Synapses, Soup, Scandal and Alicia Keys

Every now and then I see a photo that will cause my brain to go into search the archives mode. I can almost feel synapses firing that haven’t been used in years and years. Those obscure brain connections take me to a place where I can see pictures, smell smells, feel the briskness of fall or the heat of summer.

The photo above is of a neighborhood in New York City called Crown Heights. It’s in the borough of Brooklyn. And although I’m pretty sure I’ve never been to Crown Heights, this photo takes me back to my coming of age in New York City.

The architecture, the trees, the fall shadows, are all so familiar. Seeing this photo is like taking a trip without ever leaving home.

This week the weather finally changed a bit. Well, for this area it changed. It wasn’t anything too dramatical. (is dramatical a word?) We really don’t have seasons here. Our weather is more like constant Spring with a few rainy days, a few cool days and a few warm days.

So, now we are having a few cool days. Not cool by the standards of the rest of the country but cool for here. And, there’s nothing like cool weather to make me crave certain things. Things like cuddling, sweaters, leather backpacks and soup!

This week I actually made soup. I used chicken stock, sausage, onions, mushrooms, corn and jasmine rice. I seasoned it only with pepper and a little margarine.

I let it simmer for about 40 minutes and the result was oh so satisfying! I really enjoyed it and The Girlfriend enjoyed it too. And, after we ate we cuddled on the sofa! Soup and cuddling in the same fall evening, what could be better!

The internets are abuzz with debate about the TV show Scandal. The show, which airs on Thursday nights (which is tonight as I write this) and stars the stunningly beautiful Kerry Washington (whom I am told smells like honey and almonds).

Lot’s of women, especially Black women seem to love the show. And, supposedly lots of men, especially Black men hate the show.  And, of course, there are outliers. Like me, a Black woman who hates the show and lots of Black men who, maybe don’t love the show, but certainly like it.

Most of the controversy stems from the sordid affair the main character, Olivia Pope played by Kerry, is having with a White dude who is the President of the United States.

My problem with the storyline is two-fold. First, the show is very daytime soap opera-ish to me. And I’m no fan of soap operas. Second, it’s annoying to me that for a group of people that are so lacking in representation on network TV to have the only show starring a Black women to feature a plot where she is having an affair with a married guy.

The show which is set in Washington, D.C. and modelled after an actual real life person, in my opinion, could have been a fascinating political drama. Which considering the often crazy antics and generally incompetent governance of the political class in the Nation’s capitol would have been right on time.

But, no, we get some trashy, overwrought, overacted, wordy, nighttime soap opera. I just wish for more. Much more.

Finally, Alicia Keys in the last few years has been seriously branching out from her singing and songwriting roots. She’s acted, produced Broadway plays and television movies. Well, AK continues to expand her reach by executive produceing and producing the music for a new film called The Inevitable Defeat of Mister & Pete.

The film stars one of my very favorite actors Jeffrey Wright along with Anthony Mackie, Jordin Sparks and Jennifer Hudson.

Those of you who have been reading this blog for a while know that when it comes to films I love two elements in my films. The first, the coming of age genre. The second, New York City. And, this film is guess what? A coming of age film set in New York! Whoopie!

The film opens today, October 11! So, check your local theaters. And, of course, if you see it please let me know what you thought of it.


Do certain photos take you back?
Are you a soup person?
Do you watch Scandal?
Does AK’s new film sound interesting?


18 thoughts on “Synapses, Soup, Scandal and Alicia Keys

  1. I have an uncalled for hate for soup. LOL.

    People keep trying to convince me to start watching Scandal and I know I haven’t watched it to know for sure but, to me, it seems like exactly what you described — a glorified night-time soap opera. I just can’t bring myself to watch it because it seems so unappealing to me.

    • Lol. Well, I won’t question your hate for soup if you don’t question my hate for mac & cheese.

      Yeah, either one is a soap fan or not. There doesn’t seem to be any middle ground on that.

  2. So in sync with you on that brain synapses thing! I get it too! Soon as I saw the pic I was back there!!! :))) New York has some really charming ambiance and scenes. I love it!

    Soup, I love it! The one you made sounds delish!

    Scandal, what you said! I totally agree!

    Cuddling? Weeeeell…. been so long I haven’t cuddled, well actually yes I have, with my pillow…;D

    Alicia, she’s fab and a quietly special lady.

    • I know, right. There is just something about NY that gets in your blood and in your head!

      It was really good. I was inspired! 🙂

      Pillow cuddling is nice too. 🙂

      Yep, she’s amazing.

  3. The movie looks interesting, not sure if I will attend theaters to watch but you know I’m looking to see if I can catch on Amazon movies, next week. I feel you on the soup, and the soup you described sounds delicious. I don’t think people understand how great soup can be in the fall weather. Especially on Subdays. Especially during a great football game. And let’s don’t talk about how good the soup tastes on the serving before bedtime. Lol.

