Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Catching Up

Just haven't had much to write about as late. Not anything personal, at least.

Yes, that's my excuse for not updating this blog more often. Aside from being crazy busy at work, I find myself apathetic whenever I sit at the keyboard and about to pour my heart out here on this blog. It's like: meh! Why bother getting worked up in a frenzy about anything anymore? That's really how I feel sometimes.

To be honest, nothing interesting has really happened to me these past few months. The nasty whirlwind that was the first half of 2013 has for the most part settled down to a day-to-day normalcy of work, working out, and trying to get back into writing my short stories. And while I am making progress on the latter, I'm afraid the enthusiasm to blog anymore has severely waned.

That all being said -- I guess I will catch you up on recent events. Or, just my thoughts on them. Which is not much either way, let me warn you now.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Model Spotlight: PRIYANKA CHOPRA

Continuing on the trend of exposing my Indian and Persian ... er, preferences, I'm here to bring yet another model from that part of the world into focus. Although, unlike the previous two entries in my ongoing Model Spotlight series, this beauty hardly needs any introduction if you've been paying attention to Bollywood over the past half-decade or so.

Name:  Priyanka Chopra
A.K.A.:  Priyanka
Profession:  Model; Actress; Singer
Hometown:  Bareilly - Uttar Pradesh, India
Age:  31
Accolades:  Miss World (2000); Various Bollywood awards for Best Actress, etc.
Current:  Filming biopic on 5-time World Boxing champion and Olympian, Mary Kom.

Born to parents who were both doctors in the Indian Army, Priyanka Chopra grew up at various military postings all over Northern India. In her teens, she spent four years living with one of her aunts in the United States, before returning to India to finish out her high school education. Her subjects of interest were computer science and criminal psychology, with a background in the performing arts. By her own admission, Priyanka was a rather gangly and awkward girl in early adolescence, being mostly left alone as the outsider when attending school in the U.S. However, by 2000 she had grown into a remarkable beauty and her mother entered her in the Miss Femina India pageant, where she came in as the runner-up and winner of the Miss India World title. Later that year, she went on to win the top prize of Miss World, which then paved the way for numerous modeling commitments as well as film roles in the burgeoning Bollywood film industry.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Baker's Delight -- Blondies!

So, it's that time of year again when the weather is getting cold and the urge to bake overcomes me. And this time, the new thing I'm obsessing over are ... blondies! My old college buddy, Cin, and I were reminiscing about the special cookout events our alma mater used to hold, and how blondies were always present at them. Both of us admitted that, before attending college there, we had never heard of the term before. For me personally, being the brownie aficionado that I am, I at first viewed them with suspicion. Blondies are supposed to be like brownies, you see, but minus the fudge! Did not sound appealing to me AT ALL. But then I ate one and, try as I might, over the years they grew on me.

As for Cin, she's against all things chocolate. Yeah, I can't explain it either. So blondies are right down her ally! And it got me to wondering: what the fudge are blondies even made of? I mean, what if not chocolate? Well, once I found out, it became my mission in life to make them!

And make them I did, I'm happy to say. It took me a couple of tries to perfect the recipe, but I think I got it just right. I've made a batch for the family get-together 2 weeks ago, and to rave reviews. I even made a batch for work, also to great fanfare and applause. Well, yes ... I exaggerate. But people liked 'em, I think!

Monday, November 18, 2013

The Great Coffee Experiment

Coffee. I don't like it. Never have, and doubt I ever will. Sure, the older members of my family all drank it. And like any good kid worth his curiosity badge, I took it upon myself to sneak in a taste or two when no one was looking. Yet, although the smell of coffee brewing in the morning was always a wonderful thing, unfortunately the taste of it on my tongue left a lot to be desired. It always tasted like burnt popcorn kernels, to be honest. Blech!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

David 2.0 -- The Bulkening

Back in December of 2004 I weighed 230 lbs. I had always been a skinny kid in life, staying that way up to and straight through college. The genes were in my family, after all. But then I started working for a living, and that 9-5 lifestyle wreaked havoc on my eating habits. From 1998 to the end of 2004 I had really let myself go.

Then, inevitably, I had a health scare in early 2005 at the age of 28, and completely changed my life around. I was dead serious about it all, too, as chronicled here on the Bimillennial Man in this 5-part series. Many of you already know the story. I lost a total of 62 lbs by September of that same year, weighing in at 168! A weight I had not been since my early years in college.

Recently a family member thought it wise to attempt to school me in proper protein intake. See, I now weigh 188 lbs. But it's not what you think! That there is 20 lbs of muscle I've put on--and relatively recently! As in the past 2 years, recent. And the way I did it was by lots of carefully planned exercises, and of course by properly monitoring my nutritional intake. Key among this was keeping track of my protein intake. I changed my diet for possibly the fifth time in as many years (it's a constantly evolving/revolving engagement, eating healthy) and really made sure I was getting a lot of protein the healthy way. Protein that would fuel those workouts of mine.

You be the judge of the results I achieved (click on the pics for larger versions):

168 pounds, versus ...

... 188 pounds. Fight!

The first pic was taken back in October 2005 when I was only 29; while the one at the waterfall was nearly 8 years later at age 36 (almost 37), taken this past July. Now, even though I am 20 lbs heavier in that second pic -- do I look it? Do I look like I let myself go? No. And yet, I'm 188 lbs there. How? And could I get bigger? The short answer to the last is: no. See, I wasn't trying to bulk up. I didn't want to look like a roid head, or even a bodybuilder or bouncer. No, all I wanted was a lean, healthy look. A slim but powerful build, if you will. I valued running and other aerobic exercises more, after all, than just lifting weights like most guys are obsessed with. But yet, I couldn't deny the health benefits of having more muscle than fat on one's body. The cardiovascular benefits alone were worth it. But in my case, it also provided for a faster metabolism and more efficient sugar absorption by my cells.

And it worked! My blood results when I see the doctor don't lie! But this family member decided to tell me that taking too much protein is not good for you. I told her that I monitor my levels very closely with both a calorie tracker and nutritional index app on my phone, which I use to log every single meal I eat during the day and break down the numbers for me. I know the formula by which a man translates his body weight into the total grams of protein he should be ingesting while keeping to a regular workout routine. I know all these things, and have been taking care of my body for 8 years now.

So when people like my well-meaning family member try to give me advice on something I already know a lot about, and have been doing for years, I say: thanks, but no thanks. I got this. You do you, and I'll do me. I've been my own best advocate for as long as I can remember.

How about you? Do you have any well intentioned nosy bodies in your family? You love them, don't ya? But sometimes you just wish they'd mind their beeswax, amirite?

