Archive for the ‘reviews’ Category

and only $54!

September 30, 2006 3 comments

Joy! Ana will be pleased to know that, in addition to the new “contoured fit” offerings at Banana, LOFT now has a “curvy fit” jean–yes, a JEAN–and it fits pretty much perfectly. (I say pretty much because my body is totally not standard and nothing that comes off rack is perfect on me.) The waist cuts in in the right place, the legs fit slim through the thighs, and they don’t show off my crack when I sit down. These things are all HUGE.

I’ll note that LOFT doesn’t have the curvy fit in petites, but that’s OK, because I think LOFT thinks that all short women wear pants with a 28″ inseam. That’s fine for highwaters, but if I want to wear even the slightest hint of a heel (which most short women do), I need at least a 31″ inseam. It’s all good, though–it’s much easier to have a pair of jeans hemmed (with the edge sown back on) than to have the waist taken in. And cheaper.

So, curvy women everywhere–REJOICE! The chains are getting it! Real women have curves!

movie blogging

August 20, 2006 1 comment

Last night, Mr. Angst and I went to see Little Miss Sunshine and I have only one thing to say about it: drop what you are doing and get your ass to the closest movie theater showing it. It was hysterical, hilarious, heart-warming, and I left feeling so happy. I haven’t laughed that hard in a movie in a really long time–by the time it was over, I had laugh-cried all my mascara off, that’s how hard and much I laughed. I won’t say more, though, because half the fun is all the unexpected surprises it has to offer. (Although, I will say this: I totally called one plot device well before it actually came to pass but it STILL made me almost wet my pants, it was so funny. That, my friends, is the mark of a good movie. Even when you know what the next gag is, if you still fall over laughing, it’s worth the $9.50.)

GO SEE IT. It will rock your world.

Categories: reviews

Sunday blogging about things that make me happy

February 26, 2006 5 comments

For Christmas, I got a subscription to Cook’s Illustrated for Christmas and I finally received my first issue yesterday. I love Cook’s Illustrated. So Much. This issue had a new recipe for pancakes, which I tried out this morning. Yum. (OK, it was a recipe for blueberry pancakes, but the author stated quite clearly that a good blueberry pancake starts with a cook pancake recipe. So I made them without blueberries. A bit fluffy, but tremendous.)

The other thing I love is America’s Test Kitchen, the companion TV show to Cook’s Illustrated. ATK airs on PBS and is like a 30 minute Cook’s Illustrated fix. Right now, I’m watching a (rerun) episode all about turkey. While it’s not Thanksgiving season right now, I can always use pointers on turkey. (Though I do make a wicked turkey. From a Cook’s Illustrated recipe, no less. This episode is about cooking a BIG turkey, though, and I’ve never done that.)

The thing that I love most about Cook’s and ATK is the common-sense approach. Every article in the magazine takes you through the numerous tests required to produce the “perfect” recipe, whether that recipe is for pancakes, pork tenderloin, or even pan-roasted asparagus. The ingredients are generally simple–the sort of thing you’d tend to have in your pantry, or could get at your local megamart. And they make sense. Instead of throwing out terms like “cream,” assuming the home cook knows what that is (FYI, beating softened butter and sugar together to introduce an aerated, whipped mix, often required in baking cookies or cakes), the recipes are clear, even for the novice cook.

And the magazine has no ads. (Nor, actually, does the TV show, since it airs on PBS.)

A final bonus: the magazine has beautiful illustrations on the back cover, of vegetables, herbs, fruits, and a variety of other food products. You can frame them! (I have a friend who has.) If you like to cook, then, check out the magazine, the TV show, the website. And fall in love.

[Update: Um, I wondered why the issue didn’t have a month listed on it; I also wondered why there was an envelope tucked into the plastic sleeve with it. Turns out, my gift subscription hasn’t arrived yet; this was just a “Please Renew!” compilation issue, since I let my old subscription lapse last summer. Sigh. I guess I have to call (through whom the gift subscription was ordered) after all.]

a glimmer of goodness in a sea of drudgery

February 22, 2006 2 comments

Since I don’t drive anymore, I don’t get the chance to listen to NPR news, Morning Edition, All Things Considered, or The World anymore. When we moved to Our New City, I looked up the public radio station number, just in case, but since I commute by public transportation, it doesn’t do me much good at the time of day when listening to the news is most convenient.

I had also looked for NPR podcasts, but found none. Perhaps I was too early–after all, the last time I looked, the only NPR program available was On the Media. A great show, but not exactly the news.

Well, guess what? Since that discouraging search, several months ago, NPR has gotten on the ball. NPR now publishes several podcasts, all of them available in iTunes. First, I can get news updates through the day. And while I can’t get the entire program of All Things Considered or Morning Edition, I can subscribe to the individual stories–NPR Technology, or NPR Music. Which means I get hours of NPR programming, ready to download to my iPod and listen to on the train, or in the library, or while I’m walking around the city.

Thank you, NPR, for publishing your podcasts online. Those of us who don’t drive have been waiting for this. And now that I can hear public radio again, I am more likely to subscribe to public radio.

a great new browser, but with a critical problem (or not)

February 19, 2006 1 comment

I’ve been testing out Camino this week, after reading a review of the new, stable, 1.0 version.

