Thursday, March 26, 2009

On the big screen . . .

You may've noticed that I'm a bit of a movie fan, and I think sometimes it's a real treat to re-visit older movies on the big screen, at the theater, the way they were intended to be seen. In Durham we have the ability to take advantage of doing so at The Carolina Theater from time to time.

In fact, I did that with one of my favorites, The Princess Bride, when it was shown a couple of years ago for its 20th Anniversary.

A few more are coming up at The Carolina that you might want to see again on the big screen, with a box of popcorn and giant soda. The Godfather and The Godfather Part II will be showing in May for one week only (May 8 - 14).

If you've never seen those two, now's your chance to see them at the theater. How cool is that?

Also for Star Trek fans, Star Trek IV and Star Trek First Contact, will be shown 4 days only, April 20 - 23.

Details are here.

It's an offer you can't refuse. (Sorry . . . I couldn't help it.)

Monday, March 23, 2009

Cool color illusion.

Instructions: Look at the black dot in the picture below. Stare at the dot until the countdown ends, and the black and white picture should look like it’s in color . . . until you move your eyes!

I've loved these little optical illusions ever since I was a kid.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Sliced Bread FAIL.

So, I haven't ever encountered this before. Regular, sliced loaf of bread from the grocery store. Open the bag to grab a couple slices to make a sandwich. No slices. Just one unsliced loaf. Times are hard, I tell ya.

Okay, not necessarily all that interesting. Mainly just odd. Wonder how many loaves went out the door that day before someone flipped the slicer machine to the 'on' position. D'oh!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Ani DiFranco gives Red Letter performance at The Carolina

Tonight was the first time I'd seen Ani DiFranco live. She's one of my all-time favorite singer-songerwriters and I regularly listen to her music, never tiring of my favorite tunes. I missed her a couple of years ago when she was at The Carolina Theater and I'd been kicking myself ever since for not going.

Just like her music, she is high-energy and rambunctious on stage. And her loyal fans were there filling every seat, soaking it all up, knowing all the words, dancing in the aisles, screaming "we love you Ani!" between songs.

I especially enjoyed how when she's wailing on her guitar, she bobs and weaves around on the stage, like a fighter, using her body to punctuate a guitar riff, practically levitating on the stage with her energy. Often when she really punches a chord on her guitar, she lifts her left leg in the air as if she's kicking it out to us in the audience. If you're a fan and never have seen her live, try to catch her next time. You won't be disappointed.

She appeared tonight at The Carolina with only two other musicians, drummer Allison Miller and Todd Sickafoose on upright bass. Their sound was huge and beautiful.

The show was to promote her new CD Red Letter Year, a review here, and she, of course, played many songs from it and many of her older songs too, like Shameless, You Had Time, Both Hands, As Is.

The song I liked best that she played from her new CD was Present/Infant. I already have her new CD and I think I'll be listening to a lot more of it now that I've seen her perform the songs live.

Keep on keeping on, Ani. You're just getting better all the time.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Hike on Cabe Lands Access & Eno Quarry

We took advantage of the 80 degree day and hiked down to the old Eno Quarry. I'd never seen it before and it had always sounded intriguing to me, especially after I read this article in the Indy recently.

A little about the area is here.

As you enter, you can pick up a map and see a some items of interest on a covered bulletin board (click to make the pic larger):

Much of the trail is rooty and rocky, but my hiking partner did okay in her tennis shoes. There is a fair amount of uphill/downhill but nothing too strenuous. The trail is considered "moderate."

After a while, you'll get to the big scary warning sign about the Quarry:

Continue on down the trail and soon you'll hear frogs and crickets loudly singing. Water is close. The Quarry is close.

Right before the payoff of seeing the Quarry up close, you have to stone-step over a little creek. The stones looked mighty slippery to me and I was worried about slipping and falling and breaking my leg far down a trail, but I finally got over to the Quarry side (to the steps) safely and snapped a picture.

The Quarry was lovely. I was going to circumnavigate it because a trail does go around it according to the map, but I got my shot of the Quarry and headed back.

above, Eno Quarry 3.7.2009

Hiking out we saw some teenagers hiking in quite obviously going for a swim. I wondered about how cold the water must surely be since earlier this week the temps were 13 or so degrees a couple of nights.

A few other shots from the hike:

Friday, March 6, 2009

Great Blog: "North Carolina Miscellany"

I've really been enjoying the blog "North Carolina Miscellany" so I wanted to give it a shout out here. From the blog:

North Carolina Miscellany is a blog produced, edited, and maintained by the North Carolina Collection at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The North Carolina Collection, located in historic Wilson Library, is the state’s premier collection of published materials documenting the history, literature, and culture of the Tar Heel state. The collection is free and open to the public.

The North Carolina Miscellany will include regular posts discussing new and upcoming books on North Carolina topics, state history in the news, treasures from the stacks of the North Carolina Collection, and general “Tar Heelia.”

Really great stuff there.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Easy Crustless Spinach Quiche

Not sure I've ever even made a quiche before but I made this one for dinner (and probably lunch tomorrow too).

I used:

1 med. onion
1 10 oz. pack of frozen spinach
5 eggs
Pre-shredded cheese
Garlic powder
Salt and pepper

I'm not a precise cook, but here's what I did:

Dice up a medium sized onion and sautee with a little olive oil and garlic powder until the onion begins to turn brown (carmelize)

Microwave a frozen 10 oz. pack of spinach until thawed (3 min. approx) and drain and throw into the pan with the onion for a couple of minutes.

Break 5 eggs and whisk them. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Add some shredded cheese of your choice in with the eggs (2 to 3 cups, depending on how cheesy you like it) and stir.

Mix the eggs/cheese mixture in with the spinach/onion mixture.

Scoop it all into a lightly greased 9 in. pie pan. Bake for 30 min. at 350.

I threw in a small handful of crumbled bacon I had, but if you wanted it vegetarian, don't do that. :)

Wednesday, March 4, 2009


Bye-bye snow and ice. Even this afternoon, though, we still had this impressive one on our gutter.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Ben Folds at the DPAC

At the "historic venue" as he jokingly called our new DPAC, Ben Folds played for 2 solid hours last Wednesday night. Many songs from his new album "Way to Normal" but plenty of his older songs that the crowd enthusiastically sang right along with him--"Annie Waits" "Zak and Sara" "Not the Same" "Rocking the Suburbs."

The sound at the DPAC is fantastic, by the way.

Folds apologized for being too full of Mama Dip's banana pudding and patted his stomach appreciatively. He talked wistfully of moving back to Chapel Hill, but it might've been the banana pudding talking.

The Lorelei's from UNC and a band from Phoenix called Miniature Tigers (and sounding a bit like Fleet Foxes) opened.

(This blog posting is also a test to see if I can post successfully from my mobile phone.)