Monday, October 21, 2013

Top 10 TV Crushes Of My Youth

Crushes are a beautiful thing. Not full love attractions, nor down and dirty lust obsessions, crushes are as every day essential to a healthy lifestyle as yoga or eating oatmeal. As children, a crush can be the first sniff--a whiff, if you will--of what love might be when we grow up. As adults, however, crushes are often casual and entertaining; something frivolous to pass the time and keep our libidos running. You may even share them with your significant other, or with complete strangers as I did here in this blog entry a few months back. Sometimes, even, a crush might become a true love connection. That cute girl who works down at the bookstore whom you've been crushing on for months now, might just someday end up being the mother of your children if only you would work up the courage to ask her out for coffee sometime. Or, in tragic cases, a crush might turn into an unhealthy connection and land the crusher flat on the "Go To Jail" space in this monopoly game of life we're playing.

But for the most part, yes ... that which we crush on is not meant to be taken seriously. We have them, we cherish them, we learn from them, and we move on. Now, while I've certainly gone on and on here on The Bimillennial Man about who my crushes have been of late, I thought I'd take a step back and re-examine all the ones I've had leading up to today. Scratch that. Such an endeavor would take far too long to write up. On second thought, how about I just narrow it down to celeb crushes? Women most of you are probably already familiar with. Hmmm, still too broad a selection? Okay, okay -- I got it! How about we narrow the criteria down to only actresses--television actresses at that--who I've crushed on up until the very cusp of puberty? In other words, those little boy crushes that we all find so adorable and endearing? Nothing wrong with that, right? I mean, awwwww!

So, okay then. Here we go. The following are a list of my top 10 tv actresses from a favorite sitcom or show of mine ranging from the late 70s, which is when I was born, until the cutoff point of 1990, which is the year I started high school and crushes took on a whole 'nother level of urgency and angst.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Dipping The Pen . . .

So, I'm leaving the subway this morning and stopping off for my typical breakfast pickup at the cafe across the street from my office, when I run into a co-worker who's been making googly eyes at me for some time. She mouthed the word "hello" as our eyes met, and then proceeded into the establishment with me following behind. Shit, I think. I need to get in and out of this place and make sure I don't get cornered into a conversation! Which I manage to do, pick up my order, and hightail it out and to my desk on the 6th floor in record time.

Later, as I go to refill my 1-liter water bottle at the office break room, I run into her again. Ugh! I always run into her there. And it's always awkward. She gives me this smile, and looks at me expectantly as if waiting for me to say something. And I never do. I'm actually rather brusque with our interactions, to be honest. Moreso than I need to be, perhaps. In other words: more standoffish than is normal even for me. Which, if you know me, is pretty damn harsh.

Here's the deal with this person: I don't know her from Jane. She works in the same office as me, sure, but we're from completely different departments and, therefore, have zero business-related interaction with one another. I also get the impression that she's not the one to usually make googly eyes at anybody, and keeps to only a small circle of her own colleagues. Just as I do. So it's actually pretty interesting that she seems to have zeroed in on me. I do absolutely NOTHING to warrant this attention, mind you. I don't flirt, I don't ogle, and I barely say more than a few words in greeting (enough to be polite).

Oh, I guess you should know one other piece of this equation that should be fairly obvious by now if you've been paying attention: I'm not interested in her. Not just because of recent personal circumstance (which is a pretty big reason all of its own, no doubt), but also because ...

I'm just not attracted to her. At all!

Sunday, October 6, 2013

The Fading Years ...

I went shopping at Costco yesterday to stock up on some very essential household items. While I was in the huge walk-in freezer section, I came across an elderly lady staring intently at the skim milk pallet in the corner. She was a little bitty thing, wearing dark wraparound shades and peering very closely at the milk as if studying the cartons for signs of disease or whatever. So I walked over and asked her if she wanted to know the expiration date, but she replied that she was looking for a container with no dents on it. LOL!

Anyway, she seemed to be having trouble lifting the gallon jug of low-fat, so I grabbed it for her and asked her if she had a cart. After I placed it in the bin for her, she called me a "dear" and explained that she had a bad shoulder. I told her it was my pleasure, wished her a good day, and carried on with my shopping.

These encounters always remind me of my sweet grandmother, whom I love above all other people in this world. She raised me after my mother died when I was 9, and although she was very lax in the discipline department, she taught me all I know about compassion, caring, and understanding. I am the empathetic fellow some of you know today because of this woman.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Top 10 Things About Me You Don't Need To Know

Just decided to have some fun and do another revealing expose into the type of guy I am. I've done this type of listed revelations thing before on the blog, of course. Most notably herehere and here. But, this one will be a little different. In this one, I will list only those odd quirks of mine that are not necessarily positive or attractive qualities to have. Or which might, at the very least, constitute as surprising even to those folks who know me well.

Sounds like loads of fun, eh?

Friday, August 30, 2013

Die, Summer, DIE!!!

Oh yes! We're finally here. Labor Day weekend. I never thought I'd see you.

If you don't know by now, I hate Summer. It just really annoys me. I don't have anything against sunshine and doing outdoorsy things. It's just that, to me, summer time in a big city blows. If I lived out in the countryside, fine. That would be different. But summers in New York City is when you see the worst of humanity.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Blurred Lines

As any of my friends can tell you, I'm not big on current music. My musical tastes tend more toward dated tunes from the 60s and earlier. Of course, I do also have a huge 4-hour long playlist of nothing but 80s chart toppers--but generally speaking it takes me a long time to get into anything new and popular.

So when I heard someone on tv mention this song "Blurred Lines" from Robin Thicke (featuring T.I. and Pharrell) as being the number 1 track of the summer, I just had to listen to it and find out what all the fuss was about.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Sometimes ... What's The Point?

No, I'm not depressed or at a low point in my life. I'm not going emo on you all--ha!

But, seriously, I was wondering ... just what IS the point to a few things in life. What is the point when these things almost always end up in disaster?

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Saving Teddy

Was over at the old apartment this past weekend (don't ask), and was horrified to discover I had completely left behind an old, dear friend of mine when I moved into the new place.

People, meet Teddy. Teddy, people:

Don't be fooled by that winsome smile; those brown
beanie eyes hold the wisdom of ages.

Teddy and I go way back, you see? Each of us boys were given our own special companion upon completing the arduous journey of being born into this cruel, cold, and, let's not forget, hungry world. Since I was the precious first born baby boy, I guess I justified having a bear as my friend. My brothers each received a ducky and a star-shaped thingy when it was their time. We never did figure out what that star-shaped thingy was. He was weird.

No one puts Teddy in the corner. Except for me.