    Question: do you eat sweet cornbread? I gotta ask.

    I can’t get into Scandal. I honestly do not understand its appeal. I wonder how do people on Twitter get so all into it. Lol. Whenever I see a man hyping Scandal, I admit, it bothers me. And I love Kerry Washington.

    • Aren’t you a movie theater going person? I thought you were. It does look interesting.

      Yep, soup can be a perfect meal. And, it’s surprisingly easy to make. Cornbread. Heck yeah, when I can get it. Lol. I’ve never made it. Why, don’t you like it?

      I tried to watch it but I just could watch moe than 10 minutes of it. Lol@guys liking Scandal bothering you. Yeah, gotta love Kerry.

  4. The soup sounds scrumptious! I’ve never made soup before. ..gotta try it one day. I love Scandal! I can see how I’m addicted. I was addicted to As The World Turns,The Guiding Light and The Young and the Restless. Yeah…I’m hooked. It’s still too hot down here for all that cuddling. Imma need a cold front to come through…and for the flashes to stop.

    • You already know I’m not really a cook, BC. Lol. So, if I can make it then I know you can. It was much more simple than I thought it would be. I think the key was the base. I bought some good stock from Trader Joe’s.

      Well, yeah if you are a soap opera person then Scandal is definitely the show for you. Wow, it’s still hot there? Yikes.


  5. I love soups. I will try anything once, even if it has something I don’t necessarily eat, like kale. Chili and soups are really good in the fall. I just remembered I have a butternut squash in my fridge and need to get on that before it goes bad.
    I wasn’t soo much into Scandal, and I’m kind of getting over the whole premise of the show. I wonder if there will be different dimensions to it because right now it is loosing its appeal to me.
    I love Anthony Mackie, but I don’t like that beard on him. The fresh look works better for him. I’m too broke to go to the movies, but it does peak my interest. Considering I saw her stage play like 2 years ago (with Mehki, and others, the name escapes me) I would def. give it a chance.
    I definitely have pictures that do that to me, so even when I’m in NY– and I feel much different about it now than I did in the past, it still brings back memories. Not to mention, it’s a beautiful playground for a camera.
    Thanks for sharing.

    • Kale is okay but it requires a lot of seasoning and to be cooked for a long time. How are you going to cook the butternut squash? I have never cooked one.

      Lol. Yeah, the whole show is about the affair. It could have been so much more.

      Anthony Mackie looks a little Mr T-ish on that poster.

      Have you fallen out of love with New York? 😦

      • I’ve never cooked it, but I enjoyed the kale soup I tried once. I’m going to look up a recipe and post it (for the butternut squash). It’s an intimidating vegetable but it’s so good!
        I like your question, Val. I wouldn’t say I’ve fallen out of love, but I would say I admire it from a distance now. Kind of like that ex in our lives– still thankful for what was– not wishing to replicate it. 🙂

      • That’s interesting. I guess I sort of feel the same. The longer I’m away from NY the more I miss it. But, with that said, I doubt if I’d want to live in the city proper again. I think I would feel claustrophobic there now. Maybe somewhere upstate at some point though.

      • I could see you living upstate. The further up you, the simple life gets. I lived an hour away from Montreal, the only thing I liked about that town was the proximity to Quebec. I am trying to steal a trip to Montreal in December. I know it’s going to be freezing but I wanna!!

      • Montreal seems like such an interesting city. I’d love to visit. And, travelling in winter is the best, IMO. You get the best prices and less crowds. Make sure you have some poutine for me! 🙂

  6. That soup sounds like the business Val!!! I love to cook. Last week I made jambalaya. I’m still finding my way around in my new digs so I had to do some looking to find a neighborhood place to find some nice shrimp…..but I found a place. I definitely stuck my foot in that jambalaya.

    I really like Jeffrey Wright. If there were a “Reggie” movie, I’d want either Jeffrey or Terrance Howard to play my role. Serious……….I’m gonna have to blog that right now!!!

    Honey and almonds huh?!? Yeah, Kerry looks like she smells like honey and almonds. I can see that.

    • Mmm, jambalaya sounds good too. Do you use shrimp or prawns in it?

      You want Senior Baby Wipes to play you? Lol I think Jeffrey is amazing. He has amazing screen presence.

      I can’t wait to read you blog about your move. I hope everything is going well. 🙂

      • I always use shrimp. I prefer medium shrimp, because I believe they are tastier than the large ones.

        Everything is well……….why you gotta call my man Senior Baby Wipes?!?

      • How in the world do you not know that his official nickname is Senor Baby Wipes?! (Sorry, I misspelled senor). Lol Anyway, just go0gle “Senor Baby Wipes”. Then you’ll see why I along with most other Black folks call him this.

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