Sunday, October 30, 2011

More Like Watching Paint Dry with Dragons

The fifth book in the acclaimed series A Song of Ice and Fire, A Dance with Dragons hit the shelves in July, amid the buzz created by the HBO series Game of Thrones.  The earlier books in the series were selling like never before, and after nearly six years of waiting since the last installment (A Feast for Crows), George R.R. Martin fans were clamoring for this volume.

Unfortunately, in this case, the wait was not worth it.  Book 5 is slow, nearly devoid of action, and the few exciting moments basically end as cliffhangers.  Pro tip: cliffhangers are good for weekly TV series, tolerable for season-ending episodes or movies with sequels coming within the year, but just awful for a book series where we cannot honestly expect the next volume to appear anytime soon.

Of course I will read the next book, but I already have a sinking feeling that this series is going the way of the Wheel of Time, and that would be a very bad turn for what has otherwise been a classic fantasy series. 

Verdict: I would give this book a very mediocre 2 out of 5 boomsticks.*

*It occurs to me that I have not introduced my new rating system.  For reference, on a scale of 0 to 5 boomsticks, the restaurant Vetri would get a 5, and the film Army of Darkness would get a 7.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Cthulhu for Kids

Just found this link (via Akratic Wizardry):

The author / artist is up to page 23 of his Dr. Seuss-inspired tale of Cthulhu.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Excitement at 600 N. Broad

Months ago, work started on the old automotive shop at 600 N. Broad St., just across from my apartment building.  I saw liquor license notices in the windows, so I knew bars or restaurants were coming...but I did not know what they were going to be until now.

Three different spaces are opening up in the old building.  One is a catering/event space called Vie, which looks to be already good to go.  I am pretty disappointed about this one -- the location is perfect for a coffee shop or patisserie, and instead we get a place for wedding receptions and charity dinners.  Oh well. 

However, I am excited by the other two places: a New England-inspired seafood restaurant from Stephen Starr called Route 6, and a Marc Vetri gastropub called Alla Spina (formerly Birreria 600).

These developments complement the 98 loft apartments built just off of Broad Street.  Exciting times in my neck of the woods.

CSA: Week 24

Being away at the Biomedical Engineering Society Annual Meeting (in rockin' Hartford) crushed two weeks of CSA shipments for me, but today I picked up my second-to-last delivery...before the 7-week-long fall extension.
  • Radicchio
  • Red bell pepper
  • Leek
  • Mixed sweet peppers
  • Broccoli swapped for habanero peppers
  • Green butterhead lettuce given away
  • Mini bok choy
  • Mesclun mix
  • Jar of red raspberry jam
  • Empire apples
  • Heirloom cranberries

Monday, October 3, 2011

CSA: Week 21

I have been doing a pretty poor job cooking with my CSA produce, but today the air was brisk and bracing, and I suddenly was inspired to get cooking again!   Hopefully that inspiration yields tangible results this week, i.e., tasty dishes made with fresh, local ingredients :)
  • Tomatoes
  • Micro radishes
  • Lacinato kale
  • Red radishes
  • Eggplants swapped for red radishes
  • Green cabbage swapped for red radishes
  • Red butterhead lettuce given away
  • Hungarian hot wax peppers
  • Applesauce
  • Golden Supreme apples