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  • jeindeer 7:46 pm on April 19, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , indian food, won   

    #11: Naan tasting party 

    Sometimes adventures lead to more adventures. I think I’m much more likely to see opportunities now that I’ve trained myself to keep an eye out for them. 

    Sometimes the opportunities are delicious.

    A series of emails after I won the Boston Conservatory RENT tickets led to an invitation to a Naan-making lesson for contributors to CitySearch Boston, which had run the contest.  As meeting new people is always an adventure for me–and as I have no natural resistance to the promise of Indian food–I dutifully arrivde Mantra (warning: music autoplays through the restaurant web site) impressed by its swankiness but otherwise not sure what to expect.

    The event was not Naan-making so much as sipping sweet cocktails while witnessing the birth of Naan, but it was still a wondrous thing.  I didn’t know that Green Chili and Mozzarella Naan existed.  I’m not sure whether it exists elsewhere–but it should exist everywhere, as far as I’m concerned, because it was just delicious.  The workings of Tandoori ovens were illustrated for us, and we were invited to taste the spoils: delicious shrimp and succulent cubes of Tandoori chicken.  After writing this, there’s just no way my lunch tomorrow is going to stack up.

    The best part is that I met a handful of patently fantastic Bostonians–food bloggers and lovers of finding things to do.  They were a delight to meet and have added some local flavor to my twitter feed. One of them shared an apple cider foccacia recipe that’ll probably find its way into an adventure, one of these weeks. I’m looking forward to it!

  • jeindeer 7:51 pm on April 16, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , south boston, theater   

    #10: We’re Not Gonna Pay 

    I’m long belated and a little out of order, but I think that’s alright, because adventure #10 was all about breaking the rules and sticking it to the man.

    Musical theatrically, that is.

    As part of adventure #7: Win Week (which I’m still working on), I boldly retweeted for a chance to win two tickets to the Boston Conservatory production of RENT.  A few hours later, the seats were mine.  I polled the adventuring masses; that night, Rebecca and I headed to South Boston for the show.

    I’d never seen a production of RENT, although I was very familiar.  I tend to like theater lovers, and theater lovers tend to like belting choice ballads at the top of their lungs several times a road trip.  I love my friends unconditionally, but I had no such standing agreement with the songs: they were cows and seasons of love and restaurants in Santa Fe that I couldn’t quite parse.  Without any real RENT experience of my own, I only knew the images which were iconic to the point of parody.

    I did see those images in the Boston Conservatory production, but I also know enough about the show to know that they made it their own.  I wasn’t just impressed–I finally got why my friends always turned those songs up when they came on shuffle.  The acting was great, the casting different enough to keep me on my toes, and because the venue was such a huge, open industrial space the whole shebang seemed organic there.  I also don’t think I would have discovered that theater if not for winning the tickets.  It was all kinds of a learning experience.

    • adventurechaser 8:28 am on April 19, 2010 Permalink

      Thanks for taking me along. It was my first RENTal experience as well. Well played jeindeer.

  • jeindeer 1:39 pm on March 22, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , brattle theater, ,   

    #9: See James Ivory at the Brattle Theater 

    After having so much fun during the classic horror movie marathon at Brattle Theatre, I kept looking for an adventurous reason to go back.  That opportunity arose when they hosted a Q&A session with James Ivory from Merchant Ivory Productions.  James Ivory directed the movie versions of both The Remains of the Day and Howards End.  I’m not totally familiar with the process of making a film–I’m more of a book girl–so the talk was really informative.

    A few highlights:

    • Everyone (myself–until recently–included) assumes he’s English, but he’s not.  He finds this hilarious.  Personally, I’d also like to live my life so that people assume I’m from England.
    • He loved The Fantastic Mr. Fox, which reminded him of Ingmar Bergman’s The Magic Flute.
    • He feels that small historical details can give a movie the richness and atmosphere it needs, and mentioned a fact he learned while doing research for Jefferson in Paris: whenever anyone paid a call to the court of Louis XIV and mentioned his name, all men present had to take off their hats… including Louis XIV.

