Lvrgrl’s Weblog

WTD: How to make a quinoa salad:
October 3, 2012, 5:00 pm
Filed under: eats, finance | Tags: , , ,

Continued from WFD, Episode 1: Get a Job featuring Orzo salad.

Last night I actually ate at a restaurant with a friend.  But because I’m motivated by humiliation I also made dinner at 6pm.  A big bowl of something healthy that I’ve already written up for my own records.

That’s ok in my book because going out to dinner with friends is one of my favorite pastimes.  I love sitting at the bar over some warm bowl of pasta with red sauce and a goblet of wine until there’s only sediment left.  And I learned that if I cook up something quick before I go, I’m less likely to want to order everything on the menu.

A few months back I made a vow to only eat out when I have a dinner companion.  That same day, after I bought some groceries at the bodega, I stopped on the sidewalk to pick up what appeared to be a large diamond earring that had fallen out of someone’s ear.

Was this a gift from the universe for my valiant efforts?  Find out next time when WFD continues.

October 2nd:

Rinse a cup of red quinoa in a strainer for 2 minutes, tossing over with your hands.  Pat into a pan with a drizzle of olive oil and move around every 15 seconds or so until the water has evaporated (about 2 minutes). Pour a cup and a half of water and a some dashes of salt into the pan and let the water come to a boil.  Cover the pan and let the quinoa simmer for about 15 minutes.

In a separate pot steam two ears of corn.  Use a strainer or a steamer, or just plop the the half cobs into some shallow water for a little.  If the corn is fresh they only need to be in there until the outsides are hot.

While the corn is getting hot, chop up a shallot or two (or a small onion) and one big green pepper.  Once the quinoa is settled and finished let it cool in a bowl in the fridge along with the corn kernels while you toss the onions and peppers around in some olive oil (the onions first for a minute or two and then the peppers for a minute or two).  Pull everything out of the pan when the peppers turn bright green.

Rise the corn in cold water and cut the kernels off the using a downward slicing motion, getting as much of the meat off as you can without cutting into the grainy part of the cob.   Add to the quinoa mixture along with a hunk of feta cheese and crumble feta on top to your liking.  Pour in the pepper and onion and mixture and toss all together with a little more salt and pepper if you’d like.

Eat straight away or let cool in the fridge. Healthy man.  And not bad tasting either.


What’s for Dinner (WFD) – Tri Color Orzo w/ onions and arugula
October 3, 2012, 1:11 pm
Filed under: eats, finance | Tags: , ,

One of my biggest money problems is that I don’t want to take the time to make dinner for myself.  Instead of having a pantry stocked with beans and rice and a fridge with fresh veggies I have a credit card bill for restaurants in my neighborhood that have a good tasting dinner for under $20.  I lie to myself and say that I love food and that’s why I prefer having someone else cook for me.

But really it’s because I have high expectations and a princess attitude.  When I do cook at home I make salmon, seared, with potatoes and bustle sprouts.  The ingredients alone cost more than the meal would at a restaurant.  The leftovers end up sitting in the fridge and browning until they are too old to eat.

Now before you stop and think to yourself, fancy for this women, she spends $30 on groceries for one night, why should I spend my time reading about her problems? And I say, that’s a very good question my friend.  You should not.  What you should do instead is support me in changing my habits by following an ongoing report of the cost effective home cooked dinners I vow to make every night at 6pm sharp.

October 1st

Orzo.  Tri color.  One cup boiled in 8 cups of water with dashes of salt.  One half sweet yellow onion sautéed in generous amounts of extra virgin olive oil.  Three handfuls of fresh arugula shredded up by hand (pul out stems) them, just pull them out).  Healthy dumping of parmesan reggiano cheese.

There’s no really important order to follow  Once you get the pasta cooking up you can put the onions in a separate pan and let them simmer a while, the longer the sweeter (like 15 minutes even).  When the orzo is out and cooling and the onions are done, they go together in a big bowl with salt and pepper.  Use plenty of oil for more flavor.

Get salad stuff from a farm-like place if you can.  The whole bag of arugula cost $4 which felt like a splurge at the time.  And it probably is except I made at least a salad plus this meal so far and there’s still some leftover.  Plus it really tastes so good, like better than the kind from the super market, as far as I can tell.

If you have other ingredients you like then throw those in too.  Mushrooms, tomatoes or bits of asparagus steamed or done up in oil like the onion would probably be worth a try.  Oh, and feta cheese instead of the parm if you’ve got some on hand.

