Thursday, June 21, 2012

Disc world

My DVD/Blu Ray collection is getting out of hand again, so I bought some binders yesterday to start shelving them that way. I think I'm going to sort them by daytime and nighttime movies because I can't really think of a better way to divide up my very eclectic collection.

Daytime movies are those that I feel can be watched at any time of day or night. This is a very subjective analysis, but certain movies just have a daytime feel. Part of it probably comes from the ratio of daylight scenes to nighttime scenes in the movie itself. For example: The Sound of Music, Legends of the Fall, The Shawshank Redemption, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, The Great Train Robbery, Top Gun, the Die Hard series, all James Bond movies not starring Daniel Craig, Harry Potter I-IV, most comedies and superhero movies, etc. This might also be influenced by how often I've seen them played on TV during daytime hours.

Nighttime movies are, you guessed it, more dark, more evil, or have more complex themes that I feel are more appropriate to enjoy at night. Examples: Let Me In, Gladiator, Brazil, Mulholland Drive, Dark City, the Alien series, Harry Potter V-VII, the Matrix series, etc. That's not to say that I can't watch one of these during the day or vice versa. It's simply a preference that informs how I'd choose a movie, which is what's important when I'm picking something to watch.

Since I have three binders, I'll probably put all non-movies (concerts, documentaries, TV shows) in the third binder. Next I'll need a bookshelf to put all these binders eventually.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

NYC good life

Here's my five free articles from the New York Times online this month!

Recipe to try: A Mussel Sauce That Is It's Own Excuse for Making - New York Times, April 25, 2012

Cheap Taiwanese eats: Baohaus, New York Times, Feb. 23, 2010

Cost-no-object sushi: Seasonality's Master Practitioner, New York Times, April 11, 2012

Another take on peanut noodles: As Summer Nears, Cold Noodles to Chill With, New York Times, June 13, 2012

Spas and Saunas: Where to Go to Sweat Your Face Off, April 20, 2012

Young girl, violins

Puck and I spent a lovely weekend together, the first time we've had a laid-back weekend at home in a long while. Friday night we went out for dinner at St. Andrews, a nearby Scottish restaurant that actually did serve haggis, but we didn't try it. I'm still on the ultra-restrictive Phase 1 of my diet, so I had an assortment of shellfish.

I'm doing really well on the diet so far, down about seven pounds in the first full week. Aesthetically, I've lost most of my tummy bump so I can actually see my abdominal muscles now :) Doing certain yoga movements is easier, like lowering myself to the floor from a push-up or plank position. I have arms like a T-Rex when it comes to their relative strength versus my body weight. Hopefully losing weight will narrow that gap.

Saturday Puck went out to visit a friend and I stayed home to do laundry and practice my violin. I decided that I needed a new case for my violin because the antique case it came with is falling apart and not suitable for any kind of movement since it's not padded or fitted. So I walked over to the Sam Ash store and found that cases cost about $40, but I could get an entire used violin package with a case for about $120. True, the violin is one of those Chinese-made mass market ones, but for an additional $80 it made sense to get a second practice violin, plus a nicer bow and a pitch pipe for tuning.

Another benefit in getting a "new" violin is that it helps me to listen more closely to the sound of my original violin (I'm going to call the "new" violin Sarah and the original one Midori). Sarah has a lacquer finish and Midori has a dark matte finish. I think that is part of why Midori has a more powerful, complex sound. Sarah sounds a little "one-note" in comparison, like it's missing some of the harmonics. Midori also has the benefit of being recently refurbished with new strings and hardware, plus repairing a crack at the top of the body.

After bringing Sarah home, I proceeded to enter some show lotteries for Book of Mormon and Peter and the Starcatcher, but missed on both of them so I came home and made lunch. Puck arrived soon after and joined me. We took a walk over to Fifth Avenue to browse at the bookstore, only to find that it was closing earlier than expected. Still, it was a beautiful night to be out walking. We watched Baz Luhrmann's Strictly Ballroom - the beginning of his "Red Curtain Trilogy" - before going to bed.


Sunday we went out for a late brunch with the Pinjas crowd from House JAPaN who were headed to the Folsom Street East festival. Open Love NY had a table last year, but not this year, so we skipped actually going - once was enough for me last year. Puck and I went grocery shopping and later I browsed the bookstore again before going to yoga. Puck made their signature steak and asparagus for dinner and we watched the extended cut of Gladiator before bed.