But, yes, there I am at about 8 months old or so. Mom and I lived out of Grandma's house at the time, and my playpen was set up right smack dab in the middle of the living room. You can see Teddy in the back there with his bib up. Funny thing is, I never went to bed with Teddy. I was the kid who didn't like to have things near him while he slumbered. On the rare chance Teddy crept into bed with me, he invariably wound up in the corner of my room by morning, upside down and with a look of bewildered hurt on his little furry face. With the rising of the sun, however, my temperament mellowed and Teddy and I were the best of friends for the rest of that day.

Around the time I officially entered Big Boy Mode, Teddy and I had a falling out. Don't know what the disagreement was about after all this time. Perhaps I caught him moonlighting with my baby brother, Eddie. The cad! Whatever the cause, I didn't see Teddy again for many long years. Sure, once in a rare day he would turn up whenever my family went through a major spring cleaning fit or similar furniture moving event, and he and I would get to reminiscing about old times. And behind the awkward eye contact and forced smiles we would think about what went wrong with us, and how we might say what we really wanted to say to each other, and all would be well and back to normal again. But then the Nintendo would call to make sure I wasn't getting myself into trouble, and we would make our sad, albeit hasty, goodbyes.

Last I heard, Teddy had been spotted in a bad part of town, seemingly run down on his luck. This was many years ago, in fact. To be honest, I thought Teddy had left this world by now. That is until three Christmases ago, when my sister discovered his whereabouts and brought him in from out of the streets. And unbeknownst to myself.  She gave him a scrub and a place to sleep, and in no time the little guy was back to his old self. Sis presented him to me that Christmas, and we've been together again ever since.

Until I lost him again. Tsk, tsk. Lucky for me, Teddy is the forgiving type. He understood I was going through a very tough time, and tried to give me some space while I sorted things out. He's so thoughtful like that!

The only pipe he smokes now is with a jacket and slippers.

Alas, we are reunited one more time. Teddy's at my new place now, and I must say he really likes it here. There he is checking out a book from my collection before he settles in for the night. Just like old times all over again.

Good to have you back, old chum! You are and forever will be, truly, a boy's best friend.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

A Bad Case of the Doldrums

I haven't dropped off the face of the Earth.

I'm just taking an extended breather from the blog. I see I missed the entire month of July without posting anything. Whoa! And was about to miss out on August as well. My how time flies! I knew I was going take a few weeks off, but somehow life got in the way and a few weeks ended up being nearly two months!

Well, the bad news is: I'm not ready to return today.

The good news? I will be returning. Fairly soon.

I can feel the energy to write slowly coming back, and hope to have some content coming up in the next few days (or week). I'm also aware that I haven't been keeping up on reading your blogs as well. Actually, that's not true. I do read all my favorite blogs early in the morning right before I start out for work. I just never have the time to leave a comment. I will remedy that shortly as well. Or try to.

In the meantime ... Yes, I'm doing fine. It hasn't been an easy summer for me, but I'm still alive and surviving. Maybe I'll delve more into that in a later post.

Hope you all are doing just as well, if not better. How have your summers been? No, really, tell me in the comments section. I want to know, dammit!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Model Spotlight: RIYA RAY

Yes, it's true. I have a thing for Middle Eastern and South Asian beauties. What can I say? It's no secret . . . everybody knows. A while back I posted this spotlight on the Persian/Dutch model, Asal Soltani. This time I move on over to the sub-continent to introduce Ms. Riya Ray. She's someone who, like Ms. Soltani, also perfectly exemplifies my personal litmus test of physical beauty.

In other words, I think she's pretty damn hot! Oh yes I do, indeed. I think she's a big deal, actually. Rising up through the ranks rather quickly. I've seen her in a few rap videos and a commercial or two, but she's also done quite a few magazine covers as well and has wrapped up production on a couple films she has roles in this year. Here are some of my favorite photos of Ms. Ray:

Breathtaking. Resembles Kim Kardashian
a little here, no?

That come hither stare gets me
EVERY TIME! Rawrrrr!

Beautiful long, dark hair compliments an oval,
angular face. Gorgeous!!!

That sweet, girl-next-door look.
Nice dress!

Those eyes!!! (faints)

Riya Ray is a Bengali gal who hails from Assam in northeast India. She's based in the States now, but still has strong roots in her hometown and visits every chance she gets. She's also not a fan of the "size zero" trend in modeling, and feels models should be allowed to show their curves. And although she's a naturally slim gal herself, I must say Riya definitely does have the curves where they count!

Just more proof that Indian women are super fly in the summer time! Or any other time of the year, for that matter. My own opinion, of course (heh, heh). Don't hate me if I just happen to be right.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Tiny Apartment Is Tiny!

Thought I'd finally get around to putting up pics of the new place, since some of you have been asking for them. I don't know why I waited so long to do this, in fact. The state of affairs as of today is this: I've been living here now for exactly 4 weeks, and I'm very glad to have found this place at the time I did, and so near to where I was living before. Because it's a 500 sq ft studio apartment, alas, there is not much to show. But you know what? For such a small apartment, it's actually quite serviceable for one person. Take a look:

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Happy Father's Day, Mom.

So, today is Father's Day. Happy fun times to all the great dads out there, whoever you are.

As you all probably know by now, I did not grow up with a dad in the picture. Sure, the man was alive and living in the same city, but he wanted nothing to do with raising his sons. So my mom raised us alone until she passed away when I was 9 years old. We moved in with my mom's sister and their mom after that--so, in other words, with my maternal aunt and grandmother who shared an apartment.

Mom, Grandma, lil brother and me (right).

Grandma and auntie raised us for the next 12 years or so until I graduated college and moved out on my own. All three women shaped me into the man I am today. They were my rock, my guidance, and my heart. They protected me when the world was fearful, sang to me when my heart was sad, and taught me life's stern lessons whenever I thought I had it all figured out. They also taught me that one does not need a father to make it through life, and that women are to be respected and praised for all the hard work and sacrifice they bring.

Pumpkin picking with Auntie, baby sis, lil bro, and me (right).

So I never cared that my father was not around -- but it would have been nice if he were. He never taught me how to be a man: how to carry myself, how to fight and stand up for myself like a man should. Never taught me how to drive, or dance, or tie a tie, or shave, or even how to fix a damn flat tire! I learned all these things on my own or from the women in my life. Needless to say, I have a low opinion of men. Yet, I strive all my life to make myself the kind of man I would have been proud to call my father when I was younger.

How fucked up is that? I was, in essence, my own father. But honestly, that role was filled by three others. And if they happened to be women, who cares? They were the best damn father a boy could ask for!

Happy Father's Day mommy, auntie, and gran'ma. I'm more of a man today through your love and support than I could have ever been learning from my real dad's example.

