Jun 29, 2009

Reading, and Other Girlie Pursuits.

So, I just read Pride and Prejudice. First time. I had never felt all that inspired to read it, since I was always told that the BBC version of the movie was pretty much word for word. So, in essence, I had already read it, right? And I have to be honest, and I know I am going to upset some of you, when I say that when I saw the movie the first time - I think I was a junior in college - I really didn't love it. I'm sorry! It is the truth! And this is the internet. It is sacred. I won't be the one to besmirch the integrity of the internets by lying to you. You deserve better.

Never fear though. Since that first time I have seen Pride and Prejudice a bunch of times (it is in Richard's family what Anne of Green Gables was in mine) and liked it just fine. It is pretty long though. You gotta admit it. Come on.

But the point is that I LOVED the book! Who saw that coming? Did any of you expect that plot twist? How thrilling! And even though the BBC version of the movie is as close to the book as you can get, it still doesn't compare. Why? Because, for one thing, there is a joy to reading that a movie cannot provide. When you are reading a book, and it gets very exciting, you can close the book for a minute so that you can bury your head in your pillow and squeal for a while in excitement and anticipation. You can reread whole passages and then kick your legs in suspense and only move on when you are absolutely ready to do so. A movie just continues on without you whether you are ready or not. And yes, of course you can pause and rewind a movie, (which I did several times when I watched the new version of Pride and Prejudice today; I really like Matthew Macfadyen as Mr. Darcy), but it still isn't the same.

And so, I guess what I want to say is that, despite what my title says (and despite the embarrassing way I just described my own reading methods) reading is not just for girls anymore! If you think that you don't really care much for reading, I would argue that that is only because you haven't found the right book. So don't give up! It's out there! Ok. That is enough with the exclamation marks. Just thinking in exclamation marks makes me kinda tired. Better go take a quick nap!

Jun 17, 2009

Cake Decorating for You!

I haven't wanted to share much about my cake decorating with ya'll, cuz i didn't want you to be like "WHAAAT?" and then I would be like "I KNOOW!" and you'd be like "DAAAANG!" You can see why i hesitated. But the new the blog policy (that's blogicy to you) is: if I experience it, YOU experience it" (which is going to make Burrito week really fun) so lets look at a cake, shall we?

Last summer, i watched a whole lot of "Amazing wedding Cakes". and being married to my husband, who is the Do-It-Yourselfingest guy i've ever met, i decided I wanted to try to make a pretty cake all by myself. And since I am so impatient, I decided to make a 3 Teir cake. Cuz, why not? And my sister Demi had a bridal shower coming up, which would be the perfect excuse to make such a cake, so with seredipity on my side, i got cookin.

I just did the cakes from a mix to save time, though I have since looked for and tried out a few cake recipes from scratch, with varying levels of success. I made two mixes since I was making three tiers, and it took forever since I didn't have enough pans to cook it all at once. I was working on those silly cakes until midnight.

I let them cool overnight and officially started frosting the cakes the next morning. Applying frosting is very similar to applying spackle, but without the benefit of sanding afterward. Not only that, but sanded walls are usually still covered with texture to hide the imperfections. No such luck for me. I did a few layers of frosting, (including a crumb coating), but I just couldn't get it any smoother than this. Not bad for Cake #1 I suppose. I still had no idea how I was going to decorate it at this point (clearly a common problem for me) but i decided to just take it one thing at a time. Or rather, just 4 or 5 things at a time. Whatever.

I carved each layer so that it was a little bigger on the top than on the bottom, just to see if I could. Then I stuck 4 straws in each of the lower tiers to be used as supports for the tiers above - so the cake itself wasn't supporting all the weight. Then I stuck a wooden dowel through the entire cake once it was assembled to keep the tiers in place.

And then appeared this lovely ruffle. Things like this always seem to show up on my cakes. I beveled my cake, but forgot to trim my cardboard circle so I had to add a bunch of frosting to cover it up. Something about it reminds me of a very fancy Lei.

So, I wrapped each tier with a ribbon, (This would have worked so much better if the layer WASN'T beveled.) and not knowing what else to do I secured the ribbon with a strait pin. And thus was born the most excited of all shower games "Pins In the Cake"! And with an autumn theme for her wedding, I went to Joann's and found some autumny colored what-not and stuck it on the cake. And that was it. I just had to carry it on my lap all the way to the Bombay house. Transporting cakes is still something of a mystery to me.

