Wednesday, November 17, 2010

In Which I Draw Conclusions

(Originally I was going to try to cram this into a Facebook status.)

Tonight Mr. Graham and I went to see a one-night showing of the recent Les Miserables 25th Anniversary concert. It was three hours and $15 a pop, but it turned out to be well, well worth the cost and time.* During these three hours I compiled the following list of conclusions:
  • It IS possible for "Bring Him Home"--one of my least favorite songs in the world--to sound like it is being sung by a man. Thank you, Alfie Boe, for singing like a man.
  • While I can give Nick Jonas some credit for being involved with something that is not a Disney Channel byproduct, for an event on this scale, he just didn't have the (Marius) goods. That said, he didn't embarrass himself, but he did sound comparatively underwhelming.
  • Lea Salonga as Fantine is just as good as Lea Salonga as Eponine. (She *may* have made someone that is not me cry...)
  • Ramiiiiiiiiiin! It was nice to see him in a show that is good and stuff. His inclusion as Enchiladas ("Enjolras," says Mr. Graham) was 50% of my motivation for seeing it in the first place. I want to turn him into an iPod and put him in my pocket.
  • Oh my, Michael Ball is not as young as he once was, though his hair looks exactly the same.
  • I enjoy Les Mis probably 40-50% more as a concert. Granted, I have seen most of the 10th anniversary concert many times, and on stage only once. However! I think the show itself is kind of fundamentally flawed in its characters and storytelling, but it works better when you can see people's faces well and identify all the characters better. For whatever reason, probably because some minor things are cut, the story seems much more focused in concert versions.
  • I find it frustrating that even though I only really, really like about 1/3 of the songs I still find the whole thing so very spirited and rousing. It puts me at odds with myself. When the original 1985 cast came out at the end I was ready to squeal like a little girl.
  • Why don't they do concerts for any other big shows? How has ALW not been all over this for years?
Anyway, it was a good time, and it was really fun to see a lot of the cast members that we saw live this summer. We even spotted that most dreaded Marius--he who makes Nick Jonas look good, or at least better.

*As a sidenote, we were finishing up our Harry Potter movie-a-night marathon and had to watched the first hour, go to the show and then finish it after. Last night we had to interrupt Order of the Phoenix with a rather lackluster local production of The Scarlet Pimpernel...bad French accents were ever-y-whare.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

In Which Dinner is in a Pumpkin

On Sunday, the very day of Halloween, we had our second dinner in a pumpkin and it turned out great. And this year we had a couple of friends over to help us eat it so now there is slightly less for us to eat as leftovers all week. A lot of people that we have mentioned this dinner to have been kind of perplexed and interested in it so I thought I would explain the process here.

My first dinner in a pumpkin was made by my then roommate, Comrade Cox in 2008. Last year I decided to try it myself since it seemed pretty straight forward. And when I say "seemed" I mean "is." So, here is the process.

You buy yourself a pumpkin. You don't want a gigantic pumpkin because it has to cook and also it has to fit in the oven. I have had good luck with a nice mid-sized pumpkin that is more tall than it is wide. You clean it out all nice, and put the seeds aside for baking later--or for just sitting on the counter, like I'm doing this year.

So then you need to fill it! I follow Comrade Cox's recipe, which is as follows:
-Sausage: one of those Jimmy Dean kinds of sausage that comes in the fat tube.
-6 cups of cooked rice
-1 can of cream of mushroom soup
-1 can of cream of chicken soup
-1/2 cup soy sauce
-1 small onion, all chopped up
-A few stalks of celery, all chopped up. You want about as much celery as you have onion, unless you really like celery. Or onion.

All you do is cook the sausage with the vegetables until it's done, mix in everything else and then put it in the pumpkin! If the pumpkin doesn't quite hold it all (you want some space), everything is cooked so you can just eat it on its own. There is NO waste, Siegfried
!*Put the lid back on the pumpkin, put the whole thing on a baking sheet and stick it in a 375 degree oven for 2 hours.
My pumpkins have not needed quite 2 hours, more like 1 and 45 minutes or so. Anyway, whenever it is done, you get a strong man to get it out of the oven for you.Then you just dish it out, scraping out pumpkin with the other stuff, and you eat, eat, eat until you can eat no more! And when you can't eat anymore, you dig everything out and throw what's left of the pumpkin away. Food doesn't get more seasonal than this!

*That one's for you, Marcue...can you place the reference?