College grad with baby sis (left), Grandma, and Auntie.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Miss Crush 2013

Over the many years I've been writing this blog (since 2008, to be exact), every now and then I embarrass myself by posting who I'm currently crushing on in Hollywood or the music biz. So now it's that time to do it again for 2013. Yes, yes ... never mind the fact that we're only halfway through the year. Pesky details! I'm going to do it anyway, and there's nothing anyone can do about it.

But before I do, a little refresher on all the Miss Crushes of years past. It's a high honor on the Bimillennial Man, don't you know?

Can You Hear Me Now?

You know, I know I'm going to take some flak for this, but I'll come out and just say it: I'm not all that disturbed by these recent NSA Prism revelations. Yes, I'm serious. I know, I know -- the U.S. government has been tapping into our mobile phone and e-mail content. Oh. Mah. Gurd!!!!



How is this news? I've always figured my conversations, emails, and Facebook doings were being monitored somehow, somewhere. This blog, too, in fact. It's probably all being filtered through some government data analyst's server farm buried deep in the Black Hills of South Dakota. But do I think anyone cares about what I have to say or write? Hell no! I say: let them do all the snooping they want. Do you really think I'm dumb enough to put out there anything incriminating or of a threat to national security? Do I honestly believe anyone in the higher echelons of our cloak & dagger shadow government agencies actually cares about my Game of Thrones musings, or latest Facebook rant on men who carry around large shoulder bags?

Please, grow up! I don't exactly know why everyone's so surprised by these revelations. Or so afraid all of a sudden. Surely you couldn't have been that naive all these years, right?

Didn't think so.

Is it wrong that our privacy and basic liberties are being trampled upon? You damn right it is! And I'm mad as hell about that. Because if they can do this, then what's next? Don't answer that! It's scary as hell.

Look, ever since I first logged on to this here Interwebs of ours back in September of 1994 (when we were still using Mosaic for access, and the World Wide Web was in its infancy) I've done so with the express paranoia that some super AI or think tank out there would be eavesdropping, just waiting for certain keywords to pop up in all that digital noise and send the black helicopters out to pick me up in the middle of the night. So I just made sure I never put anything out there I wouldn't want my closest friends or family members finding out about. Plain and simple.

If, however, you're one of those pseudo anarchists who uses Facebook as a soapbox to rave about how badly you want the government to implode under an onslaught of a thousand terrorists' dirty bombs--well then, Jethro, you might want to keep you ears peeled for those super silent helicopter blades approaching your bunker.

I hear Guantanamo ain't so lovely this time of year.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Episode 30 Discussion: "Mhysa"

It is with heavy heart that we come to yet another close on an exciting season of Game of Thrones. *sigh* They go by so quickly! I can't believe I'll have to wait another 10 months to see this saga continue. What will I possibly watch in the meantime? I've soured almost completely on True Blood, which was always more Lisa's show. I'll still tune in, I'm sure, but I don't expect it to be much fun.

Anyway, so how did the season 3 finale fair? After last week's "Red Wedding," can any episode following it possibly compare?

The answer is, of course: no.

But you know what? While "Mhysa" may not have been the big bang season finale many have come to expect from this show, I thought it was one of the most fulfilling and well-constructed episodes ever. It's probably this book reader's most satisfying showing, in fact, because it felt like a lot of murky plotlines were aired out and clarified to those non initiates out there who might be having a difficult time understanding what the point of all this is. See, what everyone needs to keep in mind is that Season 3 only encompassed the first half of Book 3, A Storm of Swords. Next season will cover the rest of the novel and escalate quite a few of the different plots wavering around as of this latest airing.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

A Fry-ful Trip Into The Past

As I settle in to my new apartment, the one thing that still bugs me is coming home from work and having that new paint smell hit me in the face as I step through the front door. I officially moved in 2 weeks ago, but the smell still persists. It was cute in the beginning when the whole experience was new and exciting ... but something needed to be done. So I decided to break in my new kitchen by cooking as often as possible, in the hope that the various food aromas would replace that new paint smell and start making this place feel more like home to me. I grilled marinated chicken breasts one night, made bacon and eggs another morning, prepared a braised beef stew another time, and so on. Slowly I was starting to get this place smelling like normal, but wasn't quite there yet.

And then nostalgia hit. I might have mentioned it here on the blog once or twice, but I have virtually no connection to my Latin roots. My mother was Caucasian, and my father hailed from Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic. Our father was never around growing up, although he lived in the same city and we would visit his family on occasion. So we were never indoctrinated into the traditional Dominican culture that thrives in northern Manhattan, the western South Bronx, and a large neighborhood in Queens. Our cultural cues came from our mother and, later, her mother and her sister. Which meant we grew up with fried chicken and apple pie, corn on the cob and potato salad (among many other staple Americana dishes). However, my mother did try to assimilate herself into the local Latin American culture here in New York. She spoke fluent Spanish as a second language, and her friends were all Latina. So occasionally she would prepare more traditional Latin-Caribbean dishes which her friends and mother-in-law taught her to make. Us kids hated it. We preferred our hamburgers and sloppy joes, thank you very much.

However, one particular Latin staple we did enjoy was fried green plantains. In Spanish-speaking Caribbean cultures, the dish is known as "tostones." In most Central and South American countries, they are called "patacones." But in my household we simply called them "platanos," regardless of how the plantains were being prepared. However, I do recall my sweet Dominican grandmother calling them "fritas verdes" on occasion. Tostones are typically twice-fried and served as a side dish. Although many people eat them as snacks or, even, as a full meal. I'm guilty of the latter, actually.

The thing is, it's been years since I've had tostones. Well over two decades, in fact! And I've never made them myself. All I had to go on were memories of standing in the kitchen as my mother cooked, which means I had to have been all of 7 or 8 years old at the time. Wow! Still, I'd seen it done often enough, and tostones are actually ridiculously simple to make. And luckily for me, I still live in a part of the city that's home to a pretty sizable Hispanic population. So plantains are more plentiful in the markets here than bananas. They are sold 10 for 1 dollar, in fact. Sometimes cheaper.

Suddenly thinking about my childhood, and about the different ways of making plantains--be they green or yellow (aka, "maduros")--I developed a huge craving for them. It was the weirdest thing, but my body immediately wanted some tostones in the worst way imaginable! So, I decided to give it a try. I thought it would be neat to travel back to my childhood and prepare a dish reminding me of home and my mother, and even my father's family. And as a bonus, perhaps banish some more of that new paint smell to boot!

I went to the supermarket this week and purchased myself all the necessary ingredients for making yummy tostones: plantains, corn oil (I usually only keep olive oil in the house), and a trusty tostonera--that ubiquitous hinged instrument of tostones making consisting of two wooden slabs for which to smash sliced pieces of plantain between. My mother just used a heavy pan with foil on the bottom to flatten each piece atop a cutting board, but I decided to get a little fancy with my bad self!

