Archive for the ‘my favorite things’ Category

My Favorite Things – Hulu

April 14, 2008

I don’t like TV. That’s what I tell people. It’s too restrictive. If you find a show you like or a story you want to follow, you are stuck — every Thursday night at nine or some such. Sure, you can wait ‘til it’s on DVD, but who wants to wait? But I really, really like TV shows. There’s a certain pleasure to knowing you are watching the same story as someone else, somewhere else, and that just maybe tomorrow you will both be able to turn that viewing experience into a conversation.

That’s why I like Hulu.com. It streams full episodes of television shows for free, and it gets them up fairly quickly after they air. It doesn’t have everything, but the selection is much better than the assorted clips you can find on YouTube. It’s not limited to new shows or even to TV; it has full movies and a generous selection of older shows.

Of course, all of this doesn’t come without a catch. Hulu.com is legal, which means small commercial interruptions happen during the shows. But they are slight — nothing in comparison to the commercials that accompany live TV. And, when I can watch clips of last week’s SNL without having to sit through the full hour and a half (most of which is never funny), it’s a small price to pay.

Nate Campbell

My Favorite Things by Jason Panella

March 20, 2008

I started cooking curries last spring, a wild idea born from memories of a meal prepared for my family over a decade ago by an Englishman. But that’s another story. I’ve since learned that “curry,” an Anglicized word attempting to lump any spicy Pan-Asian dish together for descriptive ease, is not a type or spice or sauce. But I’ve also learned the joy of cooking in the process.

I stocked up on then-unfamiliar ingredients (tamarind pulp, ground turmeric, ghee, fenugreek) and found new uses for old favorites (cloves, coconut, ginger, cumin seeds). I’ve learned how to dry roast, how to use a pestle and mortar, how to prepare onions and tomatoes in ways I’d never imagined.

Some of these incredibly healthy dishes take upwards of three hours to make, but those hours are never wasted. I feel at ease heating oil up on the wok, a sense of calm as I grind fennel seed and cinnamon together in my spice mill. I’ve learned to relax through cooking, a gift that I hope continues for years to come.

-Jason Panella

My Favorite Things by Bethany Wall

February 25, 2008

Sometimes all I need is music I can think to. Often, a single song is my weekly, incessantly repeated thought process. This song is not what helps me get through the week, nor do I think music should; but it is a way to think my own thoughts along with someone else’s words and music. In fact, it is mostly the music of this week’s song, “the World at Large” by Modest Mouse, that encourage my thoughts — but the words evoke their own response as well.Even when I’m not listening to this song, it still floats in my head, starting with a simple guitar pattern and a soft drum beat, adding a xylophone and then a flute; it’s simple, yet it causes an emotional, melancholy sense of yearning. Every time I listened to this song this week, I slowed down and thought with the music. After awhile, I started listening to the words. It could completely depress a person, interpreting lyrics like “I like songs about drifters … why does it always feel like I’m caught in an undertow?” as being misunderstood and struggling against the world. But to me, the lines “If the world’s at large, why should I remain?” and “Walked away to another plan. Gonna find another place, maybe one I can stand” are about seeking change — wanting more out of life, yearning to see the world and fighting against the undertow to do so. The beat of the song, along with the words “float on,” give it a consistency, like moving forward, moving away from normality. I often want to do more with my life, and as much as I tell people that I’m just fine, the mantra of this song spins in my head: “My thoughts were so loud I couldn’t hear my mouth.”

-Bethany Wall

Got a favorite-song-obsession-type-thing? Let us know about it.