So, I Met This Guy… | Meeting Alton Brown

I still plan on writing about this some on my travel/adventure blog at a later date, but I’m such a fangirl I can’t wait that long.

This past Friday, 7 October, was amazing!  Actually, there was a lot of bad stuff that happened, too, but it’ll forever be remembered as a great day.  I’m sorry, whatever else happens in my life, but I met Alton Brown!

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I may have mentioned before, but I couldn’t cook before I got married.  My mum wasn’t a bad cook or anything, but I stayed clear of the kitchen; cooking just didn’t interest me at all.  (Now baking — that’s another thing.)  Hubby’s family loved to cook, and Food Network often played on their TV.

A little funny side story: when Hubby and I first got together, I asked what his favourite TV show was.  I’ve always been obsessed with science fiction (especially Star Trek) or other script-based fiction shows, and was hoping to hear him answer with something I loved so this fangirl could let go and express herself.  His answer?  “Good Eats.”  Keeping in mind that I hadn’t had cable since I was six, my thought was, OMG, his favourite show is a cooking show?  How boring is this guy?  I didn’t even know how to respond.  After watching my first episode, though, I completely understood.

Long story short, it’s pretty much all due to Hubby and Alton Brown that I can cook now (despite most of the time still disliking to do so).

It was really great to get to meet him at the signing of his new cookbook in Kansas City, even though the moment seemed to come and go so fast after hours of waiting, and I hardly remember a word he said directly to us.  I know when we first walked up, he thanked us for coming and waiting out the line (there were at least 800 people in front of us, no exaggeration).  Hubby responded with something like, “hey, I’m doing this for her.”  Mr. Brown looked up at him and said, “good answer!”  (The only thing I remember distinctly.)  I watched him write our names in the book, hoping he’d ask about the pronunciation of my name (I had this whole humorous answer planned out), and he talked some more.  He even put his hand on my shoulder and spoke directly to me for a moment, but I don’t remember a word he said.  Then, we posed for a picture on Hubby’s phone (the guy holding his phone took pics the whole time, though), and then it was over.

Have you ever met a celebrity (at any level of fame), and it turns out they’re a bit of a jerk?  Or you’re at least disappointed by meeting them in some way?  I have, but not this time.  Even after signing books for and interacting with over 800 people, he was still lively, funny, and friendly — just as you’d expect Alton Brown to be.

A big thanks to Alton Brown, his team, and everyone at Rainy Day Books for making this happen.  I’m so thankful.  And cooking like crazy 😁.

#TBT – Frappuccinos and Fairy Tales

This entry was originally posted on a blog I was writing back in early 2012.  I recently had reason to go back and look for something in that blog, and I thought I’d share this again here.  And yes, I wrote this post before I became vegan.


 

Last weekend, the house got emptied and cleaned.  For the first time in my life, I didn’t feel agonized to see an empty house; I felt accomplished!  I’m so glad that part’s over.

Today was the start of a new season for frappuccino happy hour at Starbucks!  I held myself back until then to try the new Mocha Cookie Crumble frappuccino.  I even (yet again) skipped tiramisu as my weekly dessert to try this seemingly amazing treat.  As usual, though, I ordered it skinny with soy, but I kept the whip since it is new as well.  Oh.  My goodness.  I’m so glad I tried it.  Not as good as tiramisu, but very good.  I could almost eat the whip by itself, haha.

As I consumed my chocolatey treat, I read A Child’s Book of Stories, which I call “my fairy tale book.”  (Even though it’s not all fairy tales.)  My mum bought it for $4 from a homeschool bookshop when I was… maybe six or seven.  She never used it, and years later was going to get rid of it; however, it somehow intrigued me so I held onto it.

I never actually started reading it until late high school.  I decided that that’s the book I wanted to read to my growing child if I ever got pregnant, so I started reading it to check it out.  “Beauty and the Beast” became my absolute favourite.  Even though it is much different from the Disney version, my love for the story was again rekindled when I saw the play at Disney World for my senior trip.

I’m not sure why I stopped reading the book; it certainly wasn’t for boredom.

The new ABC show Once Upon A Time caught my interest from the beginning.  When the episode “Skin Deep” aired (about Beauty and the Beast), I knew I was definitely hooked.  I watched that episode more than twenty times in the next week.  I then wondered where my fairy tale book had gone.  Thankfully, I found it when I was packing up the house.  I set it aside to keep with me and not go into the storage unit.

Now that I have a few weeks to relax, I’m enjoying being able to read my precious fairy tale book <3.

Book Love and What To Read Next?

I love it when a good book inspires.  It might inspire one to write, to make a change in the world (whether big or small), to pursue their dream, or just inspire more reading.