Since I'm only one person expecting leftovers to spare,
I figured 4 plantains were enough for the task.
With a knife, make a shallow slit lengthwise down the
plantain, then gently peel apart with your thumb.

Cut width-wise into 1- to 2-inch thick pieces.

Fry until darker yellow in pre-heated corn or vegetable oil
over medium heat. Turn over pieces for even frying.

Place on paper towels and pat dry the oil away.

Flatten each piece with a hard, flat surface. Or use a trusty
tostonera (pictured).

Slide flattened pieces back into the oil and fry on each side until
golden brown and crispy.

Place twice-fried pieces on new paper towels for drying, then
sprinkle lightly with salt. Serve immediately while still hot.

The end result was a little over-fried I admit, but still tasted exactly as I remembered them. Oh, the memories! Next time I'll fry them for a little less time. I couldn't think of what main dish to have alongside the tostones, though, so I ended up eating them alone. Was quite filling, in fact. And oh-so-delicious! I had around 11 pieces left over when all was said and done, so I wrapped them up in foil and placed them in the refrigerator for another day. They're best served piping hot and straight out of the pan, but I'll reheat them in the oven at 350 degrees F and they should be fine. I hope. *gulp*

Oh, and the house smells a little less painty and more like corn oil and plantains now, which is quite the improvement I say.

Anyway, have you had tostones, or patacones, or whatever you call them in your neck of the woods? You might want to give this recipe a try if you're curious otherwise. And as usual, share your thoughts in the comments below.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Episode 29 Discussion: "The Rains Of Castamere"

Hoo boy!

This one was a doozy. It's the episode I've been dreading ever since day one of this show's airing. It's the point when, in the books, I almost gave up reading the whole damn series. And even more than a decade later, I still get uneasy thinking about what happened. To be honest, it's probably also why I haven't re-read these books in all this time. Some things are just too traumatic to live through again, even if it is all just fiction. And fantasy fiction at that!

But before we get to all of that, some quick thoughts on what transpired before the Lannisters--as they are wont to do--paid their debts back to Robb Stark and Company:

I absolutely loved Bran "warg"-ing into Hodor to shut the big oaf up, and then into his direwolf, Summer, to come to the rescue of Jon Snow. Fantastic! And it's about damn time they made it clear to those non-book readers just what the hell is up with Bran and his wolf dreams. Yes, like Orell the Wildling, Bran can also project his mind into animals. But unlike Orell or any other warg beyond the Wall, Bran can also project into a human being's mind as well. Uh, I don't recall this being an impossibility for other wargs in the books. As I recall, it is difficult to do, but not impossible. It's just something that most wargs know not to do, because the practice has some potentially horrendous risks.

Rickon Stark's parting was well overdue, and yet wonderfully acted. That scene almost made me cry. I don't know about Osha taking him to Last Hearth---home of Jon Umber, aka "The Greatjon". That particular detail was different in the book. But I think the end results will be the same. Rickon doesn't get a whole lot of mention in the book series, which is a shame.

The excursion into Yunkai by perhaps the most kick-ass variation of the Three Stooges ever was a big highlight of this episode. Not only was the action edge-of-your-seat worthy, but the choreography was superb! I loved watching Daario and Ser Jorah lay waste to wave after wave of guards coming at them, but the best was Grey Worm. Oh man, this guy was AMAZING! He truly made the Unsullied proud on that night. You know, for a group of ball-less wonders, they actually do live up to their fearsome reputations, eh?

I'm really enjoying how well the Arya and Hound scenes are being portrayed. Very, very close to the books for now. And while Sandor Clegane does have a point about the young lass needing to grow a pair if she is to survive in this harsh world, Arya was quick to demonstrate why she's not the shrinking violet her sister was. Knocking out that poor pork peddler a second time seriously impressed the Hound. And when the right time came, he conked her on the head in kind so as to perhaps save her from the fate her oldest brother was having dished out to him at the Twins.

Speaking of which ...

"The Lannisters send their regards."

*sigh* It is with such heavy heart that I had to sit through this scene. The entire episode my stomach was turning into knots, knowing what was to come. I kept checking the clock to see how much of the episode was still left, because I just knew they were going to save it for the very end before the credits roll. But when the melody to that now infamous Lannister song, "The Rains of Castamere," finally started to play in the banquet hall, I was a nervous mess! Which is strange since I knew damn well what was about to transpire. And yet ...

Anyway, I won't rehash the whole ordeal. If you saw it, you know what happened. And you also know how depressing it was. Oh, and Lord Roose Bolton is an asshole! As is Lord Frey, but that comes as no surprise.

However, since I'm not a mind reader, I would like to read your thoughts in the comments below. After all, this is why the post is called a "discussion."

So, go on. Discuss! How did this episode hit ya? Square in the nuts, or be ye cold and merciless like the Unsullied? The comments section is also the place to ask all your questions, and I will do my best to answer them. This is a very pivotal moment in the entire series, so I wouldn't be surprised if some of my readers have a lot to get off their chests.

Have at it, then!

P.S. -- Here's a consolation video the folks over at The Second City put together for those book readers and show watchers alike who may have just come to the disturbing realization that George R. R. Martin is one sick and cruel bastard!

They're equal parts wrong and right. But I won't tell you which is which. I can be cruel too, see? Mwa-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha! (Don't worry, there really are no spoilers if you've watched the show up to last night's episode.)

Monday, May 20, 2013

Alive and Well, I Am I Am.

Hey everybody! It's me, David Batista. I'm alive! And, more importantly, moved in to my new apartment.

So, you see, it turns out I survived the move. There were half a dozen ways it could have all gone to hell, but miraculously the entire thing from start to (somewhat) finish went as smooth as butter! I'm actually a little astounded myself by how well the process went. My friends attribute it to my super anal planning and organizational skills . . . but I of course assign the credit to where it really belongs, to my friends themselves. They really came through for me and helped me out big time with the logistics of moving so much of my stuff. Six hands are definitely better than two in times like these, and I couldn't have done any of it without them. Thanks, guys!

I will keep this short as I'm still in the process of setting up and/or buying new utensils/furniture/odd knick-knacks for the place. But as you can see I did get my cable connection and setup my home network already. In other words ... There Will Be Internet. Hey, you know--priorities! I haven't completely moved in yet, however. I still need to move some other items from the old place, including all my clothes. Then I can finally spend a night in the new apartment. However, I do have my furniture delivered and positioned where I want it to be. And I even brought linens and stuff! How very domestic of me, eh?

