Thursday, October 30, 2008

NKOTB Concert

Here are some pictures and a video from NKOTB's concert at Madison Square Garden on October 27th.

This is the band's grand entrance to stage! Just imagine lots of screaming girls in the background.

NKOTB during one of their choreographed dances. Luckily, they still remembered many of their signature moves!

Here is Jordan, singing one of his solos. *swoon* I don't know how he keeps his falsetto in shape!

The band jumps into the crowd to sing on a moving platform! It was a great surprise to all those in the middle of the audience.

Watch my video of the first minute and half of "I'll Be Loving You Forever" Enjoy the bootleg.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Political Joke on Broadway

Heard tonight on Spamalot:

"How many Sarah Palins does it take to change a lightbulb?

One - because she has to be qualified for something!!"

*chuckle* Clay Aiken was fantastic by the way. The show is closing in January so I suggest you go see it! Laugh out loud funny. Non-offensive jokes of course.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Spamalot on Broadway is Closing

After nearly four years, the Tony Award-winning show “Monty Python’s Spamalot” will be shutting its doors at the Shubert Theater on Jan. 18. And I'm glad that I'm going to see the show this weekend!

Unlike many Broadway shows, “Spamalot,” based on the 1975 movie “Monty Python and the Holy Grail,” made back its investment within six months of its opening night, March 17, 2005. By the time it closes, it will have earned more than $175 million, according to a spokesman.

Click here to read the entire NY Times article.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

What happened to the lack of Control?

If you haven't been watching Heroes, I suggest that you stop reading now. While I'm not going to be summarizing any episodes, sooner or later (right after this sentence!) I'm going to refer to something that just happened and I don't want to ruin your Heroes fix.

I'm a little confused by the way Peter Petrelli's innate ability works - if he gets close to a Hero/Villain, his body automatically re-writes his DNA so he's able to use their ability. But how does he control all these powers? In Season 1, his body unconsciously absorbed a crapload of abilities from being around other Heroes and he'd frequently lose control of his powers - exploding violently in some timelines. Supposedly Claude teaches him how to control these abilities.

I get that he doesn't spontaneously catch on blue fire, shout things to death, or demonstrated uncontrolled bursts of speed - these are all powers that he's observed so I'll buy that he can control the use of those abilities. But what happens when he unknowing absorbs an ability? Shouldn't there be a lack of control? For example, just by being near his dad, he would've absorbed his power theft ability. Given the emotional duress he's under in that moment (ZOMG! DAD IS ALIVE!), wouldn't his copied power theft ability accidentally activate in that moment and steal his dad's ability before his dad stole his?

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Visiting the Museum of Modern Art

Vincent Van Gogh's special exhibit at the Museum of Modern Art (more affectionately called MOMA) in New York City was our main reason for visiting the museum. Even though we flashed our corporate members card to get into the museum for free (admission is $20 for adults unless you go on Friday afternoons starting at 4pm), we still had to get timed tickets to walk into Van Gogh's exhibit. We had almost 2 hours to spare before we could get we quickly walked through most of the major exhibitions on the other floors.

Modern art, for the most part, is lost on me.....light installations, a gentleman's suit hung 20 feet up in the air, a pile of carpet shag on the floor, paintbrushes glued to a clear canvas, an upside down chair....

Luckily the Van Gogh exhibit did not disappoint. Despite the crowds, I was content with staring at the beautiful colors and thick paint strokes for several minutes. I was also impressed with his many letters to his brother Theo (which were all preserved nicely!). In these letters, he would sketch out the paintings in a miniature form. Sadly I couldn't read what he was actually saying in his letters because he was fluent in 4 languages.

I've already seen some of his paintings in the Musee d'Orsay in Paris, I would definitely go back to the MOMA exhibition before it closes in January 2009. However, next time I would go early in the morning so the Van Gogh exhibit would be available for earlier viewing. I recommend sitting in the outdoor Sculpture Garden - it was very relaxing and beautiful as well. Oh and the vanilla ice-cream was very tasty too.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Moca Asian Bistro in Forest Hills

MoCA Asian Bistro
107-18 70th Rd Forest Hills, NY 11375
(718) 268-3333

If you're interested in the Manhattan restaurant experience without leaving Queens, then you may have heard about this hot spot restaurant. While the decor of the restaurant was dark and hip (wine bottles on the wall, glass wall trickling water as a section divider, and other things I couldn't see in the dark), the music was a big turn-off. Almost immediately upon entering the restaurant on a Friday evening, I had to push my way through the crowd at the bar and those waiting for a table. Luckily my friends already made table reservations so we avoided any wait.

I was looking forward to good conversation with old friends but instead we ended up screaming at each other over the table. Worse, the music changed its volume during the course of the meal as it approached 9pm....I guess as an attempt to inspire the lounge mood.

Let's get back to the menu...I was mostly interested in sampling the Asian fusion plates. I was especially interested in the Special Rolls after reading rave Yelp reviews. I ordered the shrimp dumplings (appetizer) and the Spicy Crab Roll with Strawberry. The shrimp dumplings ($8) was served elegantly on a white rectangular platter. The dumplings were made with the Chinese sticky dough similar to Chinese dim sum's har gow. As there were only 5 small pieces, I was a little disappointed. However I was looking foward to my entree, the Spicy Crab Roll. Since the price of the roll was a bit high ($17)!!, I hoped that it would satisfy me. However the 8 pieces did little for me and I ended up snacking on Jander's chilean sea bass entree. For the price of the Special Rolls, I expected a fish that was more expensive than spicy crab. The aethetic look of the strawberry with a drop of mango sauce was very appealing however it did not justify the price of the roll.

