Saturday, September 25, 2010

Maggie Miguel: A Corporate American Employee

I had the opportunity to see the talented Maggie Miguel's one woman show at Acme Comedy and am just now getting to write a thoughtful review. Ms. Miguel is an accomplished actress whose most recent credit is the romantic comedy, "Adonis," a David Dibble film now in post-production. Little did I know that Maggie is also a talented auteur, until I discovered that A Corporate American Employee was self-written.

Don't let Ms. Miguel's blond hair and good looks trick you into thinking this show isn't smart. It addresses everything from class differences, the inhumanity of mindless shoppers, presidential elections, and partisan politics. Although these topics sound potentially depressing and too serious for a comedy, Maggie's delivery, especially through her physical performance, made me laugh non-stop.

Let me not forget to mention another type of performing art that you will enjoy in this show, and that is, the art of DANCE. A classically-trained dancer in ballet (and just about every other type of dance that exists!), you get to see a taste of this during Maggie's dance-monologue that involves no spoken words. Yes, that's right, a dance-monologue involving no words. If you don't understand what I mean by the last sentence, go see the show so that you do! You won't be disappointed.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


That you get a call bearing news that your lover has been killed in a car accident. You want to rush to see him even though he's dead. But you can't--his family has banned you from the funeral.

And so begins the plot of Tom Ford's A Single Man. I was not expecting to like this film as much as I did, given the high expectations for a movie based on one of Chris Isherwoods novels. Also, I was biased against Mr. Ford because of his fashion background--I thought that was all he had to offer.

However, it turns out that Mr. Ford, according to Wikipedia, has had his own hand at acting after graduating from the New School with a degree in: architechture. Tom Ford's varied path (rescues Gucci--infuses YSL--gets his own line--establishes Fade to Black--his own production company) leading to his directorial debut makes him worthy as being crowned the world's next Leonardo da Vinci. He is the ultimate renaissance man.

Although one of my friends felt disappointed after seeing the film because she felt it was style over the substance of the book, having not read the it, I could taste, feel, and touch Colin Firth's sense of lost and the burden. The anger and desperation of not being able to be open about loss because his relationship with Jim isn't accepted, even in swingin' 60s Los Angeles, is palpable and excruciating. Julianne Moore paints the screen with rays of light in her performance as Charlie, George's closest friend. And even if it is style over substance, the style is oh soooooo wonderful, making me wish that when I grow up, I could live in a house like Charlie's or George's.

Oh, and let me NOT forget Nicholas Hoult, whom I had not seen since he starred as a young boy, opposite Hugh Grant in About a Boy. I had no idea it was him until I watched the making-of dvd and saw his name as the man who played Kenny. Had no idea it was a brit playing Kenny, either!

A Single Man is like listening to Maria Callas sing Madame Butterfly. Beautiful, lyrical, ripping your heart out, all at the same time.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Green beans and beets with tasty red wine vinegar dressing

This salad makes me feel happy whenever I make it and eat it. It is my original (albeit simple) creation. Bon appetit!

1-2 pounds green beans
1 can beets, sliced
2-3 tablespoons of good red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon of olive oil
FRESH ground black pepper (this makes the salad)
Salt to taste
Pinch of sugar

Boil the beans, strain, add ingredients, and toss. By my estimation, the whole salad, which can be split up into 2 meals, is 4-5 weight watchers points.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Banana Bread Recipe, Courtesy of Robin's Mom, Sue

To my friends who request this recipe over and over, I memorialize this recipe here so that you can access it any time. My good friend, Robin's mother used to make and send this banana bread to us in college. When we were roommates, I dreamed about packages arriving with the bread or couldn't wait until Sue would come to visit and give us a fresh loaf.

10 years later, at my competitive ex-boyfriend's insistence, we had a banana bread baking contest. I won, hands down, using this recipe, even though the judging was conducted by his friends.

Anyway, here's the recipe, and enjoy, thanks to Robin's mom, Sue!

1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup chocolate chips
2 cups all-purpose flour
3 large, ripe bananas (ripeness is key to this recipe)
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
cinnamon-sugar mixture (for topping)
1 Tbsp. melted butter (for topping)

  • Cream the butter and sugar
  • Beat in eggs one at a time
  • Mix in mashed bananas
  • Sift dry ingredients and stir into the banana mix
  • Add the choc chips (I prefer milk choc because semi-sweet is too bitter paired with the bananas)
  • Pour into a 9x5x3 loaf pan (make sure to grease the pan, of course)
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 60 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean

While the cake is still warm, pour melted butter over it and sprinkle the cinnamon-sugar mixture over.

Bon Appetit!

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Dior Gray - Mistake or Triumph?

This winter, tired of the wedgewood blue walls of my living room, I thought I would try to modernize the space more by painting it gray. I was transfixed by Pratt and Lambert's Rialto when I saw it on the walls at Lawson and Fenning. But my good friend, Mark, recommended that I not use this color because it would "close in" my living room. Instead, I collected many other paint chips ranging from off-white to charcoal. I settled in the end on Dior Gray by Benjamin Moore. My friends, Ivy and Waiyi, inquired, "are you sure you want to go that dark?" Being bold (and also because I'd already purchased two gallons of the paint!), I answered, Yes.

What I didn't realize in going so dark was that none of my furniture, flooring, or ceiling is modern to match the charcoal and heathery tones of Dior Gray. In any case, here is the result. I welcome suggestions on how to (inexpensively) enhance the ceiling color or create throw pillows to make this work better.

Next time, I think I will play it extra safe with something like a beige-gray or very light off-white gray.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

No Subtitles Necessary

I enjoyed this documentary about Lazslo and Vilmos very much. I had no idea these two cinematographers escaped communist Hungary with hours of film about the revolution to become two of the ASC's most sought-after camera men. Films that they've worked on include the Deer Hunter, Frances, Easy Rider, Paper Moon, and Deliverance.

I highly recommend No Subtitles Necessary and plan to view as many L and V films possible, esp the campy low-budge ones I'd never heard of before. (They weren't allowed to join the union when they got to Hollywood and were told to come back when they "learned to speak English!" Hence, the low-budge work to get by at first).