Sunday, August 29, 2010

yumyumyumyumyum (with update!)

These are my apples.

This is my pie.

This is my mess.

This is the yay (in a non-pictured way):

I totally wrapped my dough around the rolling pin and laid it out in the pie plate without it tearing/sticking/screaming. Both times!

This is the nay:

As pretty as it looked (and it did look pretty), it was just okay. Like it was trying too hard. Like the caster sugar and the brown sugar had broken up but were trying to be friends for the sake of the pie while all the other ingredients took sides. Lines were drawn. Things got ugly.

Ooh-I-totally-get-that now:

So apparently, to 'core' an apple, you don't need a fancy shmancy machine. Or even a buy-one-get-one-free machine from the dollar store. And you don't have to stab the apple multiple times with apple blood squirting everywhere like a bad impression of Psycho. You just cut it into quarters and then remove the core pieces.


Thursday, August 26, 2010

Rhubarb, rhubarb, rhubarb.

Do you know what's fantastic? Cornstarch.

Seriously. It is the secret hero behind every pie. All the goodness of your favourite fruit is just bleh without the gooeyness and that's thanks to cornstarch.

I don't know how it does it. Or what it's made of. I'm assuming corn. Iunno. But still: fantastic.

Last week I made this peach pie.

I'm not a huge fan of peaches unless they're baked. I feel fuzziness and I think mold.

After I turned the oven on, I floured up the counter and started rolling out the dough. My Glee soundtrack was playing on my iPod. I'd turned way up to counter the irritating grating of my sister's voice. Suddenly, I thought I smelled burning so I pulled out my earphones to check.

Let's review that sentence.

I thought I smelled burning, so I pulled out my earphones so I could smell better.

Yeah. Yeah, I don't get it either, but it's a good thing I did because I opened up the oven door and blegh, billowing smoke.

Apparently, the last time I made a pie, it had dripped over the edge and hadn't been cleaned, so now it was buuuuuuurning up.

Yeah, yum.

We pretty much just let it burn itself up (there wasn't much) and by the time the pie was ready to go in, the kitchen was a smoke-free area.

It turned out really well. Lots of yummy.

The next day--since we had a big box of peaches--I made Peach Crumb Bars, which were doughy and plain and not particularly peachy. I'm not sure how come they weren't all that peachy since there were more peaches in it than there were in the pie. But, hey, the ice cream was good.

Today, I decided to make Strawberry Rhubarb pie again. I really like picking my own rhubarb (not all from the same spot, thereby not leaving a big gap in the garden this time). Makes me feel all outdoorsy. Like I don't shriek at creepy crawlers and madly run/hop away when I see a spider.

Also, I really love rhubarb.

Isn't it pretty?

And the stalks make great swords. I mean, if I had to choose a vegetable for a sword fight, I would totally choose rhubarb. Cucumber wouldn't stand a chance.

And see? Even the thrown away bits are pretty! Carrot thrown away bits totally get pwned.

And you know what makes a fantastic salad? Rhubarb leaves. Especially if someone you hate is coming for dinner.

By the way, if the pictures look a little faded, it's not them. It's you. Actually it's your computer screen doing what I asked it to do when I designed this blog. Whatever. Just click and you'll see them in their full colour glory.

Oh! Oh! 'Nother cool thing about rhubarb: tricking people into eating it raw. Heh.
I'm done praising rhubarb now.
Oh! And on stage, when you see people in the background talking, they're not, they're saying 'Rhubarb, rhubarb rhubarb. Rhubarb? Rhuuuubarb!'

Okay, now I'm really done.

Imma go eat some pie.


Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Wikipedia says I'm one in a thousand One in two thousand ;)

Today I went to the eye doctor.

"Do you remember last time we talked about the particularities of your eyes? They're..." He gestured.

"Pointy." I said.

"Cone-like, not the typical curve, more..."


He shrugged. "Pointy."

Apparently, now they're even pointier than they were two years ago. And thinner. And just a tad bumpy, which is a really weird image. So now I'll probably have to get some procedure where my eyes shoot lasers. Or lasers are shot into my eyes, but that's not what I'm gonna tell people.

Therefore this evening, I made pancakes. :)

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Does that make it healthy?

Hey, did you know carrot cake has actual carrot in it?

Thursday, August 12, 2010

(the books are better)

Dear True Blood writers:

Every time I hear:

"Shall we?"

