Harry Potter

I recently decided I would read all the Harry Potter books. I dont know what made me decide this. I've already seen the first three movies, and honestly, I didnt care for them much. The first one, I thought, was all effects and visual distractions but lacked any real substance or logic. The second one seemed to be built on the same concepts. The third one got a little more interesting... but then that could just be because of my husband's influence. Apparently he didnt dislike it as much as the first because he said the story made more sense, But I think Gary Oldman's appearance had a big influence on his change of heart. But I think what really got me interested was the fact that I heard something bad or at least suprising happens at the end of the sixth book. And I actually want to read it and find out about it that way before I find out any other way (please dont tell me what it is... I'm this close to finding out on my own). Of course I couldnt just start with the 6th book, I'm sure nothing would make sense if I did that. So I decided to start from the beginning.

My first task was to acquire the books. Originally I had hoped to borrow them from the library. But since the sixth book just recently came out, it seemed I wasnt the only one interested in reading the series from the beginning. So my next step was to borrow the books from my sister, who I could have sworn had a set of them. Unfortunately they seemed to have misplaced them. But my sister's friend was nice enough to lend them to me. Well all but the second one, that one is missing.

So I started reading the books 2 Fridays ago. I gave myself the crazy goal of finishing them all within 2 weeks. Of course I did skip the 2nd one (for the moment, I fully intend to go back and read it when I can get a copy of it). So far I'm 70 pages away from finishing the 5th book. I've been reading like crazy lately. Somedays I read for about 6-8 hours (with breaks to eat and give my eyes a chance to relax a little). It really does take up a lot of my time, but to my pleasant surprise, I do enjoy reading them. They aren't changing my life or anything, but they are fun. And that's really what I was in the mood for. My biggest complaint is the length of them. I mean 870 pages in the 5th book??? That's quite unnecessary.

Anyway, only 4 more days to finish. I think I'll get through the 6th one by then. But I dont think I'll manage to read the 2nd one before that as well. I'm not all that concerned though, I've seen the 2nd movie at least 3 times, so I feel as though I have a good enough idea about what happened in that book that I wont miss out on anything too important.

Speaking of which, better get back to reading... time's a-wasting.



Starbucks Coffee
That sounds about right.


A Day in Boston

This weekend my husband and I took a trip up to New England. We went to Connecticut with his parents for a family wedding on Saturday. And then since we were in the area, we decided to go to a Boston Red Sox game on Sunday. (anyone who knows my husband knows how much he loves Boston sports teams... and how much that has rubbed off on me)

So first thing on Sunday we drove from CT to Boston. Since he used to live right outside of Boston we went there first. He showed me his "old stomping grounds" in Wakefield Mass, and then we drove around and made our way to Kelly's on Revere Beach.

Kelly's Roast Beef on the beach Posted by Picasa

Now I'm not from Boston (nor had I been there until last year), but even I've heard of Kelly's. Actually I'm pretty sure that I saw Rachel Ray eat at Kelly's on her $40 a Day show a couple years ago. But for anyone who doesnt know, it's a little food stand/restaurant right on the beach that makes some great fresh seafood. We both got fish plates that would somewhere around $10 each and they were packed with food... onion rings two large pieces of fried fish and french fries. Not exactly the best meal if you are watching your weight, but if you are looking for good fish and chips it's perfect. Kelly's was definitely worth the trip and i highly recommend it to anyone willing to brave the Massachusettes roads (more on that later).

Yum Kelly's Posted by Picasa

After that, we decided to just drive into Boston and park in a garage near Fenway Park because it was getting too close to game time to take the T in. Well we eventually made it to Fenway, half an inning late. As soon as we entered the park it started pouring and lightning... thus began Rain Delay 1. So here were are, jammed into the vending section of Fenway along with tens of thousands of other people who didnt want to get wet, just waiting for the game to start again... waiting... waiting... waiting. About 45 mins later the rain lets up and the grounds keepers come out to prepare the field. 15 minutes later, the game resumes

Matt Clement warming up Posted by Picasa

I was kind of let down. I mean most of the normal Red Sox players weren't in. There were 4 guys playing that I had never even heard of. And my personal favorite... Kevin Millar (aka the Leprachuan) wasnt even in. Luckily David Ortiz was... you cant have a Red Sox game without Big Papi. Unfortunately, they White Sox were winning. But in the middle of the 4th inning the sky turned black and the rain poured down again. Rain Delay 2. What we didnt know at the time was that the game would not resume after this delay. So again the fans herded themselves back inside Fenway and waited for the rain to let up.

Fenway Park must have made millions at this game. I mean there were thousands of people with absolutely nothing to do for hours just walking around all the food stands and souvenir shops. And we did fall victim to this. I bought myself a new Red Sox cap... white with a green B on the front and green shamrock on the back (luck of the Irish... since I'm part Irish I thought it was appropriate), and both of us got some food and soft serve ice cream.