To give you a taste of just how much work has gone into the setup of the new apartment, here is a before-and-after look at the main living space:

My first time seeing the place after its complete renovation.

Picked out the furniture and arranged it all myself.
The difference is like night and day, no?

My friend, an electrician by trade, installed the ceiling fan. While I hooked up the window blinds on all three windows in the room. What do you think? Not bad, huh? The fan is a wonder, making the place so airy and well-lit. I love it! I honestly can't believe how big this studio is, and how perfectly it fits my needs. I lucked out big time, I think. Don't you?

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Moving. It's A B----!

So, that time has come.

As much as I dreaded the actual mechanics of it all, I somehow went through the motions and managed to get most of my stuff squared away in boxes and suitcases, and prepared for the big move. Which is tomorrow, people!

Holy shit!

I've rented the U-Haul and have some of the world's bestest friends helping me out. I can't believe that, after nearly 13 years in the same spot, in less that 24 hours I will be moved in to an entirely different spot. Albeit a much smaller spot, and all by my lonesome, but a major change nonetheless.

And how do I feel about it all? A bit depressed, yes. But moreso excited. The prospect of eventually being all unpacked and settled in, of being able to kick my feet back and know that I am in my VERY OWN personal space with no one else to answer to but myself . . . well, I admit it's pretty damn enticing! Probably that sentiment alone has gotten me through the worst of it these past 6 weeks. If I allow my mind to do so, no doubt it would sink into a well of misery and self-doubt. But I won't allow it to do so. I'll keep forging ahead and doing what needs to be done. Even when it seems like one shit revelation follows another, still I'll soldier on.

I'm sure eventually it will all catch up to me, though. One weekend in the not too distant future I will be miserable and reflective on all that I have lost. I will shutter the windows in my new apartment and hunker down on the sofa under a mountain of blankets. And much bad tv will be consumed. And much good wine will be imbibed (I don't do beer outside of social settings).

And then . . . and then I will be better. The sun will still shine and the birds--those blasted birds!--they shall continue to chirp happily outside my windows. And I will one morning find myself expectant, hopeful: reflective on all I have yet to accomplish! For I am only 36 years old, not 66; and the world is yet my oyster.

By the way, what the fuck does this saying mean, anyway? I hate shellfish!

So, this is so-long for a short while, my friends. I will try to establish an Internet connection at the new place as soon as possible, but who knows when next our paths may cross on Blogger? Once I'm settled in, for sure. But whether that takes 2 weeks or 2 months, only the Old Gods and the New can answer.

'Till then, stay frosty.

David J. Batista
Bronx, New York.  May 2013.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Episode 25 Discussion: "Kissed By Fire"

Despite the fact that I am no longer writing reviews of Game of Thrones episodes, I do of course still watch each show as they air. I caught last night's viewing of "Kissed By Fire" and have to say I was very impressed. Sadly, we are already halfway through the season now. Where the hell did time fly off to?

Anyway, I wanted to at least give a forum for fans of the show who visit The Bimillennial Man to sound off with their comments, observations, and opinions of what transpired this week. And to start things off, I'll add some of my own quick observations:

R'hllor, the Lord of Light. I'm glad we're finally getting to see more of this mysterious Eastern religion from Asshai and its spreading influence in Westeros. Up until now, we've only been exposed to this new brand of worship during the Stannis scenes. But now we see that Melisandre isn't the only follower of the Red God. Seems that Thoros of Myr, of the mercenary group "Brotherhood Without Banners," is also a staunch follower. Somehow he has been bestowed through his Lord the power to resurrect the dead and/or heal the newly wounded. Hmmm, now I wonder when that might come in handy later on in the season . . .

Duel of the Fates. That was one kickass sword fight between The Hound and Beric Dondarrion. Some of you may recall back to season 1 when Beric was the man Ned Stark sent out to the Riverlands to hunt down the Lannisters' top lackey, The Mountain, and bring him to justice for crimes against the lowly farmers and village folk living there. Apparently in that time he's been stabbed, hanged, and suffered who knows how many other morbid horrors in-between. And yet somehow he keeps being brought back by Thoros, a little "lesser" of his former self each time. Thoros defeated The Hound in tournament melees three times in the past, most likely due to his flaming sword technique, exploiting Sandor's one true fear in the world. So when Beric sets his own sword aflame before The Hound's trial by combat, the contest takes on extra peril for the younger Clegane. I thought it was rather impressive how The Hound still managed to kick ass despite his crippling fear of fire. As a result of winning the duel, Sandor is deemed "innocent" in the eyes of the Lord of Light, and is allowed to go about his business. Beric Dondarrion, on the other hand, is once again brought back to the world of the living.

A quick note about R'hllor that some of you may be overlooking, particularly if you have not read the books. You may be wondering how a religion of such obvious potency could have remained relatively unknown to Westeros for all this time. For unlike that land's Seven Gods, this religion of fire and light seems to have some actual teeth to it. Well, it has been mentioned already in this show ... things are changing now that there are dragons in the world again. That was the whole purpose of the red comet at the start of the 2nd season, remember? Magic is alive once again! This is the start of a new age. Or, as some will have you believe, the rebirth of a cycle already experienced some 8,000 years prior. For as the White Walkers begin to stir once more, an opposite but equally potent force is needed to combat such a threat. And what is the epic weakness of wights again, class? Why, yes -- FIRE! Trust me, there is a method to all this madness. One that, to be honest, has yet to become fully realized even in the books. So, we still have a looooong way to go on that front. Be patient.

Rub a dub, dub, dub. My favorite scene of the episode--hells, probably the entire show--has arrived! I've been waiting a long, long time to see this exchange between a defeated Kingslayer and the erstwhile lady knight, Brienne of Tarth, given justice on the small screen. Fans of the books can now rejoice! Writer Bryan Cogman pulled it off beautifully, with exactly the right nuance, pathos, and chemistry delivered by the wonderful actors themselves. Bravo! For me, no arc has been more poignant and satisfyingly unfolded in the books than that of Jaime Lannister. It was this very development which gave me my first real lesson in how to effectively write a long-term character. There has to be some development there, and what Jaime reveals of himself in this one simple scene amounts to a mountain of character exposition. I've been savoring this moment for so long, hoping for viewers to finally understand that there is a lot more to this tragic hero's tale than what is realized at first glance. No, he is not perfect. He did push a kid out of a window to cover up his incestuous affair with his twin sister, after all. And, in the tv show at least, snapped his own cousin's neck just to save his own. But hey, I never said he was a morally righteous hero. It was so much fun seeing the Kingslayer appear in a new light in Brienne's eyes. The dawning of just want this man has been through all these years is so clear on her dumbfounded expression. In life, nothing is ever what it appears at first blush. Such an excellent scene! I want to rewatch it over and over again.

