSPECTS). I'm telling you, an urban public library would be a great setting for a TV show. But back to the work itself... it is still interesting, and more importantly it's giving me some much needed competence confidence. Perhaps I am not a hopeless screw-up! Hopeful screw-up, maybe! But I can live with that.

movie confession: I did watch the Oscars, but I don't really have anything to say (except: good for you Scorsese; Clive Owen (!!!); Rachel Weisz is so pretty; Helen Mirren and Diane Keaton have got it going on, etc.) Here's my confession: I like The Truth About Charlie. I just watched it again this weekend and was freshly reminded. I know it has problems (not least of which is Marky Mark in a BERET), but I like the color, the energy, that it feels like it's actually set in Paris, and the fact that it is a caper with a puzzle plot that doesn't bore me. I thought Thandie Newton and Mark Wahlberg had fun and somewhat unexpected chemistry, Tim Robbins seemed to be having a fine time with his crazy Kennedy accent, plus Charles Aznavour! singing! for no good reason! I don't know... the very things that bugged a lot of people (if the imdb is to be believed) are some of the things that charmed me the most -- it's not a straight thriller or comedy or romance, which is fine by me. It's based on Charade (with Audrey Hepburn and Cary Grant), and I have no problem liking both movies. In fact my DVD has The Truth About Charlie on one side and Charade on the other. Woo hoo! Mark Wahlberg is no Cary Grant, but who the hell is? Nobody, is who.

bonus secret recipe: All right, it's really not secret, and it's not even really a recipe, I just think "secret recipe" sounds more interesting than "successful kitchen mad science." This is but one of many (I'm sure!) delicious ways to use Trader Joe's Pomegranate Glaze. I bought it on a whim last week and have enjoyed it over both chicken and fish. It's got a really strong flavor so it holds up to adding a bunch of other stuff to it. Here's what I used/ what I did (keep in mind that I didn't really measure anything, I just kind of dump it in a bowl and adjust as I go):

pomegranate glaze (aprox 1-2 tablespoons, I think)
garlic (one giant clove minced, or two regular non-giant cloves also minced)
lime juice (juice of about 1/4 large lime... maybe a teaspoon? two teaspoons?)
cinnamon (just a pinch -- I just took it out on the handle end of a fork... maybe 1/8 teaspoon?)
olive oil (2-4 teaspoons)
freshly ground black pepper (uh... 1/4 teaspoon? TO TASTE! yeah, that's it.)
red pepper flakes (yes, like what you put on pizza. quantity: some. if pressed, I would say 1/4 teaspoon or less)
brown sugar (some! start with a teaspoon and mix it up really good and see what you think.)

I mixed all that together, and then poured it over chicken or fish in a baking dish, arranged sliced limes over it and baked at 375 (fish) 400 (chicken) for about 20 minutes or however long it takes to not give you salmonella. It was really good. If it seems too thick, add more olive oil or lime juice. If it seems too runny, add more pomegranate glaze and sugar. You could probably also add some kosher salt. In fact, I think I did with the fish. Anyway, it has a really deep flavor, but the lime cuts it nicely and I always like the sweet/spicy combo that the sugar and peppers provide. If you are less fond of that, you could cut down on the sugar (although I wouldn't leave it out altogether). I can't wait to try something with it when pomegranates are actually in season. (I know they're a mess to eat, but I LOVE THEM.)
7 comments on "I confess"
  1. I loved this post. I love Bob Dylan and "I Want You" is such a classic, but I sometimes have to turn the volume down due to the Harmonica, same thing with Kate Bush or Bjork when the scream-sing, love them all but not at full volume!

  2. The Truth About Charlie? I think I will put that on my list. I like caper flicks...and this weather is great for staying in and making popcorn and watching movies. This weather also reminds me of how much I do not enjoy wet weather. Or a gloomy sky that seems to taunt me...whatever.

  3. Harmonica blues: This is one of those places where we difffer big time. I love harmonica music--even seek it out. (You would cringe--I used to have a recording of all blues harmonica. Lost, alas.) I Luvit when Dylan breaks into those harmonica runs...

    Recipe: Will have to try it, sans peppers (since I am allergic). Sounds so yummy!

    Movie: I am up for that!

  4. thanks, d. chedwick! I feel exactly the same way about Bjork and Kate Bush. Mostly the Dylan harmonica stays on the side of the angels for me, but I agree that there are times when the volume must be adjusted.

    BBD -- I think you'll like the movie. I don't know, it just seems very fresh and has a spirit of fun (despite the murdering and the crime and whatnot). The weather: yeah. It went from snow and rain this morning to just really cold rain, which is not tons of fun IMO. You're right about it being excellent movie-watching weather!

    Patty, hee hee! I know, we've had this discussion before! But I would like you to note that I do not hate all harmonica music, and I specifically stated that Dylan harmonica is fine by me.. it is just that hyperventilation harmonica that makes me nuts.

    A while back I figured out my blues divide. I like delta blues and affiliated, but do not care for chicago blues as it has too many convoluted guitar and harmonica solos and not enough rocking chair/front porch "haw haw haw haw" ease. Or something.

  5. Is the Charlie movie violent? I am trying to avoid movies that could perhaps upset my sleep. Anything featuring: violence, horror or Sally Kirkland are definitely not movies for me.

  6. hmmm.. there is definitely some violence, although it didn't ping me as VIOLENCE violence (it's not the first thing, or even the third thing I think of when I think about the movie, but it is certainly there). You might want to wait and watch it later.

    It is 100% Sally Kirkland free, however!

  7. Sally Kirkland is CRAZY!!! I saw her do the red carpet Oscar walk thing on Sunday and, well, I just can't explain how it made me feel.