I ate this meal over a “conversation” with my LIB (live-in-boyfriend) about how i need to get a job.  Baby steps, I tell him and I taste the caramelized onion in between the pasta chunks and the flashes of cheese.  For now this is as grown up as I get.

P.S. I’m Back.

A Dark Dream Realized
August 16, 2010, 4:44 pm
Filed under: art | Tags: , , ,

In a small theatre on a cobblestone street in the heart of the city’s most prominent art gallery district, director Jay Scheib recently presented the premiere of his masterful adaptation of a cultishly adored science fiction novel.  The story itself, based on Samuel Delany’s Dhalgren, tells of a city wrought with chaos out of which violence, sex and creative genius emerge.  The performance allows this chaos to take shape within the bodies of the cast and the work of the crew giving to the audience a palatable vision of what true community could provide in a world without boundaries.

The Kitchen, the darling of NYC’s performance art venues, is often the site of perceptive and challenging work.  The venue originally opened on the lower east side, just blocks away from where Delany himself was living, before relocating to Chelsea in the late 80’s. On most any night the theatre is packed with audience members eager to see something thought-provoking, the nights between April 1st and April 10th of this year being no different.

Within the drama’s fictionalized city of Bellona all havoc has broken loose: a prominent black radical has been murdered, a young woman has been raped and the city’s newspaper has been monopolized all as the result of an apocalyptic fire the origins of which are unknown.  In the midst of this chaos we see two distinct methods of managing: one from a group of outsiders confronting their differences and another from a family of four trying to hold on to the lives they led before the fire.

True to the book, the play aims to give the nebulous boundary between the real and the constructed a tangible tension.  Intimate moments take place behind the set’s few walls and are projected onto a video screen at the front of the stage mediating moments of both psychological and physical vulnerability.  The action is filled with sex and violence and the story includes love and loss, all of which is seen both on the screen and in the flesh.

While the stripped down set design and the video feed contributed to the mood the technical details were overall less important than the strength of the ensemble performance. Sarita Choudhury portrayed the protagonist’s wide emotional landscape with ease, gracefully moving between a tough explorer, a vulnerable lover, a hurt chid depending on what the moment required.  Mikeah Ernest Jennings delivers an equally complex performance by tackling two roles at once; one a man assassinated for his political views and another a man aggrandized for his potent sexuality.  Tanya Selvaratnam adopted a ritualistic mirror gazing, face-slapping, hip shaking dance when her sex crazed house mom character was left home alone.

In the end the production provided a sophisticated vision of a traditional family relationship turned cold from formality along with the intimate struggles of an explorer searching for and authenticity.  Throughout both interwoven stories were examples of people hurting and helping each other and the terrible back and forth between the two extremes.  The play provided the feeling of what it’s like be in the midst of chaos and served as a reminder that embracing confusion may be the only way to experience moments of clarity.

Bellona, Destroyer of Cities
after Samuel R. Delany’s science-fiction masterpiece ‘Dhalgern’
Adapted and Directed by Jay Scheib
Premiere: 1-10 April 2010 at The Kitchen, NYC
Next Performance: Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, May 2011

Take Me Out to the Book Fair
October 4, 2009, 12:45 pm
Filed under: art | Tags: , , , ,

leoniestair3This weekend PS1 turns its galleries spaces into a place for art book publishers and their fans to get silly with each other.  Remember the musky smell of library stacks, the metal shelving units lining dark halls illuminated only by crank operated lights?  This isn’t like that.
Don’t miss these five points of interest along the way:

The Classroom:
PS1 used to be a public school. duh – so it only makes sense that one of the rooms turned galleries be left open for adult education.  The talk I saw was about a wheat pasting art-porn artist getting let off the hook for “putting up flyers for his new show”.  ‘Course the posters were photos of a roof-top blow job but we don’t need to tell Judge Judy about those naughty bits unless we’re handcuffed to do so, right?

Red Fox Press:
Ever seen a couple that’s so totally in love they’re probably just a hologram?  Such is the pair behind the booth for Red Fox Press who screen printed portraits they drew of each other cattle feed bags and hand bound the pages together into a book.  Another book features collection of patterns from the insides of envelopes bound together with graph paper print tape.  I got me a copy of “drawn with my left hand” on account of my boyfriend’s recent injury, but if I had the greens I would have bought up one of everything.

The Hairy Bunch
You probably couldn’t miss this one even if you wanted to.  Large and looming hair covered canopies stand towering in the courtyard; not a sight for sore eyes nor terribly hospitable neither.  You can’t really beat the above ground wading pools surrounded by sun decks and hammocks from a few years back, but at least this installation reminded me that Where the Wild Things Are comes out soon.x

On small wire towers on a table just outside the cafe sit the most delicate sweets known to this womankind’s taste buds.  They’re like a cross between a cookie and a marshmallow, but like not in a mallomar sort of way.  Probably eat only one though because even though they’re free you should let other people get some too.

