Thai food has always been my favourite "ethnic cuisine" (if that term still applies these days) and today I learned how to cook heaps of it. We took a cooking class at Pad Thai Cookery school and learned how to make curry pastes, carve vegetables (for some reason, my carrot "Man looks over bridge contemplating his existential self" didn't fare as well as some chicks tomato rose...what can you do?), make soups, stir fry's and some very yummy deserts. I am excited to go home and cook up a big Thai meal for my friends and family. Maybe I'll open up a restaurant and call it Thai, and Thai Again. Groan.
We also went to see The Island. It's funny being all the way over here because we end up missing all the hoopla and buildup to a typical Hollywood movie. We end up watching it through naive eyes and I can tell you, it makes a difference. I have never been a huge Hollywood fan but lately the movies are worse. Fight scenes that go on for hours, car chases that break the rules of physics not to mention the laws of good film making. The dialogue is horrendous and the plots, predictable. The Island wasn't so bad (it had the sci-fi element of science and ethics which engaged my brain a little bit) but there were definitely some laughable scenes. Like when the two main characters fall 70 stories off the side of a building (hanging onto a billboard for safety) and manage to escape unharmed.
As contrast, I offer my most recent read The Surgeon of Crowthorne by Simon Winchester (also the author of another favourite, Krakatoa). What an interesting book. It tells the story of Dr. Minor and James Murray, two men responsible for the Oxford English Dictionary. Sounds a bit boring, but it's not. A true story, full of madness and murder, about something we all take for granted. I had never really thought much about dictionaries until I read this. Can you imagine not having one? Shakespeare apparently did not have access to a dictionary...he couldn't check to see if he had used a word correctly or check its spelling. He couldn't even "look up" a word or a thing (like "elephant"...how the hell would he know what an elephant was!?) because the concept didn't even exist. There was no where to look. In a word like ours where we can find out anything about anything in a few minutes, that blew my mind.
A big Happy Birthday to my not so little, little brother...wish I was there kiddo!