    It’s always inspiring to be the presence of someone who is great at and passionate about their craft.  Merchant Ivory Productions was headed up by a group of friends (a director, a producer, and a writer) who lived on different floors in the same apartment building, always ate breakfast together, and fought about and filmed great movies.  Hearing him speak about that communal creative process was quite inspiring.  I’ll definitely watch more of his films in the future.

  • jeindeer 10:53 am on March 7, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , books, code, codex seraphinianus, library   

    #8: Find the Codex Seraphinianus 

    My favorite book in the world is an encyclopedia of things which don’t exist.  The Codex Seriphinianus creates the trappings of a reference text in stunning detail—charts, graphs, categories, chapters, page numbers—but describes strange, bewildering and beautiful phenomenon not native to our world.  It is written in a curvilinear script with no known translation; the language may or not be meaningful, but researchers recently cracked its base-21 numbering system.

    A picture of the Codex in my lap on the library floor

    I first encountered the Codex during a college visit to an art library.  We were told to browse and report on random selections.  I received the Codex, and in some ways I’ve never put it down again, but I haven’t held a copy in years.  For my eighth adventure, I found it in the Boston Public Library.

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    • Judith 2:38 am on March 9, 2010 Permalink

      Wow. yearof52adventures.com deserves an oscar.

    • Lee Anne 11:25 am on April 19, 2010 Permalink

      I must read (or rather, ponder) this book! Amazon only has copies at $400, neither of the public library systems I have access to have it, but I have access to academic libraries. . .heehee.
      Thanks for sharing about this. I’m intrigued.

  • jeindeer 5:59 pm on February 20, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , contest, planning   

    #7: Win Week 

    I guess I felt lucky after that last quote. For adventure 7/52, I’ve been entering every free twitter raffle, mailing list random drawing, or other quirky web 2.0 giveaway that only requires an e-mail or twitter account.

    Seriously. Every single one. Trip to Iceland? Check. Arrangement of soap shaped like fortune cookies? Check. Cocoa butter caramels? Sure. Cotton necklace scarves? Put my username in the hat for that. The only limit is that I hit up only vouched-for and reputable sources, no “xtreem ring tones” or “complete 8 gold offers” or anything like that—but as for the prizes? I’m casting the net extremely wide, and seeing where, or what, it gets me.

    I can imagine you canny web users thinking “that’s a bad idea,” but you needn’t fret. Since my goal isn’t to get spammed out of my skin or drive everyone who knows/follows me insane, I’ve created a new (but 100% truthful) e-mail address and a dedicated twitter feed for this adventure. I’ve discovered that there’s an entire culture surrounding “frees” and “review giveaways.” Anyway, we’ll see if I’ve got what it takes to RT #Giveaways with the best of ‘em.

    Wish me luck! Or at least perseverance. There’s a lot of clicking involved. Even if I don’t end up coated with swag (I have little expectation of winning), it’s already been a fascinating study in web marketing.

    • wip78 3:24 pm on February 22, 2010 Permalink

      OOOO! I hope you win some great infomercial items like the Miracle Blades or the “Perfect Push-up”. Good luck to you , my friend!!!

  • jeindeer 3:10 pm on February 18, 2010 Permalink | Reply  

    “Wiseman discovered that lucky people also score significantly higher in openness than unlucky people do. “Lucky people are open to new experiences in their lives…. They don’t tend to be bound by convention and they like the notion of unpredictability,” he notes. As such, lucky people travel more, encounter novel prospects and welcome unique opportunities. Expectation also plays a role in luck. Lucky people expect good things to happen, and when they do they embrace them.”

    Michael Shermer in “As Luck Would Have It,” an Scientific American article on Richard Wiseman’s studies of self-identified lucky people. Read more.
  • jeindeer 7:26 pm on February 15, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , reading, the t   

    #6: Finish Infinite Jest 

    The cover of infinite jestI tend to go through pleasure reading pretty quickly, but I’m not used to books which weigh as much as a healthy baby. Case in point: if Infinite Jest were in fact a healthy baby, by the time I finished reading, it would be able to play peek-a-boo and drink from a sippy cup. Seven long months. At almost 1,100 pages of tiny, end note-strewn text, it has enough physical and emotional bulk to justify my reading time, but it’s still been on my shelf for roughly forever. I read other books, too; I moved to New England; I started grad school; it has infinite in the name. For every week I couldn’t put it down, there was a week when the only progress I made was a couple of pages during one night’s dinner. Even then I’d gush about it to my bewildered friends—”you won’t believe how they tell time,” “I can’t believe he/she/it has first-person segments now!”—but there was always a new revelation to digest and, just as important,  wonder why I was so effected.