"We shall."

I wanna barf. FYI.


Tuesday, August 10, 2010

All I know about football is that it's not soccer.

This week has been interesting.

On Friday, I went to my first football game. The only thing I know about football is that they paint black under their eyes and look like me when I walk out of the shower with mascara and eyeliner smeared across my cheekbones.

All day long, it rained. Our seats were not under cover. I was actually okay with this until a bird flew overhead.
The cheerleaders wore shiny, orange knee-high boots with thick kitten heels. It's like they were asking me to mock them.
In our wet seats (apparently you're supposed to wear black so it doesn't look like you peed your pants when you stand up, but no one told me this. I wore blue jeans. My solution was to not stand up.), we watched as five guys sat in front of us. Five stereotypical jock morons.

At least one of them was witty. He was mildly entertaining.

Every time something good happened, they would stand up, thus blocking our view of the good thing happening.

I didn't care so much, as I wouldn't recognize a spectacular moment of football history if it wasn't part of a montage on YouTube, but still. Not cool, stereotypical jock morons. Not cool.

I'd like to describe the game, honestly I would, but it really wasn't the star of the show. Most of the time, people were more excited to get a wave going than watch the same thing over and over again, ten yards a part. I guess I expected a whistle of some sort, like in soccer. On stage, it would be an introduction. I think there's a whistle in hockey too. Something to say, we're starting, shut up and watch.

There wasn't a whistle. Maybe we just couldn't hear it but a blowhorn would have been greatly appreciated. I didn't even notice when the game officially began because one of the cheerleaders had missed the stand-with-your-feet-together memo and her obliviousness was amusing me.

At half time, two Elvis impersonators performed and I was totally distracted by the potential scenario of one of them meeting Elvis' daughter. How awkward would that be? "Nice to meet you, I'm faking your father."

I have no idea how the second half of the game went 'cause I was chowing down on Skittles. They gave me a headache 'cause I hadn't eaten much beforehand, but it was worth it.

The rain stopped for a while and then it began misting as our team began losing in that not-gonna-make-a-comeback kinda way. When there was only five minutes left, crowds of people left. Just hunkered their way down the bleachers and gone. The game was not over.

During Princess and the Pea, an old couple figured they'd beat the line-ups by leaving right at the end of the Christmas song. Unfortunately, at the very end of the Christmas song, we all danced offstage, down the aisle and out the door the same way they were going, so we got stuck behind them. The cast. Dancing and singing the same song over and over and over again because this couple had thought they'd make a quick getaway. Rude. And boy did they look stupid.

Those last five minutes of the game lasted a good fifteen. Twelve second plays. Nine seconds, stop the clock.

I kept myself entertained by people-watching. One guy went as far down the bleachers as he could go and mooned the spectators before a security guard reached him. One guy lifted his infant child up to do the wave like in Lion King. One woman wore a bedazzled headband that I must have.

Our team lost. I pretended to care. But hey, at least I know now our team colours. That's something, right?

Friday, August 6, 2010


I like to read TV transcripts.

It's much quicker than watching episodes, doesn't take forever to download, and I can placate myself with the assurance that I'm reading, not wasting away in front of a TV.

I read all of La Femme Nikita a couple weeks ago. Such a good show. Then I read Alias. Then Tru Calling. Now True Blood.

True Blood is actually based on the Sookie Stackhouse books by Charlaine Harris. I didn't realize the two were related, my bad, or I would have started watching at the beginning. I haven't actually read the books, just a short story and I got confused 'cause backstory was needed.

The only True Blood transcripts online that I could find go up to the eighth episode of season one. The transcriptionist (transcriptor?) decided to replace any and all swear words with 'Snip!'

So in the middle of a random comment, there'll be a Snip! censor glaring at me. If it didn't amuse me to create long-winded run-on curses to replace each Snip!--most of which are probably much more creative than the ones actually used--it'd annoy the Snip! outta me. 

Also, True Blood characters are Southern. All of 'em. 'Cept for the murderer, but all the regulars have the funky Southern accent, which is cute and sweet until it's so cute and so sweet and I just want to whack 'em all with an English textbook.

Also, Stephen Moyer? Not a fan.

(Is anyone else endlessly amused that Stephen Moyer plays a vampire like the ones Stephanie Meyer created? Anyone? No? just me then.)