This has been a good year thus far in my reading adventures.  Some ended up being just reading for the sake of reading.  (This was at no fault to the books themselves, but simply my lack of held attention.  Though, one was just boring.)  Some were amazing.  Ready Player One by Ernest Cline was absolutely brilliant.  It captured my attention and never let go.  The story was fantastic.  There were several parts consisting of a lot of details, which I normally would have found too drawn-out to be fascinating, but they only inspired nostalgia, even when I’ve never experienced or heard of something he was describing (seeing certain movies, playing certain games, et cetera.)

The cover on the copy of the book that I own, obtained from LootCrate.
The cover on the copy of the book that I own, obtained from LootCrate.

I just finished reading One More Thing by B.J. Novak.  I’m honestly not sure how to describe this book without a long explanation.  It’s a collection of short stories and musing/amusing thoughts.  About twenty percent in, I was convinced my rating would be three stars:

Did it hold my attention?  Definitely!  ★★★★★
Did the stories have a point?  Nope.     ★✰✰✰✰

By the end, my whole thought process on the book changed.  Some of the stories didn’t have a point, or at least not an obvious one, but they were well-written for what they were.  Further into the book, though, the stories just got better and better.  Some even inspired me!  The story “Rome,” for instance…  This man and his wife retired to a city near Rome.  The thing he seems to love most about it is that this grand city, famous for so much throughout history, and a place people save up their whole lives to visit, is just a place he goes to run errands!  And someday soon that’ll be me in Japan!

I usually take a short break between finishing a book and starting a new one (though I always have several books I’m reading at a time), but I’m inspired to go read immediately!  I really want to read something I will enjoy as much as I’ve enjoyed these two books mentioned, but I don’t know what I’d enjoy unless I’ve already read it.  It’s been a couple of years since I read The Three Musketeers, but I still think about it a lot.  I love that book.  I still jokingly refer to Porthos as my “book boyfriend,” even though I know that if I knew him in real life there’s no way we’d be anything more than just friends, haha.

I’ve also been thinking about The Great Gatsby for about a year now.  I read it in high school, and had a love-hate relationship with it.  Despite knowing its very dramatic content, I kind of want to re-read it.

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As for books I haven’t yet read, I really want to read The Odyssey, but Hubby insists I’d have to read The Iliad first.  I also really want to read The Silmarillion by J.R.R. Tolkien.  I watched a four-and-a-half-minute video giving a brief summary of the book, and The Hobbit was one of my favourite reads of 2013.  On the other hand, I’d planned on my next “classic” book to be A Study in Scarlet, the first Sherlock Holmes novel.  (And no, I don’t want to read a book that has all of the Holmes stories; I want to read them separately.)

What do you think?  What book should I read next?  I’m gladly taking suggestions of amazing books, classic or new.


Books mentioned:

  • The Three Musketeers (re-read)
  • The Great Gatsby (re-read)
  • The Iliad
  • The Odyssey
  • The Simarillion
  • A Study in Scarlet

 

The Devil’s Revenge

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I’ve already mentioned in a previous post that my obsession this year is movies.  (Yes, though I’m reading a heck of a lot more than ever, my favourite movies are really what make me swoon.)  There are actually six movies of which I’m so stuck in fandom that I watch them all the time.  (Yes, I do still watch a lot of other movies and TV programmes as well as have a real life, etc.)  I refer to these movies as “The Six.”

As you may have gathered from my “Cinema” video, one of The Six is The Devil Wears Prada.  Upon seeing that video, one of my friends sent me a link to the news that the book The Devil Wears Prada was soon to have a sequel!  I knew it was finally time to read the book.

Soon after beginning reading, I quickly figured out that besides character names being the same (except for Andy’s boyfriend) the movie and the book are not much alike.  This didn’t bother me at all.  I understand that books and movies are two completely different forms of media and what works for one may not work for the other.  (My “son” actually made a vlog about that subject this week.  View it here: http://youtu.be/g0K9q3sv2uA )

Sadly, the sequel didn’t even live up to my low expectations.  However without further ado, here’s my Goodread’s review of Revenge Wears Prada.

Revenge Wears Prada: The Devil Returns by Lauren Weisberger

16130307My Star Rating: ★✰✰✰✰

I didn’t *hate* this book, but it wasn’t interesting. There were parts where I thought “maybe this will finally be the thing that gives the story substance!” It never happened; I kept waiting for the story to get interesting. Finally, in chapter 21 I realised that this book was not going to “get good”; it was basically all filler with far too many useless details. I’ve never been a real believer in sequels, and this book was the worst in that case. There were interesting parts, but they never lasted, and overall the story lacked real substance.