Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Summary Judgments; It's Been A While

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy: I definitely get what y'all were saying about this movie's difficulty, and my experience of the first half hour or so made me go, "Oh, so it's that kind of party!" It was convoluted, but then it sort of opened up. I think it teaches you how to watch it--the way it circles back to the same episodes, sometimes with new information or a different perspective--and I wound up really enjoying it. I had read one of the other George Smiley books, but I don't think it was necessary to have done so. You just gotta kinda relax on who exactly is who at first and just roll with it. Loved Benedict Cumberbatch. Cumberbatch! He is a force. Ditto Tom Hardy. And Colin Firth was great but he and I just have too much history for me to really embrace him in every role.

Sardines: I eat them pretty much every day. My life no longer works without them.

New Frontline series, "Money, Power, and Wall Street": I watched the first part of this online today. You should check it out. I know what credit default swaps are now. I mean, I kind of knew before, back when This American Life did a totally heroic job of explaining, but now I really get it and can even see why they seemed like a good idea one time.

College Inn Thai Coconut Curry Broth: I think if you live in the mid-Atlantic region you can find this stuff at Publix stores. By the time I was wise to it, they were phasing it out of the places around me. Y'all, you need this. I mean, assuming you like these flavors. It is so easy to cut up some veggies and cook them in this broth and feel all fancy. Maybe throw in some mushrooms and onion, and like Carl Weathers says, you got a stew goin'! But getting your hands on it is the trick. I actually went and "liked" College Inn on facebook, which made me feel like kind of a tool, just so I could ask where to find this delicious broth. And I was one of legions with the same question. It finally came in stock on amazon and I ordered a case.

Winning Ugly: Mental Warfare in Tennis: The title makes it sound a little more cutthroat than it is, but his point is that a big part of the game is mental, and that there is almost always a way to win if you watch your opponent and match your strengths to her weaknesses. He has a great section on how to neutralize the games of different types of players. I gave it to my bud T and she is giving it to our team captain. Plus this guy's tone is kind of adorably humble and journeyman-like. He's all, "Get Granddad some more whiskey and I'll tell you how I made John McEnroe retire one time. For six months he wouldn't do nothing 'cept swear at the TV."

The Inner Game of Tennis: This is just straight up good, like, for living. It was published in 1974, before a lot of the Zen-and-the-art-of ideas of mindfulness became atmospheric. So some of this, we have soaked up. Like, observe yourself without judging yourself, that kind of thing. He has this great part about how we can't improve until we can really see our game and our shots clearly, and that a coach should just help you to see. I think this idea of seeing clearly is, of course, bigger than tennis.

Different things help different people, but one practical tip that really stuck in my head was this: when you're going to hit a forehand groundstroke, imagine that you are going to swat the ball with your hand, how you would pull back your hand, where you would make contact, and how you would follow through across your body. Swing the racquet like you were hitting the ball with your hand. I don't know, that cut through a lot of overthinking for me.

Hank's new habit of calling me "Momsy": Adorable. And disarming.

Meat: I mean, we've been eating less meat all around and definitely less red meat, but every now and then I'm reminded that meat has power. Matt loves my soup concoctions and the broccoli dish and all that, but tonight I made him a steak au poivre, using the Good Eats recipe, and when he walked into the kitchen and saw it, he just gathered me up in a tight, wordless hug. Meat can do that.

Anything you need to share/sound-off on?


Shannon said...

Woohoo for spontaneous meat joy! :)

Anyone in the Pacific Northwest area who would do a vicarious meal, LOL? I'm not a big meat lover but I've actually dreamt lately about the Dick's walk up burgers, fries and milkshakes. They are an authentic paper-hat-wearing order-at-the-counter without computers/cash registers establishment and just...the best food.

Thanks for the tip on the Curry brew. I have a crockpot recipe from 'scratch' (as scratch as you get with canned coconut milk) but it requires much fore-planning and life doesn't lend itself to such frivolous tasks most days. :)

It's so good to hear the joy in your posts. Several times over the past few days, I've thought of your post of Laura's comments when you described your hellish year+; so many people gripe about things that are their perception of disasterous... You have the RIGHT to do so but yet you strive to keep it airy and graceful.

Jen said...

I tried to watch Tinker Tailor the other night. Maybe it was just the percocet messing with me, but I just could not get it. Then again, I didn't try past the first hour. Maybe when I'm more with it again??

Elizabeth said...

Your tennis knowledge is starting to freak me out. :)

Becky said...

