Monday, 20 March 2017

CBR goes off script, briefly

Spoiler Alert:  Review #2 contains a key plot point in Passengers that was a surprise to me.

Brief Review #1

The Cranky Book Reviewer wants to be cranky about the book I just read:  Will You Be There?, by Guillaume Musso.  The prose is painful.  SO painful.  The plot, however, is brilliant, which made me devour it in under a day, all the time being smugly judgy about how badly it is written. 

Turns out it's been translated from French, which explains a lot, but still.  Great story, bad writing.  One thumb up?

Brief Review #2

(of a film)

(hence, off-script)

(but definitely still cranky)

We watched Passengers on Friday night.  It started off interesting, and then the characters were developed, and it turned into the Best Stockholm Syndrome Love Story ever!  Oh wait, no it's not.  Because you stole her life, Jim!  I really don't feel that they fleshed that part out enough.  It would be like making a romantic movie about Elizabeth Smart, if she hadn't been rescued, and spent the rest of her life playing house with her captor.  Yes, that is in bad taste.  As was this movie.  Two thumbs down. 

Also, how much did Andy Garcia make for his "role" in the movie?  He had more air time on the trailer than he did in the actual movie. 

What's in YOUR Purse?

This morning, while looking for my work pass, I pulled out:


  • My wallet
  • My bus pass
  • My ball-o-chapstick
  • A ziplock baggie containing less-than-100-ml sizes of hand cream, lip gloss, lip stick, sunscreen and mascara*
  • My hand-knitted coffee-cup cozy
  • 2 napkins from Tim Hortons
  • Keys
  • My Kindle
  • 2 pens
  • Wafer-thin mints (pronounced “waffer”)
  • Ticket stubs from Trolls
  • 2 receipts from Loblaws
  • A purse-hanging hook
  • A magnifying glass
  • A tape measure
  • A dog sweater
  • 2 turquoise hair elastics
  • A hardcover library book
  • A purple hairband
  • A round of Babybel cheese (put in that morning)
  • A Tupperware container of rice/veggies/sausage for lunch
  • One of those green Starbucks stirsticks/spill-preventers
  • Loose change
  • Assorted female stuff
  • …and my work pass.

If there was a “What’s in Your Purse?” contest, I would totally win today.  Aside from the dog sweater, I stand behind every item. 


* Just in case I have to get on a plane and fly somewhere exotic with short notice, you know.  As one does.

Sunday, 5 March 2017

DG Rises to the Occasion (out of spite, but still)

Once upon a time, years and years and years ago, I dated a nice young man named Chris.  He was tall, fit, handsome, and blind as a bat without his glasses.  He decided to undergo eye surgery.  I had gone through it myself four years earlier, so I knew that he would need help for the first day or so until the fast healing process finished.*  Because he was so nice and I was so nice, I moved into his apartment for three days to cook for him and make sure he was ok.  And that's when I met Fis.

This was at the peak of my fitness training and his marathon training, so I cooked and ate very healthfully.  EXTREMELY healthfully.  So X-TREMELY healthfully TO THE MAX that there were no seasonings, sauces, or flavour, but I didn't know any different.  Hey, food is fuel!  So, when I cooked a nice dinner for my new boyfriend (Foreman-grilled chicken, steamed carrots, and 2 baby potatoes), and he choked it down and asked for more, there was an awkward silence because there WAS no more.  I mean, I gave him TWO whole baby potatoes because he eats carbs for his long-distance running.  How could he still be hungry?

Right, so I moved in and fed him healthfully and well for three days.  I made him protein pancakes (oats, splenda, egg whites and protein powder), my grilled chicken/carrot/potato specialty, and an amazingly delicious, flavourful casserole of spinach, boiled chicken, cottage cheese and lemon juice, to which I added pasta for, you know, his needs.  This was early enough in our relationship that he really should have been nicer about the whole experience.

To this day, he complains about those meals.  Thirteen years later.

The protein pancakes, he says (STILL), were poorly named.  With the consistency of a dry, hard tortilla, and the flavour of...nothing, really, they were Not Pancakes, and they were Not Good (in that order).  He didn't appreciate my efforts for a healthy breakfast.  Or with the grilled chicken.  But the worst offense (and he truly was offended) was making him the casserole.  I mean, I admit that the pasta really sucked the flavour out of the casserole (which I honestly believed was delicious), but it wasn't offensive.

But I digress.  Thirteen years have passed since then.

Last Friday was my last day "off".  I walked the kids to school with the dog, went to the gym, had lunch with friends and their baby, then went home to do my nails and watch a movie on NetFlix.  I was having a nice, selfish day, and was planning on throwing dinner together quickly and cleaning up the breakfast dishes at the same time.   Chris came in at about 5, on the way to pick up the kids at aftercare, saw the state of the kitchen and the lack of anything simmering on the stove, and told me that I could NOT feed them meatballs (I had stopped at IKEA on the way home) and that he wanted something healthier.

I was angry.  It was my Last Day, dammit.  I wanted to be selfish.  On the best day, I don't do well being ordered around by my husband, and ... no, wait.  I'll show him!  I'll make him something healthy.  

I found 2 chicken breasts in the freezer, which I popped into a pot of water with a splash of lemon juice and garlic powder, still frozen.  Yeah, boiled chicken is healthy, you jerk!  We had 1/2 a container of cottage cheese (healthy!) and frozen chopped spinach (so healthy!... moo-ha-ha-ha!).  I also found some black bean pasta I'd been holding onto.  OMG, Revenge Cooking is the Best!  I chopped the chicken, mixed up the casserole (also contains 1 tablespoon of light mayo, more lemon juice, and a bit of parmesan) and popped it in the oven.

I boiled the pasta (added the same amount of whole wheat pasta), then added a tablespoon of olive oil, 2 chopped garlic cloves, and two frozen cubes of tomato paste, sizzled it together, and voila, health on a plate, dammit.  As ordered, you dictator.  Take that!

Well, Vaughn loved it so much, he gave me a high five.  The girls said it was really good.  And Fis (who was out in full force), said, "Not bad."

So, yes, it was delicious.  Yes, I stepped up and pulled together an amazing, tasty, healthy meal in 30 minutes.  But where was the revenge???  Fis has still not had his comeuppance (though he might argue that 13 years with me totally counts as punishment enough), but although revenge might be a dish best served cold, I reheated it and had it for dinner tonight.

Yep, still good.

* This was before I found out how much worse Man Surgery is and how much longer and more painful Man Recovery is.