If you know Sto, you know it’s easy to spot him because his hair’s always spiked out real uneven like.  Make sure you find him at the fair because when you do you’ll also find yourself in the company of butt booklets and pages filled with somber looking solo sex acts.  He’ll be near the gobbed up gold letters hanging on the wall that spell out “Cinders”.

Posts to come include “Five Things Not To Do When Your Dead Bolt Locks You Out” and “Jessica Cutler Lies on Craig’s List and I Lived To Tell About It.

* photo take from Apartment Therapy’s post on Book Stairs

Hello Ladies
April 17, 2009, 5:48 pm
Filed under: art, music

A friend asked me to volunteer art direct for an Au Revoir Simone music video shoot at Brooklyn’s Bell House. The first music videos they made for the band a few years back was a beautiful and misty romp through the woods that ended with the ARS girls fishing for their keyboards off the side of the a dewy dock, so I said yes. I didn’t know exactly what I was getting into and I think the other boys and the girls on the crew may have known even less.

The girls were fresh faced, bright eyed and on set hours before the cameras were turned on. While picking outfits, doing hair and making up, they conducted the business of being three friends in a band careful to accommodate each other in every way possible while rising step by step to the top of their game. Gold and purple tee shirts have to be made, opening bands must be chosen, fans must be responded to and it all must be done together with ease and success. Tres impressive.

Without giving too much away, the idea was a create a stop motion merry-go-round sort of look using multiple cameras and more angles than you’d find in geometry book. Part of my job was to make a nice-looking star formation out of amps, keyboards and monitors so when the whole set is shot from above each piece is mirrored by another. Think of, I dunno, say a big fat diamond engagement ring that shimmers like crazy with each facet reflecting brightly off one another.

Achieving this effect meant hours of taping down degrees of circles on the floor using protractors, pencils and string until both the space around the band, as well as each band member, were marked up to perfection. Later, large metal sections of circular rails held five separate cameras clamped to exact locations.  This unit was moved around the map until all 360 degrees of the set had been captured. Each performer also had to be surrounded by crew members with cameras held steady as we shuffled, shoulder to shoulder, around the curves. While the song played on repeat. Till 2am.

Sounds fun, right?

Well, yes, yes it was! You know the sort of feeling when you leave camp and all these people you knew nothing about at the beginning of the summer now seem like they’ve been part of your life all along? It was like that. We’re calling each other by nicknames carefully chosen at opportune times, giving away hugs like they are ice cream sandwiches and shouting out times to get together out through the darkness as we each retreat back to our own lives. Even while joyfully imaging sleeping in my very own bed and soon, I still didn’t want to leave.

And this, of course, is due to the non-stop hard working creatively visioned humorously inclined crew who ended the night on a dolly cart whirling around the set to capture the most important and most difficult shot. Dispose of everything, keep nothing but a pure heart and lots of love.  Good luck in Paris, Ladies!

Berlin Bound
April 17, 2009, 5:08 pm
Filed under: travel | Tags:

Anyone else? I’ll be there from April 26th to May 23rd!

Owlie Hour: Love and Lost
March 19, 2009, 6:19 pm
Filed under: internets, owlie hour, technology | Tags: , , , ,

This week, Lvrgrl and Owlie waste another perfectly good hour or more on the internet.
Notes from the wild:

We have a tumbler account. We never use it. We did think it was cool that you could call it and leave your blog a voicemail message in the form of a post. We haven’t tried it.

We made a twitter that links up automatic-like with our tumbler account. We never use it.

Internet Guards! Let us in!

Owls, I killed Facebook, so you can’t use my account to look up old flames anymore. Besides, I’m not friends with most of them anyway, nor was I ever, and their empty profiles won’t tell you much aside from that. Wait, when are you setting up my netvibes?

Lvgrl: So like, i want to have a web page with a picture of a phone on it. There’s a number under the phone. When you call the number, the phone on the screen rings. Owlie: I dunno em, that might be over my head. Lvrgrl: Me too.

The following will not work to make a website call your phone. NO WAY that would work. What it will do is allow your phone number to appear on the status bar of your browser when you try to click “call me” in red. So that’s fun.

Open relationships, yea or neigh?

No amount of Logic can make a song have soul.

First we lost the first half of the chat. Now the second’s gone missing.

That’s all neighbors, see ya on the W.