If your vegetable peeler is dull, peel with the opposite hand. The loss in time by using your less coordinated hand will be more than made up for by the speed the sharp and typically unused edge on the opposite side offers.
This probably won't work if you're a lefty living with a bunch of right-handers, but for me it worked wonders. However, it meant I succeeded in completing my cooking prep tasks, but now my lentil stew is cooking, and it is cooking very very slowly because I made a stupid amount. Also for the first time I used brown lentils instead of orange lentils. When Beth sent me the recipe she told me "orange lentils turn mushy, brown ones keep their shape". This is apparently true. More problematically, it also means that the resulting agglutination that normally is created has instead been replaced by a soupy base. Also, the lentils aren't cooked yet. I would like to go to bed now. I wonder if I leave the stove on low all night what would happen.
Instead, I will regale you with my executive summary of the 2006 24-Hour V Movie Marathon
, which should not be read by anyone who's even remotely sensitive or likely to be offended:
1. LADY TERMINATOR - 80's Thai (?) TERMINATOR knockoff, so naturally it features (RASA SPOILER FOR SOMETHING YOU LEARN IN THE FIRST TWO MINUTES) a woman with a snake in her vagina that kills men by biting their cocks off. Also a shitload of guns. Anyway, this fucking rules. Never a dull moment, plenty of batshit insane ones, lots of great bad dubbing, super powers added at the 11th hour, and the infinitely quotable line "I'm not a lady, I'm an anthropologist!"
2. STREETS OF FIRE - never saw this before - it's a 80's rock and roll musical, but cross-bred with the 50's, cross-bred with westerns, and vaguely sci-fi. (I turned to Annette at one point and said, "He's from the town where the motorcycles are from." And in the movie, it's true.) Pretty enjoyable, Walter Hill's an energizing filmmaker. Willem Dafoe's hair, though, is problematic.
3. BURIAL GROUND - an Italian zombie film that turned out to be completely unscary and turgid but at least was intermittently wildly entertaining in its ineptitude, and astonishingly perverse to boot. (It says something that this film has a better sex scene than the actual sex movie in the 'thon, though it mostly says something about Italians, but the whole sub-plot with the man-boy and his mom ... oh my.) Plus the only film I've seen where zombies make extensive use of tools, which puts them one up on the human protagonists in this film. There's even a ninja zombie who shoots a blow dart ... no, look, stop laughing, I'm serious ... oh, never mind. Fine then, I won't tell you what the other one does with a scythe.
4. CRANK - the only new film that showed at the festival, and everyone who I've described it to says "like SPEED, only human!" - the concept is that our protagonist is injected with some kind of drug and unless he keeps his adrenaline level elevated, he dies. Chaos ensues. Completely reprehensible and absolutely entertaining. The sort of film an editor loves to watch, because you know how much fun they had editing it.
5. TROLL 2 - everyone knows that Nilbog is goblin spelled backwards, right? A hard sit insofar as I've watched it once already this year, and it plays much better fresh, but seeing it with a room of unwitting people was a treat, and if you haven't seen it and love bad films you really must. Even better, afterwards we had a call from the father in the film, who's now a dentist in Alabama, and only recently discovered the burgeoning cult following. Apparently the Italians who directed the film spoke no English, so everybody was pretty much freewheeling their performances, and most of the actors (locally recruited in Utah, where it was shot) hadn't done much acting beyond high school theater. Gee, go figure.
6. TOP SECRET! - yup, the 80's Val Kilmer comedy. It holds up surprisingly well, although by current comedy standards it's leisurely paced; two things that surprised me were the high hit-to-miss ratio of the jokes and the number of jokes about filmmaking. (For instance, when a German picks up a phone that seems to be in the foreground, and it turns out just to be a large phone.)
7. BEHIND LOCKED DOORS - unreedemably tedious and unpleasant (as in long, uncomfortable rape or near-rape scenes) without actually being transgressively interesting. Although it is kind of interesting/creepy that the guy who locks the doors (so to speak) looks like a dead ringer for Henry Kissinger.
8. LISZTOMANIA - I've loved this film from my only viewing on a pan & scan VHS eight years ago, and seeing a near-pristine 35mm print of it was pretty much a religious experience. (I think just about everyone else hated it.) What makes the film is the audacity of the direction it goes with the ending. I dare not speak more, other than to say that I first discovered this film when Jim O'Rourke claimed in an interview his hobby was trying to figure out how LISZTOMANIA was funded. If you can get money for Roger Daltrey playing Franz Liszt, with Ringo Starr as the Pope, you can get money for anything. Or, perhaps, you can never get money for anything again.
9. THUNDERBIRDS ARE GO! - I didn't grow up with the thunderbirds, but this movie is really fucking boring. I swear it opens with a ten minute spaceship getting ready to launch sequence. It's an exciting exercise in puppetry and production design, but as a movie it blows.
10. TO LIVE AND DIE IN LA - A film I've been meaning to see for years and years but never got around to it. A bit slow in pace to play this late in the 'Thon, and the cliched opening meant it took a while to get into it (in the first post-credit scene, our hero cop gives his retiring partner a fishing rod, but the partner has to do one last job before he retires - care to guess how that goes?), but still really fucking good.
11. HOLY MOUNTAIN - Not sure if it's mean or brilliant to play this after 18 hours of consecutive movie watching. I'd never seen any films by crazed Mexican mystic Alejandro Jodorowsky before, and was shocked that despite it being very easy to argue it's a load of crap it sort of seemed like a masterpiece. (*TINY LITTLE SPOILER*) It says something when you're watching a movie where suddenly a guy's breasts turn into tigers and he's shooting milk into another guy's mouth, and you don't even *react* because it's just par for the course. If only he'd succeeded in getting John Lennon to star in the film.
12. BLACK AGENT LUCKY KING - Never heard of this blaxploitation film before? There's a reason. (Apparently it's also called SOLOMON KING, should you be trying to find these films on IMDB. Which I recommend, at least in the case of TROLL 2, as it has some of the funniest user reviews ever.) Pretty much the lamest crimefighter of all time. Also a crap print, so it's possible that all the action scenes have disappeared over the years. (Other reports indicate that there were three reels missing. I thought I didn't fall asleep for that long.)
13. INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS - Never saw this before. Fanbloodytastic. I didn't have any idea how it would end, and it's perfect. Plus it's got Leonard Nimoy!
In sum, or if you were too lazy to read the above:
RECOMMENDED FOR PEOPLE WHO LIKE GOOD MOVIES: INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS, TO LIVE AND DIE IN LA
RECOMMENDED FOR PEOPLE WHO LIKE ENTERTAINING MOVIES: CRANK, TOP SECRET!, STREETS OF FIRE
RECOMMENDED FOR PEOPLE WHO LIKE BAD MOVIES: LADY TERMINATOR, TROLL 2
RECOMMENDED FOR PEOPLE WHO LIKE INSANE MOVIES: LISZTOMANIA, HOLY MOUNTAIN
RECOMMENDED FOR PEOPLE WHO ARE MASOCHISTIC IN THEIR LOVE OF BAD FILMS: BURIAL GROUND
RECOMMENDED FOR PEOPLE WHO HAVE INSOMNIA: BLACK AGENT LUCKY KING, THUNDERBIRDS ARE GO!
RECOMMENDED FOR NOBODY: BEHIND LOCKED DOORS
Should you require more detail - like 22,000 words more, including copious spoilers, and a reveal of my "net handle" on the Headstrong board (ooh, the suspense!) - go here
The lentils still aren't cooked. And I think I might have just added too much chili paste. Hmmm.