Is a toadstool a mushroom?

Today I had two brilliant ideas.

1) Make a gooey, cinnamony sweet Strawberry Rhubarb Pie and

2) Cut my fingernails into upside down V's, making them super sharp and pointy and then walk around pretending to be Queen of the Damned.

(Apparently Anne Rice ditched the whole Born-Again-Christian thing and is now a Born-Again-Fantasy-Writer. I look forward to more metrosexual creepiness in books to come.) 
To be honest, the pie wasn't so much an idea as an opportunity 'cause we had strawberries that would go moldy if not used soon. I picked the rhubarb from the garden myself and felt very Anne of Green Gables.

Sidenote: if I were miniature and seeking shelter in a garden, I would hide under the rhubarb leaves. Mushrooms smell funny. Plus they can make you sick. Plus they look funny. Rhubarb is way cooler, plus you can eat as much of it as you like and not get ill (although in either scenario you're still two inches tall and eating the left overs of aphids, ants and slugs). I originally had this thought on April 20th, and was going to post it then, but reconsidered when I realized how high it would make me sound. And it was 4/20. No one would believe I actually think these things.

So the pie was Brilliant Idea Numero Uno.

The pointy fingernails were really cool at first. I felt very femme fatale. Then, I washed my hands, held my eyelid in place and attempted to take out my contacts.

The glint of my own speared nails made me freeze.

So Brilliant Idea Numero Dos didn't pan out. I did manage to take my contacts out but it felt more Corner Gas than James Bond.

On the plus, I now have a three day weekend to come up with more brilliant ideas. I should keep a tally of how many actually end up brilliant and how many end up with me lying to a stone-faced triage nurse about how "it was an accident!"

Monday, August 2, 2010

DING tick tock tick DING tick tock tick DING tick tock tick

I played piano.

I thought of a couple different ways to start this blog but it was taking too long and the point of the matter is: I played piano.

I haven't in a while. A long while; in the last couple months the only songs I've played have been for accompaniment purposes, which usually involved me frantically trying to sightread Wicked and then giving up and just reading the chord symbols and playing the bass.

But tonight, I attempted to play from my classical repertoire. Real music. Bach and Mozart music (no seriously, their two pieces added up to thirteen pages of music I once had memorized).

First off, I suck. My prelude wasn't bad 'cause it was drilled into me, my fingers remember what my head's forgotten. Same for the fugue and Sonata. The waltz was messy, just ugly, fingers slipping, pedal mushing messy.

Le vent dans les ruines was funny and bad. Funny 'cause I remembered parts of the fast bits really well, like with the prelude, and bad 'cause the parts I didn't instinctively play were an awful slurry of octaves. The two studies were even worse.

In the month leading up to my exam last year, I lived these pieces. I struggled to stay afloat in the face of their hardcore classicalness, and I kinda got overwhelmed. Everything revolved around focus.

Focus. Capital F.

Not the cool, magicy hocus pocus focus but concentrate, practice, do it again. And again and again and again.

The Monday after my exam, I plopped down on the corner of my piano bench and considered playing. For the first time in months, I played without a metronome, without the pressure and the possibility of failure looming over me.

And I couldn't play.

I tried. My notes were okay but without the focus I'd stuffed myself with, the pieces couldn't--wouldn't--be played. I remember attempting the waltz and wondering where the dynamics went 'cause they sure weren't in my memory.

This evening, I was able to play the pieces--with the music directly in front of me and my eyes never leaving the page--but it was kinda hard. I remember being good at these pieces. I remember getting it right. That didn't happen tonight.

My 20th century piece was pretty awesome though. Apparently I can still play dissonance ;)

After I ran out of classical material, I played some much, much simpler sheet music and relaxed. Amidst my stacks of books, I found the music to Joe Iconis' "Blue Hair", a song I sang for an audition two years ago. It was a great audition, it's a cute--and funny--song, and even after all this time, I still like singing it. I think I'm going to learn the accompaniment better and audition with it for the talent show in January. Wow is that a relief.

Usually I struggle up to the last minute trying to pick a song--two years ago we decided to sing "Anything You Can Do" and learned the song and choreography in two days, just in time for the audition. Last year, I chose and learned "If I Were a Bell" and then switched to "See, I'm Smiling"--and then everything's rushed. This year, I have time to procrastinate!

So anyway, the heart of the matter is

I played piano.