My friend's also had mixed reviews on their food. Based on my observations, the portion of the chicken pad thai was on the smaller end. The Chilean Sea Bass entree was very delicious (firm but not overcooked) but again, the portion was small. Lastly, the chicken and vegetable tempura was exactly what I expected from my experiences in other Japanese restaurants. The chicken pieces looked like shrimp - long lean and thin.

Sadly I was still sick to drink any of the special martinis, so I can only comment on the hot tea. The tea pot was filled with beans (apparently how green tea is served in some parts of Japan). However, the cup that the tea was served in was shockingly (but then again, how could I be?) small! It was the size of a double shot glass!

Based on my experience, I will doubtfully return for another meal. While the restaurant tries too hard to be hip like a Manhattan restaurant, I believe I would rather eat in a Manhattan restaurant.

Friday, October 17, 2008

My Yummy Shepard's Pie Dinner

I was inspired to make a traditional American meal after watching an episode of Rachel Ray in which she made a steakhouse version of shepard's pie. Since my visit to Wolfgang's Steakhouse (read my review here), I'm still trying to relive the delicious tastes and olfactory smells of steak, shrimp and bacon!

I followed Rachel Ray's Easy 30 Minute Recipe for a Steakhouse Shepard's Pie but I made some modifications based on what I had in my refrigerator. Most notably, I used ground turkey instead of ground beef and I skipped the blue cheese and opted for mozzarrella cheese. Here is a picture of our half-eaten dish. Yum Yum.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

I met Leslie of bareMinerals!

The TRY, BELIEVE, LOVE tour of bareMinerals is on the road from October 8 - 12th from Boston to Connecticut. Today was their pitstop in NYC's Time Square Sephora where Leslie Blodgett and her artistry team were dishing out their expert make-up advice. And to my great surprise, I was lucky enough to go up to her, get her autograph and picture! She looks wonderful in person and exactly as does in her infomercials!! In fact, my only regret is not asking her any questions about the future bareMinerals products because I am such a big fan!! I started out purchasing her starter kit with foundations, Warmth blush, Mineral veil finishing powder and their fabulous brushes....and have never looked back with purchasing additional eyeshadows and lipsticks.

Here she is posing with the staff members of Sephora in Times Square!

And this is her actual tour bus parked right off Times Square! We saw her get on the bus!

Looks a little like the advertisement, eh?

Friday, October 10, 2008

I Love Hummus

So I've always known that hummus is really easy to make and it beats paying over $5 to order it in a restaurant. But why haven't I made this easy and delicious appetizer before? Chalk it up to laziness and a lack of a party! Now that I've made it once (and realizing how easy and delicious it is), I'm going to make it every week!

1 can of garbanzo beans (chick peas) drained and rinsed
1/4 cup of chicken broth or vegetable stock
3 tble of tahini (sesame paste)
3 cloves of garlic
salt to taste

Blend all the ingredients until smooth and creamy. Optional: Top with paprika and a drizzle of olive oil. Hummus can be blended ahead of serving time and stored in refrigerator. Serve with pita bread or celery sticks.

Garlic-lovers, I strongly recommend to avoid putting more than 3 cloves of garlic as it can be very strong. I put in 5 cloves to satisfy my garlic-loving audience however it was too overpowering!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

I Can Regenerate! No, wait, I can't! Someone make up their mind...

If you haven't been watching Heroes, I suggest that you stop reading now. While I'm not going to be summarizing any episodes, sooner or later (right after this sentence!) I'm going to refer to something that just happened and I don't want to ruin your Heroes fix.

I'm a little confused about how regeneration works in the world of Heroes:

1) If Claire cuts off her toes, they'll grow back.
2) If the top of her skull is removed, it does not grow back. Would she have died if Sylar didn't take pity on her and put it back on? Who knows.

Why can't the bone that makes up her skull grow back just like the bones in her toes?

3) If you shoot Sylar, he won't die. His body will self-eject the bullets and he will regenerate.
4) If you put a shard of glass in Peter's head, he's immobilized and appears to be dead until someone else removes it. His body will not remove the impediment on its own.

If a body can eject bullets in order to regenerate, why can't it eject the glass?

Is a little consistency too much to ask for?!?

Monday, October 6, 2008

My Strawberry Cheesecake

Here's my first attempt at making a cheesecake topped with strawberries and homemade glaze! I cheated a bit by buying the graham cracker crust but I followed a really simple recipe found on my hand-held blender. The results were mixed....luckily everyone politely ate their slices but I think the cheesecake was too soft. Here is how it turned out!

Cheesecake Ingredients:
8 oz Philadelphia cream cheese
2 eggs
1/4 cup of sugar
1 tablespoon of vanilla extract
1 graham cracker crust

Glaze ingredients:
1 cup of strawberries
1/2 cup of sugar
3/4 cup of water

Pre-heat the oven for 350 degrees. Mix the cheesecake ingredients except for the crust in a blender until smooth. Pour into the graham cracker crust. Cook in the oven for 20-25 minutes until the mixture is set.

Let the cheesecake cool. In the meantime, make the glaze by blending the cup of crushed strawberries. Pour the crushed strawberries into a pot under low heat and mix in the sugar and water. Stir frequently until the mixture is thick.

Pour the glaze over the cooled cheesecake. Decorate with additional strawberries and whip cream if desired.

I've heard that adding condensed milk is a regular part of a cheesecake recipe, so I'll check it out next time. Also, I suggest making your own glaze. I purchased a fruit glaze from the supermarket in an attempt to save time, but it tasted terrible! It was very artificial tasting that I couldn't put it on my beautiful cheesecake. A little goes a long way....

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Help Fund Free Mammograms

Click below on the ad to help fund a free mammogram for a woman in need! It costs you nothing and is funded by site sponsors. For more information on how you can help raise breast cancer awareness, go to the National Breast Cancer Foundation website.

The Breast Cancer Site
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