While in line at the soft serve ice cream booth, we saw a White Sox player in a roped off section nearby. He was just hanging out talking with some fans and... eating soft serve ice cream. I found this pretty entertaining and my husband convinced me to take a picture (even though I felt incredibly awkward about taking a picture of some random guy I dont know just because he's eating ice cream.) So I did my best to find a hidden spot to take the picture from. Unforunately since it was so dark I had to use the flash, which I think blew any effort of being discreet. Oh well, at least I know that I have no future career in the paparazi.

White Sox player enjoying softer serve ice cream during the rain delay Posted by Picasa

It rained and rained and rained. We decided to use the time we had and explore Fenway. So we walked around to right field and hung out there for a little while. The rain let up and it looked like they were going to start the game again, but I guess they decided more rain was on the way so they put the tarp back down. Anyway, while the rain delay was occuring they were playing old baseball footage on the monitor. Eventually they got to scenes from the 2004 post season. And everyone there was glued to the monitor. They showed Ortiz hitting home runs and everyone cheered like crazy... they showed Schilling pitching with the now famous Bloody Ankle and everyone cheered like crazy... they showed A-Rod swatting the ball out of Bronson Arroyo's glove and everyone booed as if it were actually happening at that moment. I've seen footage of those games countless times, but I have to admit, it was fun watching it again at Fenway with thousands of fans who, obviously, were still emotionally charged.

White Sox player, Lee, signing autographs during a Rain Delay Posted by Picasa

Pesky Pole Posted by Picasa

So a couple hours and several photos later, still no game. Now we are sitting close to third base under the overhang (to avoid the rain). Wally the Green Monster comes out to sign some autographs and maybe calm the restless fans. Other than that not much is going on. We've wandered around Fenway for long enough, now we just want to watch some baseball. Unfortunately 4 hours into Rain Delay no. 2, the announcer comes on to say that the rains aren't going to let up, and so the game is cancelled. This is immediately followed by boos that seemed to echo the A-Rod sentiment I heard a few hours ago and once again Fenway Park empties, but this time we leave for good.

I think the grounds keepers got more exercise than the players. Here they are removing the tarp (only to put it back 5 minutes later). Posted by Picasa

Wally the Green Monster Posted by Picasa

Even though we only got to watch 4 innings, and we had to put up with 5 hours of rain delay, I still had a good time. It could have been better if they had finished the game (and Boston won). But oh well, I guess this just means that we'll have to go back for the make-up game.


Dessert Time

I'm in the middle of inventing my own dessert. I got in a cooking kick this evening so I went to Giant and bought some random ingredients. Then I came home, put on some music (an awesome mix tape someone made me years ago called "Jessica Sucks Punk Rocks") and literally started throwing the ingredients together... in my food processor. Eventually I ended up with a gooey mix and had no clue what to do with it. Fortunately the gooey mix tasted good; I should know, I think I've already eaten half of it. But I had to keep tasting it so I could think of something to do with it. I mean while I'm happy eating it off a spoon, I'm not sure it would go over well with other people. So after I had a sufficient sense of the taste and consistency of the gooey mix I came up with a plan on how to use it. Unfortunately I don't have the proper ingredients for the next step though, so at this moment the random gooey mix is "chilling overnight" (I figure that sounds more professional than... "being put aside because I dont know what I'm doing"). First thing in the morning though I'll be heading back to Giant for Step Two of Jessica Sucks Dessert Rocks (which is what I've decided to call it). If it turns out to be as awesome as my tastebuds are predicting, I'll post the recipe, if not, I'll post something about how much it made me throw up.

As a side not, I'm not sure if what I'm doing is really all that creative... I'll probably find an old recipe of the exact same thing in a couple weeks and it will burst my bubble; but in the meantime I'm feeling very Iron Chef like. Yay me.


Cooking Craziness

So I was on a real cooking kick this week.

I made steak (for the first time) with a marinade I came up with completely on my own, and it was awesome. Well the steak was a little dry, I think I might have over cooked it a bit, but the marinade was so good I didnt even care.

I also started making real oatmeal. Not the instant oatmeal you just add hot water to, but the real stuff. I got some steel cut oats (which shockingly enough, Giant does carry) and everything. It's SO much better than that instant stuff.

Let's see... I made chicken parmisan one night. I dont want to brag too much, but I make really good chicken parmisan. So good in fact, that I dont feel the need to ever order it at a resturaunt because I can just make it at home whenever I want. Though I should say that I use my mom's recipe, so she should probably get all the credit.

That's a lot of cooking for me. But it's fun, I really enjoy it. I wish I could do it more often, and I probably would. But I get dish-washing burn out after a couple days. So that's why it comes in spurts.