And so far, I really like it. It renders certain pages better than Safari, but looks and feels more Mac-like than Firefox. It’s flexible and stable and, if you really like the idea of using a Mozilla browser but don’t like Firefox on the Mac, it’s a great alternative. In fact, I’ve been enjoying it so much, I kind of want to use it full-time.

Here’s why I can’t:

It does not treat certain kinds of redirect scripts properly. At least, I think that’s the problem. I have two pieces of evidence to support this conclusion. First, I can’t use Westlaw on Camino. If you’re a law student and use Westlaw, you know that getting to the search pages takes a couple of clicks. First you go to the main “” page, and then you click on the link for the research system. And you get a (very annoying, by the way) new window, which loads the research interface. If you watch what’s going on in that new window, though, you’ll see that the page loads first one URL, then redirects to another. (Basically.) Camino will open the new window, but the redirect never happens. I’ve tweaked settings–turning off popup blocking, for instance–to see if some security measure I use is causing problems, but to no avail. I simply can’t use Westlaw on Camino.

The second bit of evidence bolsters this. I can’t publish from Movable Type on Camino. I can compose my post with no problems and save it. Usually after saving, MT republishes the post page and the index page. That process involves a redirect of some kind, and Camino gets hung up. It never gets there. So I can compose and save in Camino, but I have to use another browser to re-save and get the post to show up. This is a hassle, since it also means I can’t use my “quickpost” bookmarklet. Or, rather, I can use the bookmarklet, but I still have to into another browser, and into MT, and re-save the post.

I’m still going to use Camino and play with it–a lot. But this one problem means I can’t use Camino as my main browser, and that’s too bad.

OK, I just retested Westlaw and MT, and both worked. But two days ago, neither one did. My head may explode.

Um, so, yay! Camino! If you’re using Mac OS X, try it out! It’s great!

Categories: reviews, tech

Book #20

August 21, 2005 1 comment

About a Boy, by Nick Hornby

I actually finished this one before A Civil Action, but it was right before we moved and things were crazy, so I didn’t post about it.

I enjoyed this book. It’s very British, which is always fun, and it’s pretty bald, not a lot of sugarcoating. I can’t really discuss which aspects are least sugarcoated without spoiling it, and I think everyone should read this book, so I don’t want to spoil it.

It’s also sort of depressing, in the description of social situations. Many unmarried parents, many irresponsible parents, many irresponsible people. Argh. Real, but hard, at times.

But funny, too. That’s Nick Hornby, though. Funny and real, all at the same time.

So, good book. Read it.

Categories: reviews

Book #19

August 19, 2005 1 comment

A Civil Action, Jonathan Harr

I picked this up at Half Price Books before we moved and have been reading through it a bit at a time ever since.

I liked the first half; the middle was very dense, with lots of description of the trial; the end was maddening. I know this isn’t fiction, but it’s a hell of a book that leaves the reader with such a sense of dissatisfaction at the end of it all. Perhaps I was expecting something different because I’ve seen the movie (and the movie DOES have a nicer ending than the book), but I was just annoyed when I finished the last few pages.

One more thing: I was pretty sure I did not want to be a litigator BEFORE reading this book; now I am certain.

I can’t really recommend this book. I am sure a lot of my readers have read it already; some of you HAD to read it for your first year of law school. It’s not a bad book, but it’s not a book I’d suggest anyone run out and read right away.

Categories: reviews


July 23, 2005 9 comments

Per Janine’s pouty request, I will write a real review of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. I can’t write it without spoilers, though, so consider yourself warned. Lots and lots of spoilers after the jump.
Read more…

Categories: reviews

hm wow hum oh boy

July 22, 2005 1 comment

Oh golly finished HP 6. Can NOT wait for 7. Heidi’s spoiler post + comments is now a very interesting read.

This isn’t a proper review becuase, duh, I am NOT a spoiler queen. But I enjoyed the book VERY MUCH and as soon as Mr. Angst finishes reading it, I’m diving in again.

Categories: reviews

have you ever danced with the devil by the pale moonlight?

July 11, 2005 3 comments

As I mentioned, we saw Batman Begins at the IMAX over the weekend. We had tried to see it on the IMAX three weeks ago on our apartment-hunting trip, but all shows were sold out (it was opening weekend, after all). So as we were planning for the weekend away, Mr. Angst asked me to see where the nearest IMAX was to our hotel. Turns out, it was just a couple of miles away.

First, a note about the movie being shown in the IMAX—apparently, the powers that be have devised a way to shoot a movie for both regular movie screens and for the IMAX. So BB wasn’t just being projected onto IMAX, it was actually shot for IMAX. Which means the quality was really excellent.

Second, I find it just a little ironic (and somewhat amusing) that a movie about a quintessential American superhero was full of British actors. Major parts were played by Christian Bale (Welsh), Liam Neeson (Northern Irish), Gary Oldman (English), Tom Wilkinson (English), and Linus Roache (English). Add to that Rutger Hauer (Dutch) and Cillian Murphy (Irish) filling out the cast, and there’s barely a real American accent to be found in the movie. (Well, except for the always superb Morgan Freeman, of course.) Only Michael Caine got to play it natural—in Cockney, even!

More beyond the jump—including mild spoilers.
Read more…

Categories: reviews