This one is called. Grey Worm! Yay! I am so ecstatic that we finally get our Grey Worm. I actually liked the actor they got to portray him. Good things are to come. Good things. We didn't get much from the Daenerys' plot line this episode. Some dick measuring between Ser Barristan the Bold and Ser Jorah Mormont, sure. But that's to be expected. They both are jockeying to be their queen's right hand man. At the moment Ser Jorah still holds that elevated position by his khaleesi's side, but Barristan does have the advantage of having served her family once upon a long time ago. And, as he stated himself, for once he would like to serve a just and righteous ruler. Just this one time. Purdy pweese! With a dragon-flambĂ© cherry on top, pweese? How can you refuse an old man such a request?

Let the heads roll. And so it begins. Robb Starks' plotline has come to the inevitable turning point I've so dreaded all these years. Pretty ominous that Theon's tune "Pay The Iron Price" is playing during this darkest of scenes when Lord Rickard Karstark must be made an example of if Robb Stark is to keep any semblance of his authority intact. This is the tune that also played when Theon executed poor Rodrik Cassel last season and thus began all his current woes in life. Unfortunately for Robb, his decision flies in the face of advice given to him by his mother, wife, uncle Edmure, and great-uncle Brynden the Blackfish. That can't be good. I mean, look: we get that he had to be his own man in this. After all, he alone is the King in the North. But damn! this scene did not feel good. I actually cursed out loud when Lord Karstark's head fell. "Shit," I said to the screen. Shit. Here we go now . . .

So, those are my thoughts. Maybe not exactly quick, but these were the scenes that stood out the most for me. I'm a little peeved by Stannis's crazy wife, Queen Selyse, keeping her miscarried fetuses in jars. Ick! And . . . wtf? This was never in the books, and I know that as a tv show they need to get across rather quickly that this woman is not all entirely with us. But I thought this was a little too over the top. She's not as crazy as Catelyn Stark's sister, Lysa Arryn, after all. Just a little, well . . . weird in the books. We're clearly never meant to entirely like her, obviously. But I just thought this was too heavy handed and not believable. By contrast, though, I absolutely fell in love with little girl Shireen Baratheon. It's not explained yet in the show what affliction she suffers from, but apparently she's being kept locked away in a high tower ala The Man in the Iron Mask. She only gets visits from her papa and the Onion Knight. But in just a few short scenes I already love this little girl. Way more than in the books. I always found her a bit on the bland and boring side there. But here on the show I actually find myself feeling miserable on her behalf.

Now that I got all that out of the way, what are your own thoughts? Sound off in the comments section below and get this discussion rollin'!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

No Mas (Game of Thrones Related)

Well, I have decided I had enough of writing reviews of Game of Thrones. Yes, sorry folks (all 4 of you who care), but I just don't have the wherewithal at this point in my life to slave away writing such long, detailed looks into an hour-long television show. It's getting old really fast.

But in fact the real reason is two-fold:

One, as mentioned already, my life is topsy-turvy at the moment. I'm in the process of moving to a new place, and in a few weeks I won't even have cable tv anymore. It might take a week or two to get it back at the new place, and combined with everything else I will need to get done during this time (like, hey, actually moving and getting settled in), I can honestly say that I won't have the energy or time to punch out a super cool, super informative review of this super great HBO show I love so much. Such is life. Don't cry for me, Argentina ... and all that jazz.

The second reason is more disappointing, really, than an actual cause for no more reviews. Simply put, not enough people give a damn this year for some reason. In previous years, my Thrones reviews garnered thousands of unique views on this here blog. That's thousands. Plural! By the third episode of Season 2, my review of the first episode just two weeks prior already had 900 plus unique views. And how about this year? Well, now that the third episode has already aired, my review of the first episode two weeks back has tallied all of . . . 51 views. That's it. My review of the second episode has accumulated only 30. So, combined with my personal life being in a disarray, this added news does not keep me motivated to continue this endeavor.

Sorry, all. I just can't bring myself to do it anymore. I will still watch the show, naturally. But that thing where I spend hours and days writing the words, rewatching the episode over and over, and acquiring screen grabs and what have you? Yeah, no more.

Jaime's distraught over no more reviews on the Bimillennial Man.
Or because someone just cut off his hand. One of the two. 

I would suggest that if anyone has any questions about the episodes as they air, to drop them in the comments section here and I will definitely answer them. But who are we kidding? Let's be honest, no one will. And that's okay.

I'm just saying, though, if anyone wants to . . .

And, one last thing. No, I will not be accepting any guest reviews at this time. That's cool for like one or two episodes, but not for the rest of the whole bloody season. Thanks, though.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Game of Thrones: "Dark Wings, Dark Words" Review

Episode 22: "Dark Wings, Dark Words"
Original Air Date:  April 7, 2013.
Directed by:  Daniel Minahan.
Written by:  Vanessa Taylor.

Tonight's episode was full of dark forebodings and even darker intrigues, hence the title. And as we all know by now ... the Night is Dark and Full of Terror, too. Quite a few new faces were introduced as well, which I'm sure just made the heads of non-book readers spin mercilessly. Have heart, it will all start to make sense in the coming weeks. But for this week we got our hands on a particularly meaty feast of gritty fantasy goodness. Shall we dig in?

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Eleven Elevator Ethics

As someone who lives in the big city and works in a very tall office building, riding an elevator is a daily affair. We've all done it. But the more you do it, the more you tend to gloss over some of the important niceties of making the experience efficient and safe for everyone. What follows are rules to remember based on personal everyday observations from a long-time city dweller.

1)  The last one in on a descending elevator is the first one out. This is especially true in crowded cars.

2)  The "close door" button doesn't actually make the doors close any faster. This is a myth. The button is only there for malfunctions and emergencies. So. STOP. Freaking. Pressing. It!

3)  If a lady is on the elevator, out of courtesy step aside and allow her to be the first one out. It's called manners, gentlemen.

4)  If the elevator has mirrors, or if the doors are highly polished metal, it is rude to make eye contact with your fellow passengers. Not everyone takes kindly to being ogled.

5)  If you know your stop is on one of the top floors, please step to the back of the car after pressing your button. Chances are, everyone else in the elevator will getting off before you.

6)  Never eat in an elevator. Doubly so for passing the gaseous by-products of such consumption from the other end.

7)  When leaving the office for the night, it is customary to say "good evening" to your fellow passengers upon exiting to the lobby.

8)  Rule of thumb: If you can make eyesight, you must hold the door for that person rushing toward your elevator. However, if all you hear are footfalls coming near, you are not obligated to hold the car unless said phantom calls out for you to do so. You are not a mind reader.

