Maybe I've had too much real Italian food and my taste buds are starting to get acclimatized... but the grilled shrimp caprese at olive garden was not all I hoped it would be. I mean it was good...the shrimp was grilled well...but it was either too garlicky or too salty or too cheesy. Or maybe all of the above. I think Olive Garden has been making their pastas too saucy, at least the one here, and this detracts from their dishes. Oh well. 
This may be the last of the spring pictures because it should be clear that winter has lost the battle. And all these freakish cold days are just desperate cries for attention. Really, the only season winter can beat is fall.
The march towards spring continues. Take that winter! Despite all your best efforts i wore flip flops yesterday and i hear the crows and other birds returning as i text.
Here's to hoping that this is the movie where a Harry Potter film lives up to or surpasses the book...Also, I just wanted to try out this live streaming of a trailer. I know, I played right into their marketing strategy.

[The Hulu live trailer was here when it was...well, live. See youtube link below for the trailer.]

Edit: So the trailer is epic, more epic than the previous trailers for this movie. And I know the book was epic (HBP is one of my favorites in the series). So the question remains, will the movie be epic too?

Edit 2: I downloaded the quicktime HD version of the trailer...and now I'm kind of drooling over both this movie and the Star Trek movie. Looks like a good movie summer is shaping up...

Edit 3: A more permanent link:

More evidence i've collected to prove to myself that this is just a cold spring, but spring nonetheless.
I'm starting a new segment where I blog about what I've downloaded on eMusic this month. When I first joined eMusic, I wasn't sure if I'd eventually run out of things to download, 50 seemed high, but I figured I'd try it out, and as soon as it started to get hard, I'd cut back to 30 a month. That was October 2007. Two and a half years later, I'm still finding tonnes of stuff to download, and if I had 75 downloads available this month, I think I would have used it up. This is not to say that I'm completely happy with eMusic. I would prefer a rollover system, where my unused downloads rollover to another month, at least for 3 months. I'm also unhappy with their customer service, which is practically nonexistent, and when you do find someone, they're unsufferably rude. But enough, I digress.

This month found me downloading music by Lura, Habib Koite, Ojos De Brujo, Myriam Makeba, Sanchez, Buju Banton, Tony Rebel, Musical Youth, Pluto, and Sean Paul & Sasha.

Now technically I discovered Lura (Afro-Portuguese/Cape Verdian) last month, upon recommendation from one of my Aunts. She and Habib Koite (West African/Malian) fall into a category of music I've been exploring recently, modern African music, or Afro-something fusion. I say something because many of these artists have grown up in Portugal, France, Spain, England, America, wherever, and their music reflects this fusion of African and other genres. This genre is really becoming a favourite of mine.

Next up we have Ojos De Brujo ("jipjop flamenkillo"/Flamenco), which may have been my greatest new artist find this month. I'm not sure how I never ran across them before, but thanks to my Buika Pandora station, I heard their amazing song, Todo Tiende. Their style is similar to Gipsy Kings and Rodrigo y Gabriela.

Of course the music download that might have made me the happiest was "Love Tastes Like Strawberries", by Miriam Makeba. [See previous post] I've been looking for this song for ages, and while investigating the new prices on the newly DRM-free iTunes, I stumbled upon the album, "Le Monde de Myriam Makeba", finally avilable digitally. I then hopped over to eMusic to find that it was available there as well, so after long months of patience, I own it! It truly is a lovely song, probably one of the best love songs.

Finally, with 8 downloads remaining, I was missing Jamaica this morning, so I went on a hunt for some Jamaican oldies. eMusic seems to have a deal with VP Records, because I was able to find such classics like "Ramgoat Liver" by Pluto and "Pass The Dutchie" by Musical Youth. Also, Sean Paul's remix of "I'm Still in Love With You" with Sasha is one of the best remixes of a song, certainly one of the best dancehall songs of a reggae song.

The one song I'm still searching for is "Two White Girls Pon a Minibus" by The Word, though I did find it on youtube.

I already know what I'm downloading next month - "Fresh Vegetable" by Tony Rebel.
I just had an amazing 6 oz filet topped with steak butter and haricot vert at jim gould. If it weren't an etiquette dinner, I'd have taken my camera out to take a picture. Steak should always taste just like that.

The first course was a garden sald with a lemon-oregano vinagreitte. Was a good salad dressing, though a little bit too much of it, should have said on the side. No worries. The bread was also very good, I mean yes, I'm talking about bread, this was really nice, fresh baked melt in your mouth bread.

So all of this had me anticipating my 6 o.z. filet. And I was not disappointed. At all. There are very few chefs who understand what well done means. Well done does not mean that I actually meant medium well, or that I wanted it overcooked, or that I wanted it charred. Well done means that I want my beef cooked while remaining juicy, moist and succulent. They certainly delivered. I left absolutely nothing on my plate, not even a grain of the wild rice medley.

Of course by the time we got to the melt in my mouth Chocolate Torte with strawberries, I was understandably full, but I still couldn't resist eating half of it, and packaged the rest for hopefully not a midnight snack.

So the famous jim gould lived up to their reputation, I'd definitely recommend them to anyone looking for fine dining in Champaign.
So my rug crocheting project is on hold because I'll be crocheting blankets! Now I know I have a number of options. I can go the granny square route, which has maximum portability and is kinda fun. I did, however, stumble upon these two adorable patterns:

Which do I choose?! I'll update you with pictures whenever I choose...Plus there's a second blanket project I have to start immediately after, I might work on it on that long flight to/from Japan.

Originally uploaded by Cool Super Geek
Maybe i just want to believe, but dandelions are a sure fire sign of spring!
Today i spotted the first signs of spring. Yay! I'd be in a good mood - but ranting blog post to come later.