What if you had a super power to be organized? I’m not talking about socks sorted in your dresser, coupons alphabetized, meetings and notes at work categorized for the next year. I mean a real power. So powerful that you could leave behind binders and notes to yourself after you get amnesia and it would be enough to fake being your old self. That is what The Rook by Daniel O’Malley is about.
What would you be like if you woke up and couldn’t remember who you were? Would you still be you, or would you be someone else? These are some of the issues facing the main character of Daniel O’Malley’s “The Rook“. Finding the answers to those questions serves as the springboard to a quick-paced romp through an alternate-world England beset by monsters, sentient fungus, and government bureaucrats.
I have been thinking about community a lot lately. Mostly in regards to my work community and the group of professionals that I have started to connect with, but in broader terms as well. Our larger family met recently to celebrate a birthday of one of the clan and I noticed that these days we need some kind of an event to all gather together. (I also thought this event was over too quickly and we needed a bigger space, but that isn’t really my point.) It’s not stated out loud very often, but this group is our first line of defense against the problems in the world. And they are the first people we share good things with in our lives. My daughter will be going off to school soon and I think it is fair to say that she has been shaped by her school community as much as her life at home. And trust me her school believes in a strong community. I found myself once again a part of this close-knit group a couple of weeks ago as they kicked off their annual school fundraiser. Last year this kick off dinner was held at my favorite restaurant, Hell’s Kitchen. This year the event was held at what may become one of my new favorite places, Khyber Pass Cafe. Read More…
For this week’s Eating blog, we combined our dinner out with a good deed, as the dinner was part of a fundraiser for our daughters’ school. Thus, we got a delicious meal that benefited our kids’ school – a true win-win scenario! So, where did we go? To a wonderful Afghani restaurant, Khyber Pass Cafe, in the Midway area of Saint Paul.
For as long as I can remember my soda of choice has been Dr. Pepper. I like it mostly because it isn’t Coke or Pepsi; it’s something different. There is of course just as much marketing and hype behind Dr. Pepper as Coke, but it’s still different. Growing up I read a lot of comics (probably not as many as David, but a good amount) and while I enjoyed Superman, Batman, and Spiderman I went out of my way to read the lesser known heroes. I was a big Dare Devil fan. I enjoyed Nova more than it deserved. And I read Ghost Rider. I didn’t read it religiously mind you, but I would pick up a copy every now and again because it was different. Ghost Rider had the mystic elements of a good Dr. Strange story and the kick-ass fights of..of..well any other comic book except Dr. Strange. Also he had a motorcycle. He was a Hero without a cause.
Certain movies are guilty pleasures – when you get right down to it, you have to admit that they’re never going to be classic films, they don’t have any socially-redeeming value, they’re never going to win awards, they’re never going to be anyone’s all-time favorite movie, and a lot of people are going to scoff at their very existence. However, they do get made, and they do attract an audience. But… why!?!?
For our second cooking review I did most of the cooking because it is one of my signature dishes. (FYI: Having a signature dish is how you know you are a real chef.) I went to college in New Mexico for three years and while I was there I learned to love New Mexican food. I didn’t cook much in college so this meant I liked to eat New Mexican food from restaurants, specifically one restaurant called, Frank and Lupe’s El Sombrero. Being clever Techie’s we simply called it The Hat. It was a college town so we had a pretty good selection for eating out, but we found ourselves at The Hat pretty often. Any reasonable person will tell you that the best thing on the menu at The Hat is Lupe’s Chili Rellenos. I would branch out on occasion because the green chili enchiladas were pretty good too, but the rellenos was my usual. It was served with the best refried black beans and Spanish rice I have ever tasted. All washed down by a couple of cold Dos Equis. When I was at The Hat I always drank beer and it was always Dos Equis. Read More…