Friday, December 11, 2009

If you were 12, you'd be so excited about this, but we older folks can have fun with it too

There's a new website,, devoted to legally streaming professional music videos on demand.  It's having a lot of technical difficulties in its first few days of existence, partly due to bandwidth and partly because it doesn't seem like the programmers are done yet.  But give it a few weeks and I'm sure the kinks will be worked out.

Vevo allows you to search for videos (by artist, genre or time period) and it offers quite a few OLD music videos, so if you want to take a walk down memory lane to the 80's, you can do that.  (The earliest one I could find is performance video of Chuck Berry 1959 but it looks like Vevo has aspirations to go back further.)

Vevo allows embedding. [Update 12/13/09: Videos removed so as not to slow your page-loading time.]

If you find any old favorites of yours, do share!

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Christmas recipes

I'll start with this delectable desert that I've never made. How does it sound to you? T thought the addition of the chocolate chips sounded bad.


Recipe from Kathy Fowler, Spring

1 1⁄ 3 cups flour

1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened

3/4 cup sugar, divided use

3/4 cup light corn syrup

2 eggs

2 tablespoons flour

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup chopped pecans

1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In medium bowl, combine flour, butter and 1/4 cup sugar. Beat at low speed until crumbly. Press into bottom of 9-inch square baking pan. Bake 15-20 minutes or until brown.

In separate bowl, combine corn syrup, 1/2 cup sugar, eggs, flour and vanilla. Beat at medium speed until well-combined. Stir in pecans by hand.

Sprinkle chocolate chips over hot crust. Pour filling over chips and crust. Continue baking 30-35 minutes or until set. Cut into bars.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Into Temptation OR Little girls with holes in their tights always make me cry

I'm looking through our list of posts and I see several that I started to write but didn't finish.  Such is my life.  But here's one I'll finish because now it's timely for the holidays.

We recently (now a couple months ago) saw Into Temptation. (City Page review here.) I knew nothing about it when it started, and then was surprised to see the Minneapolis skyline and lots of other Minneapolis settings, many within a couple miles of our house.

Apparently, it's a relatively low-budget indie movie filmed here. It may not make it to a theater near you. It's the story of a Catholic priest (Jeremy Sisto) trying to find a mystery woman (Kristen Chenowith) who confessed to him that she intends to kill herself. She's a prostitute, so his search for her takes him to places (Sexworld -- yes, an actual place) and into contact with people he doesn't typically come into contact with.

It's a positive, realistic portrayal of a priest, so maybe it's worth seeing for the rarity of that.

I don't want to spoil the ending, but I can say that it reminded me of something I witnessed at a work holiday party a decade ago. I told K the story after the movie and apparently I still can't tell the story without crying.

My workplace then -- we'll call it AATDEA for Ad Agency That Doesn't Exist Anymore -- invited employees' families to attend the holiday party. (This was a response to the drunken debauchery of the previous year's party that was sans families.) One of AATDEA's employees was the maintenance guy who had a 6 year old daughter.  The agency didn't pay him much and he was going through a divorce, struggling to pay a lawyer to help him with custody.  His daughter came to the party in an everyday sort of cotton dress and well-worn shoes, with a plastic barrette in her hair and holes in her tights.

Another employee's 6-year old daughter was also there, dressed to the nines: velvet dress, lacy tights, satin ribbon in her hair, new black patent leather shoes.  She looked expensive.

As part of the activities at the party for the kids, there was a story reader.  Kids gathered around, sitting on the floor in front of the reader so they could see the book's pictures when the reader showed them.  There were already many kids seated when Expensive Girl and Torn Tights Girl joined the group.  Expensive Girl walked to the front of the group and plopped down.  Kids behind her had to adjust their spots so they could see around her.  Torn Tights Girl followed Expensive Girl into the group and sat down next to her in front, but as she sat down she turned around to make sure she wasn't blocking anyone's view.  She melted my heart.

I'm wondering if the person who made Into Temptation was at the same Christmas party.

I hope life is going OK for Torn Tights Girl.  I think, though, that life tends to be harder for girls who had to go to their parents' Christmas parties in torn tights.