Life hasn’t been all that eventful recently. At work, I finished a record audit that I’ve spent the last month plowing through with little more than a daily lunch break to maintain my sanity. …So that’s nice. At home, the cat has learned how to leap onto my shoulders from nearly any elevated surface. …So that’s nice. I finished my second play-through of the Mass Effect trilogy with a completely paragon (there were numerous near misses) femshep. …So that’s nice. And I submitted a few job applications into the void of staggeringly unrealistic employer expectations. …So that’s nice.
The other day, to stave off hunger and make myself feel a little more domestic, I cleaned the kitchen and made these. …they were really nice.
Spicy Chicken Tacos
- 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 red onion, thinly sliced
- 1 jalapeño, stemmed, seeded, and roughly chopped
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 2 chipotles in adobo, plus 1 tablespoon of sauce
- 1 cup chicken stock or low-sodium broth
- 2 ears of corn, kernels sliced off
- 1/2 cup crumbled queso fresco
- 2 tablespoons fresh juice from 2 limes
- 8 corn tortillas, warmed
- 1/2 cup picked cilantro leaves
- 2 ripe avocados, pitted and sliced
- Lime wedges and thinly sliced scallions, for serving
- In the same pot over medium heat, add onion and jalapeño and cook, stirring frequently, until softened, about 2 minutes. Stir in cumin and oregano until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add chipotles and their sauce, stirring to combine, and cook for 1 minute. Add broth and nestle the chicken back in the pot. Adjust heat to maintain a gentle simmer and cook until the chicken is cooked through, about 5 minutes; season with salt and pepper. Using a slotted spoon, transfer chicken to a clean plate. Allow cooking liquid to reduce slightly.
- Meanwhile, shred chicken with 2 forks. Return chicken and any accumulated juices to the pot and cook until warmed through, about 3 minutes.
- In a small bowl, combine corn with feta, seasoning with 1 tablespoon of lime juice and pepper.
- Stir remaining 1 tablespoon lime juice into chicken, then spoon onto the tortillas. Serve with the corn salsa, cilantro, avocado, lime wedges, and scallions.
- Coworker: I took that ancient elevator between the hospital and the med school today and I had to pull the emergency break because it was shaking so violently. I actually thought I might die.
- Me: Well...It's only two floors so you'd probably survive even if it did drop.
- Coworker: Shut up Bryan.
- The Boys In the Band by Mart Crowley – Strangely engaging as a cultural artifact of the 1970s, The Boys in the Band has received a well-deserved amount of flak for its unkind depiction of gay men. That said, I was struck by the tragic and (judging by my research) relatively accurate commentary on the nature of gay life in the 1970s (substance abuse was, and still is, ravaging the GLBT community). I suggest that you read this with a critical eye, but I think it’s worth it.
- The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen – This was great. While admittedly rather pretentious, the writing is splendid and Mr. Franzen’s stunningly accurate description of debilitating mental illness and family dynamics is worth every moment of your time. More than once I found myself thinking about my own family and, while I can only speculate, I think Mr. Franzen would consider that a success.
- The Fault in Our Stars by John Green – Speaking of illness, this wasn’t bad either. The Fault in Our Stars is cute and “touching”, but ultimately a bit too “twee” for my taste. Even with their terminal cancer and the maturity that such illness often grants its victims, both main characters seemed unrealistically perceptive and intelligent for their age. As for the romance, I found myself eye-rolling so many times that I thought the condition might be permanent. There’s no conceivable way that teenagers could ever be that smooth. If you want some YA fiction, you’d be better off reading The Perks of Being A Wallflower.
- Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep by Philip K. Dick – A (or, perhaps, the) sci-fi noir, this infamous little novel quickly accelerated to the top of the science fiction genre when it was published way back in 1968. It’s hard to appreciate now, what with the vast troves of gritty science fiction available to readers today, just how remarkably new this novel really was. Still, It has weathered old age remarkably well and it’s loose film adaptation has achieved the kind of cult following that it deserves. Considering the size and frenzied nature of this book, I suggest that you read it in a single sitting for the full effect.
LP - Into the Wild
I’m obsessing like everyone else on the internet, but I don’t care. NPR’s All Songs Considered played an LP song the other day and I kinda fell in love. I’m partial to ‘Night Like This’ and ‘Wasted Love,’ but I’m a real big fan of ‘Into the Wild’. It’s a summer jam for those days spent ambling around the city and sipping cocktails by a pool.
I don’t want to be the guy who rails on the “fundamentalists” (they’re terribly easy targets), but this appeared on my Facebook page in the early morning hours and it rubbed me the wrong way.
In case you’ve been living under a rock, Palestine, Israel, and Lebanon are engaged in a fierce and bloody conflict that shows little sign of abating any time soon. Casualties are high, families are being torn apart, and the entire Middle East seems poised on the brink of utter disaster.
But, yeah, everything’s great and dandy because your prayers were answered! Your head is dry! Isn’t God great?!
Give. Me. A. Break.
The Moral: If you’re going to say these kinds of thing, as is your right, please be conscious of the things going on around you.