Ya know, it kinda looks like a really fancy hat. How awesome would it be to wear a hat like that? Though it would be even better to wear a hat that was really cake. Nothing passes the time in a long business meeting like covertly nibbling on your hat. And I'm sure this look is more than appropriate for all your business meeting attire. Cake goes with everything!

Just thinking out loud.

I hope you folks are paying attention to the title here. Those aren't just words I typed in for kicks. They mean something. You might take it as a warning. I'm just saying.

So, OCCASIONALLY I will wonder what you people want to hear about. And I still don't know. So i thought about asking you. Maybe this would be another good time for a poll. I still haven't addressed the results of the last poll, which was very revealing, very revealing. But that is neither here nor there.

Lately, all I want to read about is food (so much so that sometimes I pull down my recipe folders and just flip through them for fun. For hours. Everyday.) so that makes me wonder, would YOU like to hear about food? But that is silly. Even if you did, (and come on, of course you do. Are we people or are we people?) coming to my blog to read about food is a little like going to a Star Trek convention to learn about Astronomy: more fun than you expected, but crammed full of weirdos who don't actually know anything.

So, what else is there? Should I write about my day? About books I read? about things my 2 year old does? About pictures I take? Dreams I have?

i was wondering all this when I realized that, not only should I probably write about all of it, but even if you told me not to, I would still do whatever I wanted anyway. So... sorry. I wanted your input, but wasn't actually going to listen to it. That is what happens when you jump on a train of thought in the middle of the tracks. You think you are headed for one destination, but it turns out you were going somewhere totally different. Like..... Nowheresville, Missouri.

However, if there is something that I have been lacking, information that only I can give - such as how many times it is possible for a person to fall UP a flight of stairs in one day - then let me know. If you are not getting the information you seek, tell me and I will try to put it right.

And because I am just thinking out loud, and it is late here in my head, I'm pretty sure this mostly doesn't make sense. And that is ok. Sometimes sense is not what you make of it, but what it makes of you.

Jun 10, 2009

I knew my day was off to a crappy start when I got out of the shower and started blowing dry my hair, only to notice that it looked like I hadn't even washed it. And then, for the life of me, I couldn't remember whether I had or not.

Jun 7, 2009

Hey! Would you look at that? It IS cake!

So I've mentioned before that I have sorta gotten into cake decorating. And it makes me feel like a spy. Because, like a spy, a cake decorator is only as good as their gadgets. Skill? Practice? Professional Training? Bah! It is all about the tools, and the professionals all know it.

So today we celebrated a birthday for my sister's twins, Gwen and Kreston. And I offered to make a cake. And as you may know, once you start decorating a cake it starts to take on a life of its own and all you really do it just direct it and hone it and turn it into what it was always meant to be.

But I was feeling really bad for all the cakes I've never made. I've got lots of nieces and nephews that I've never made cakes for (all the rest of them, come to think of it) and I really didn't want them to feel second best. A cake from Elesa is like a small piece of heaven after all.

I asked my sister if she had any requests, just for giggles, and then I promptly ignored all of them. I think I was really hoping for a request that was right along the lines of what I wanted to do anyway. but since I didn't know what that was, I had no such luck. And I was sort of having a hard time. I had no intention of making and decorating more than one cake, but how do you make a cake special for a 13 year old boy and girl? I really had no idea. So, I just made the cake whatever shape I wanted, which brought me to this point:

Whereupon I said, "What in the world should I do now?" which led me to the next logical decorating step. This:

Obviously, right? I mean, surely you would have done the same. It is only natural. I considered calling my sister to ask for Gwen and Kreston's favorite colors, but then thought better of it. If she told me their favorite colors, I might actually have to use them, and what if I didn't feel like it? No, this brown was definitely the right choice. I especially enjoy its Poo-esque qualities:

Soothing, isn't it? From there, it just felt right to keep the cake very simple, and write a lovely and concise inscription on it:

If you look closely you can tell that the first two words were actually wiped off and written over again. That's because I accidentally wrote "Mazel Tov" the first time. Whoops. Rookie Mistake. And I probably shouldn't admit it, but I just could not stop giggling to myself. This cake just tickled me pink. It really captured the essence of what I wanted to convey. I avoided the problem of how to decorate the cake to please both kids by pleasing neither of them. And I like the overall lack of other decorations and fanciness because it really says to every else "Yeah, I made them a cake, but I clearly don't love them more than you."