    By six months I was in up to my neck, and there was still a novella’s worth of content left. I was humbled. I just needed to finish it. After paring down what remained a couple of times, decided that this would be an adventure. I’d just sit down and finish Infinite Jest. Since the story takes place in Boston—and makes frequent mention of the green line—I decided to up the ante and read the last hundred pages while riding the T. I have a monthly pass, so I don’t get charged for individual rides. I’d just start in the morning and ride branches of the green line until I was finished.

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  • jeindeer 10:00 pm on February 3, 2010 Permalink | Reply  


    My adventure this week isn’t to procrastinate while doing homework–I’m just doing that extracurricularly–but I’ve been poking around on the internet anagram server. Anagrams for “fifty two adventures” include…

    A vow-entrusted fifty
    A vested, witty runoff
    A fervid twenty tofus
    A overfed, fun twit sty
    (I’m sure the IAS says this with utmost love and respect)
    Wafted nervy outfits
    True fated nifty vows

    And my personal favorite,

    Defeatist: try fun vow.

    Did I miss any? Are you, too looking for an extracurricular procrastination destination?


    • Anonymous 8:07 am on February 4, 2010 Permalink

      awww, adventuregrams are the best grams. Thanks jeindeer!

    • Chyna 9:51 am on May 3, 2011 Permalink

      Thanks for shriang. Always good to find a real expert.

  • jeindeer 11:11 am on February 1, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , horror,   

    #5: Classic Horror Triple Feature 

    My love-hate relationship with creepy movies has a simple cause: they work way too well on me. It’s one thing when the story’s good, but even the most embarrassing plot twist leaves me clutching at my chest. I appreciate the craft of creepiness. I’m always on the lookout for written horror or suspense. My favorite author of all time is Shirley Jackson, who wrote the short story “The Lottery”—you know, the oft-anthologized high school English staple where New England villagers gossip about the big event that will happen that afternoon (I won’t spoil the uninitiated, but there’s a link at the bottom of the post).

    Movies are different. Without my imagination to mediate, I’m at the mercy of shrill string soundtracks and ghouls leaping suddenly onscreen. I can’t really hold my own, dignity-wise. As the wise friend I’ve deemed my official horror movie ambassador will attest, I make noises.

    (More …)

  • jeindeer 12:30 am on January 26, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , italian food, kitchen, pasta, recipe   

    #4: Cooking Spaghetti al Limone 

    When in Rome, when it’s summer, try the spaghetti al limone.

    My younger sister and I were lucky enough to visit our father in Germany last summer. I’d just graduated college, and the chance to think in travel itineraries instead of real-world milestones was almost as enchanting as the landmarks I could see. I’m thankful for that amazing opportunity. Rome was an absolute dream. I wanted to take it all in at a fever pace, but as a redhead with a German-Canadian’s cold weather constitution, no amount of gelato could keep me cool enough for unbroken touring. My heart was in the Coliseum but my body temperature was at Mount Vesuvius.

    Just after Aventine Hill, we stumbled into a cafe for some mineral water and a fortifying dose of carbs. I couldn’t face a hearty Bolognese with my pasta; even marinara was out of the question. So I chose something that seemed tart, summery, and–prophetically?–adventurous: a creamy, lemony pasta.

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    • Kelly Smith 4:18 pm on January 26, 2010 Permalink

      mmmmmm! When i was in Sienna I had the best pasta ever. Spaghetti with Garlic Olive Oil infused with pepperoncini peppers. It was absolutely amazing. It was hot, like I drank a whole bottle of water myself hot. But the olive oil was so amazing. I bought a bottle from a local store in Sienna and tried to make it at home. It never came out right. I’m going to start looking for a recipe online to see if I can find something similar.

    • Anonymous 4:08 pm on January 30, 2010 Permalink


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