Elizabeth, I know! As my sister says, "Gah, one of those soup and tennis blogs!"

Jen, DEFINITELY the percocet was not helping. Give it another go when you're unmedicated!

Shannon, thank you so much for this comment, it made me smile.

Aimee said...

Shannon, I don't know Dick's, but we had burgers at Charlies in Kirkland on Sunday, and OMG...yum. LOVE a good burger. Where can I find Dick's to have a meal for you? (Good gracious, that is the most awkward sentence ever.)

What do I need to sound off on? Ummm...I'm sort of miffed about a nearby business that doesn't understand the point of raising money for a good cause and is being kind of stupid about it. But that's all the complaining I'll do about THAT. Because yeah...if you don't have anything nice to say...

Oh, something nice to say, our Optometrist's office is totally all over helping our Relay fundraising efforts, buying Cancer Sucks t-shirts, asking patients for donations on my behalf, etc. How cool is that? (TOTALLY Relay-on-the-brain tonight. I know. Tiresome.)

I really, really want to see Tinker et al. Should I read the book first?

Shannon said...



BTW, this isn't exactly hearty or healthy sure to look at orders going by to get an idea of how many to order if you get a chance to visit.

Thank you! :)

AlGalMom said...

The Dick's I know is in Spokane--are there more around?

I just used College Inn chicken broth in the cauli/broc puree last night, so maybe Winn Dixie will have more variety? Maybe? (Who am I kidding?)

I am liking the tennis angle to the blog lately. It is just good to hear about you taking up and enjoying something new, and it inspires me to go forth and do likewise.

Michele R said...

Well keep the soup ideas coming! I'm gonna try the cauliflower one from the other day. I got an immersion blender from Amazon for myself--researched them for hours. It is by Waring and just $29.99. Who knew I could make tomato soup!
We are crazy over the College Inn Thai soup too. I add cut-up shrimp toward the end. I used to pour in a little coconut milk but now just use coconut oil and then add a couple teaspoons of milk at end. It is at the Publix near me. When it is Buy One Get One I feel like I am robbing the place.

Beth said...

That broth sounds amazing and I'm going to have to order some from Amazon.

When do you start the Masters' tennis circuit?

Please elaborate on sardines. I've had a can of them in my pantry for about 17 months, and I just can't figure out what to do with them.

Lisa Lilienthal said...

I love this, I feel like we all just had lunch with you and are very satisfactorily caught up, so thanks for that, Momsy! (not Mumsy?).

I am reading the Agassi autobiography because I like his ghostwriter's writing style and I bet you would enjoy it, too. For the record, I don't care at all about tennis OR Agassi, however, I do enjoy your tennis-as-life metaphorical ramblings.

Heidi said...

I am going to hate when April is over.

Cassi Renee said...

Your posts are always entertaining, even when they're about tennis which I don't know anything about.

However, just so you know, I think sardines should only be eaten outside, so you don't stink up the whole house.

Every day, really?!

Steve said...

I used to eat sardines and tuna at work, straight outta da can. Then I'd sneak over and put the empty can in the waste basket under my boss' desk. He never could quite figure it out. His direct reports began to think he had some sort of "condition."

Becky said...

LOL Steve!

BUT, all this prejudice against sardines! I promise, you just rinse the can out and put it in the recycle bin, and no fishy odors remain.

Beth, now that you're on MFP, sardines are your friend. Open the can, put them on a plate, squirt a little mustard on them, and enjoy the unmatched levels of protein, B12, calcium, and omega-3's. Sliced avocado is also good with 'em. I often perch them on top of a tortilla chip for some crunch.

Michele R, if that broth is at your publix, then it's not that far from me! Hosannah! 'Cause I am down to five boxes from my amazon order.

Jenni said...

Tennis blogger!

Allison said...

On twitter today, there was a reference to an article about something in the NYT, I forget what, but that article had a link to this blog. Sorry, I don't know how to make the link hot.

It's hysterical, and accurate.

Jen said...

Okay, I'm feeling MUCH better, only occasional pain, so not even an advil has entered my body today. May give TTSS a go again this weekend!

Also, will have to try those sardines...I've been all over the cruciferous veggies, but have always feared sardines..I learned to love asparagus, sure I can learn to love them, too!

Anonymous said...

Late in the game comment about Dick's. It is also in Seattle. When we lived there, we would hit it up for great burgers, fries and pay extra for tartar sauce. They were cheap with their condiments. When we returned for a visit my husband totally pigged out at lunch. We went to our favorite Thai restaurant and then he had a Dick's burger for dessert.