It also says "Poo Pearls go with everything." Which was way more than I bargained for, and is just really good to know.

(And I should probably apologize to the twins at this point, since I don't really think THEY were all that thrilled with their cake. I guess the one thing my cake didn't convey, if you can believe it, is how much I love the birthday boy and girl, which I do. Small flaw, right? It didn't even taste that great. But gosh, you can't please everyone?)

Jun 3, 2009

"Why would they manufacture deliberate ugliness unless they wanted me to look ugly? We find that out we find out everything."

The Princess Bride was on TV last night, so we watched it off and on. (That is how Richard likes to watch TV. AT LEAST 2 shows at once, if he can. Preferably more. I think he was watching about 4 different shows last night.) And it got me thinking. The last time I watched The Princess Bride was right after I bought it on DVD, around a year ago. But I still know all the lines. And I know. EVERYONE knows all the lines to Princess Bride, but I started wondering what other movies I have watched over and over through the years? Join me on this thrilling journey into my past!

The Great Race: One of the movies we always used to watch as kids. Heh heh, I loved the pie fight. We tried having our own pie fight once, but it didn't really go over that well. Turns out 12 year old boys tend to freak out if they get whipped cream in their eyes.

What's Up Doc: It's not even a black and white movie. I don't know why this picture is.

Anne of Green Gables: the TV recording we had was from one of those PBS telethons, so it was full of long segments of a couple of ladies talking in front of a room full of people taking donations over the phone. so annoying! but shucks, isn't Gilbert cute?

Mary Poppins & The Wizard of Oz: Mostly because my youngest sister Gaea watched them over and over.

I don't know what this picture is though, since dorothy's dress was blue. Any smarty-pants out there want to enlighten us?

Star Wars: Though it wasn't one of the movies I watched as a kid. As you can see, we mostly watched musicals around our house.

Popeye: Mostly after I got married. Not that Richard is a big fan or anything. But we have a copy (that I am guessing I stole from my parents) and my niece wanted to watch it every time we babysat. And i always watched it with her because it is so good. Oh, and because I am clearly such a great babysitter.

Connie and Carla: What is it about this movie that I like so much? They show it on TV every couple of months or so and I watch it every time. I can't help it. I just like it.

Lord of the Rings: Richard and I watch this every Christmas. We only have the extended version, so a good portion of our Christmas break is taken up this way, but what are we gonna do? Its tradition. And only a fool messes with tradition.

Still, hands down, the movie I have seen more than any other (and I am totally guessing here. I can do that you know. Make up stuff and claim that it is true. It's what separates us from the animals!) is The Princess Bride. and what surprises me that I discovered last night, is that even though I have seen it so many times, it still makes me laugh.

Oh, and of course, The Elephant Man. well loved by all.
just kidding. We watched it once and I was traumatized for a week. Sheesh, look at that picture. it still freaks me out. Anthony Hopkins is Terrifying! Ha. just kidding. he is though. Not to mention the guy with the flour sack on his head. it's creepy! I had nightmares every night.

Not as bad as the time i saw Watcher in the Woods, mind you. THAT was a doozy.

Boy, some of those pictures are crummy. But taking crummy pictures is the other thing that separates us from the animals, so let's embrace it! So, what else? For those few of you who have stuck with this post this far, what movies did I miss? I guess I am really asking my family, not that they will answer. They all lost their hands below the wrist in an unfortunate holiday "accident". Worst Arbor Day Ever.

I know my readers are either nonexistent, shy, or missing all of their fingers, but I want to know: what movies have you seen more than any others? what movies scared you silly as a kid? Come on. just tell me! Spill the beans! AND, for the Grand Prize and a years supply of Turkey Dogs, what movie is my the title of this post from?

Well, gotta go. I've got UHF paused on the DVR and I gotta finish it before I can make dinner. I want your answers on my desk by morning!

I'm having one of those days where all the music I hear sounds like Simon and Garfunkel. Ya know? Which is alright, really. Not like those days when everything sounds like the Spice Girls. THOSE days are rough.