9)  If you reach the elevator bank but the doors are already closing, do not reach out and attempt to halt their progress. Simply take the next one.

10) You must ALWAYS wait for the elderly or handicapped, no matter how long they may take to reach the elevator.

11) Similarly, if a handicapped person or a parent with a baby stroller needs to get on but there is no room--make room! Even if it means a few of you must get off to do so.

And there you have it. Nice and simple, yes? Most of these are of the common sense variety, so you would think everyone would follow them, yes? You'd think wrong! Every single one of these points are ones I've witnessed or practice myself. Yet, I see them ignored on a constant and daily basis.

My question to you all is: how many of these do you break and/or follow? Leave your answer in the comments. Or anything else you might like to add.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Game of Thrones: "Valar Dohaeris" Review

Episode 21: "Valar Dohaeris"
Original Air Date:  March 31, 2013.
Directed by:  Daniel Minahan.
Written by:  David Benioff & D.B. Weiss.

First things first, I thought it was a nice touch to start off the episode with a little prelude before the title jump. We haven't seen this since the very first pilot episode aired back in April 2011. But me personally, I prefer a little hors d'oeuvre to whet the appetite before the main meal. Jumping straight into the credits after the HBO snow screen always seemed cheap and less cinematic to me in the past. So kudos to going back to the old format. Let's hope it's not just for this one episode.

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Thank Heaven I Was Born A Man!

A few months ago I wrote this piece specifying all the qualities, both physical as well as intellectual, that I found attractive in the opposite gender. Some of you may remember that, on the physical side of things, I tended to favor women with oblong faces and high cheekbones, with long dark hair and smoldering almond-shaped eyes. I mentioned how these traits naturally drew me toward the Asia Minor and Subcontinent parts of the world, as this is where you'll most likely find ladies embodying this particular classification of female perfection.

And then, the other day, I beheld this Aveda commercial for some hair product or technique I wasn't paying too much attention to, because it felt like a thunderbolt had struck me from the sky:

(You can find a longer, more detailed, version of this commercial by clicking here.)

And I think it's pretty clear why I was not paying so much attention to whatever the hell this commercial is selling, right? I mean, WOW! I had to rewind the DVR several times to behold the wonder I was seeing. Who was she? Why is she only doing Aveda commercials? By god, I must rush to the Internet and learn more!!!

And learn more I did. Well, sorta. It turns out that this very lovely woman is a relatively unknown fashion model from the Netherlands named Asal Soltani. She is of Persian and Dutch descent and, I believe, is currently working in Milan. Unfortunately, that was about the extent of all I could find out.


However, all was not lost. I did come back with some pretty hot pictures of Ms. Soltani, which I will share here of course. Since the majority of my readers are female, you must bear with me and allow me this one male indulgence. You all know me. I don't do this very often.

So, uh . . . yeah. She pretty much rocks my boat. I mean, hard! In particular her eyes are what really captivate me. She's not your typical looking runway model, which is a nice change. I'm so tired of the blonde, Nordic look. Aren't you?

Where are the Asal Soltani's of the world? If you're out there . . . call me, maybe.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Game of Thrones Reviews

Stannis is patiently waiting for Dragonstone
Cable to upgrade his HBO subscription.

So, that time is fast approaching us. In fact, the new season of Game of Thrones will begin in less than 13 hours. I can't believe we're finally here!

As you may recall, I've been doing recaps of each new episode for the past two seasons now. You can still find those recaps and impressions by clicking on the links below:

Season 1 recaps.
Season 2 recaps.

Unfortunately, due to time constraints and ongoing personal circumstances, I will not be able to provide such detailed and wordy services any longer. But fear not, I won't leave you completely hanging. Starting with tomorrow's episode, you will find on this very blog a review written each week by yours truly. It won't be anything too flashy or in-depth, just a normal length review with a grade at the end. The old format was just too much for me to keep up with. Especially since these episodes air late on a Sunday night when I have to go to bed for work bright and early the next morning.

Unfortunately again, HBO in their unending wisdom chose to air the season premiere on Easter Sunday of all days. D'oh! I'm going to be upstate in the countryside visiting family for most of the day, and will be pressed to even catch the episode on its original air date, let alone write up a review for it. So this is my way of saying to expect the first review rather late in the week. I will try for Wednesday at the latest, but hopefully you'll see it earlier. Keep your fingers crossed!

In the meantime, for those fans of the show who can't recall much of the complicated plot and machinations of the past two seasons (and don't worry, no one blames you!), here is a 10-minute recap in video form provided by those same kind folks at HBO. I hope this gets you back in the mood to visit Westeros and unending quest to claim the Iron Throne. On a side note, I wouldn't recommend watching this unless you've seen the first two seasons already. Newcomers won't be able to make much sense of what in the seven hells is going on here:

Hope you're getting ready. All the bloody fun and intrigue from last season will continue tomorrow night at 9:00 pm EST!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Because, You Knew It Was Coming

Does our fair khaleesi got herself a brand new ... army?

Yes, folks. That time is almost upon us. For the Night is dark and full of terror ... and Winter is coming!

Oh. My.

And, yes, that was a dragon on a chain. Stop for a moment and allow the enormity of what you just saw to sink in. A muther-fucking dragon on a muther-fucking CHAIN!!!! How sick is THAT?

Now that is what I call a trailer full of awesome! I bet some of you were wondering how long it would take for me to finally descend into Game of Thrones lunacy here on the Bimillennial Man as with previous years. What with Season 3 just a mere two weeks away, you must have wondered what was taking so long.

Well, see, I was waiting for the right promotional material to come along. And now I think we can get this party started!

What do you fans think? Especially those of you who have not read the books? What do you think this season will bring? Sound off in the comments section below.

I can tell you this much, as a book reader:

This is the season all of us in the know have been waiting for. Yes. If you thought the previous two seasons were spectacular (and, pfft! Why wouldn't you?), then you have to realize that everything you've seen thus far was really just a nice warm-up for much greater things to come! The third book in George R. R. Martin's ongoing multi-volume opus is probably the one tome that defines the series best. It's a pure masterpiece, no debate about it. And so massive that it's going to take two full seasons just to cover it in its entirety!

Let that sink in while, like myself, you press the replay on that there video clip up above and bask in the greatness of HBO again, and again, and again . . .

And, besides leaving your impressions in the comments, if anyone should have any questions about the upcoming season (NO SPOILERS!!!), please ask them of me and I shall do my best to answer (NO SPOILERS!!!).

Panama Trip - Day 1: Here There Be Balboas!

In late May, 2017 I embarked on a trip of a lifetime. A trip to Panama's steamy tropical province, Bocas del Toro. Now, before 2017 ...