Monday, October 31, 2011

Le sigh.

This weekend (Friday night through this morning) I learned several things:

-- Sometimes, no matter how badly you want something, and no matter how hard you try, the stars just aren't aligned right for that thing to happen. Unfortunately, that thing was NaNoWriMo. Funny part is, I had a hunch it wouldn't work out allllll they way back in September, during the car breaking/I-did-not-receive-my-paycheck debacle, but I ignored said hunch and proceeded apace. I didn't officially quit until late last night. At least this frees up my schedule for the next month.

-- The quickest way to gin up interest in an event is to announce that it's canceled due to lack of interest. You'll get "aw, I was gonna go to that! I didn't know we had to RSVP!" messages on the RSVP thread. You know, the one with "[Event name] RSVP Thread!" in big letters at the top. The one that didn't receive a single reply until you updated it to announce the event was canceled. Yeah. I'm not bitter. /blatant lies

-- On the upside, the doc says my ankle is doing great, I don't need physical therapy, and I can get on a bike again as soon as I want. So now all I have to do is buy a bike. Mmmmmm, bike shopping. Can't wait.

My "Twilight" review.

"Twilight" is the creepiest dang movie I have ever seen. (It was on TV on Friday, and I was curious. And now I need a chemical shower.) The weird part is, the potential was there for a halfway decent story; vampire romance is has a pretty solid pedigree, and the action scenes and secondary characters weren't half bad. They weren't half good, either; it could have been one of those movies that you come across while channel surfing on a weekend and decide to watch because it's like popcorn for your brain, and it's goofy and fun, and it's either that or a documentary about paper mills.

It could have been one of those movies. But it isn't, and that's because the relationship between the two main characters is so incredibly creepy and dysfunctional and stalkeriffic that it gives me the willies just thinking about it. The Oatmeal already did an pretty thorough breakdown of the relationship's fundamental flaws, but seeing it for myself? GAH. We're talking "girl with no self-esteem" + "obsessed, mood-swingy, ooh-he's-a-dangerous-bad-boy, sneaks into her room and watches her sleep, his-approval-is-all-I-need" + serious predator-style grooming = ewwwwwwwwww yuck yuck yuck yuck yuck yuck yuck yuck yuck (with that frantic "ew I touched it!" hand-shaking motion). (There's even a scene where she figures out he's a vampire and he goes on and on about how he's "a perfect predator". Seriously.) I kept expecting Chris Hansen to step out from behind a tree and ask Edward to "take a seat over there." It was that bad. It honestly worries me that so many girls (and grown-ass women) are so enthralled by the series. Edward isn't romantic. He's a creeper.

Anyway. Final verdict: Had the main characters been more emotionally healthy and mature, and had their relationship been less friggin' insane, Twilight would have gone down in film history as just another vampire movie with attractive teenagers, doomed to afternoon reruns on basic cable for all eternity. Unfortunately, Stephanie Meyer is either insane or an evil genius or both, so we get this horrible schlock instead.

Yuck.

Monday, October 24, 2011

I Am Not A Fast Cook: Thin'n'Crispy Pizza!

I usually make pan pizza with my cast-iron skillets, but lately I adapted Alton Brown's thin'n'crispy pizza recipe, and it is delicious. You can find Brown's recipe with a quick Google search; my take on it is below. It's a LOT of time and work, but I think it's worth it.

Begin by dissolving 1/2 T. active dry yeast and 1 T. sugar in 3/4 c. warm water. Stir until it smells yeasty and delicious, then add, in this order, 1 T. olive oil, 1 cup bread machine (high protein) flour (scooped and scraped level), 1/2 t. kosher salt, and another cup of flour. Stir vigorously to combine. Now, here's where it gets fun: If you have a stand mixer, lube up the hook attachment with olive oil and run on medium for about 15 minutes. If you don't have a stand mixer and you're kneading by hand, expect to spend at least 30 minutes. If you're using all-purpose flour, you may need as much as an hour's work to achieve the right consistency -- when pulled, the dough should stretch over your fingers before it breaks. Form the dough into a ball with a smooth outer surface, place in a bowl, cover lightly but completely with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 18 to 24 hours.

You heard me.

When ready to assemble your pizza, begin by taking the risen dough from the fridge, kneading a few times to work out the big bubbles and dividing into appropriate portions (2 c. flour = 2 12" pizzas). Reshape portions into smooth balls and let rest for 30 minutes. During this time, set oven to 500F. After 30 minutes, stretch the dough into the size you want (be gentle, but firm) and arrange on a sheet pan sprinkled with cornmeal or farina cereal. Top pizza to taste; I like Trader Joe's pizza sauce, equal parts mozzarella and Italian cheese blend, and Hormel turkey pepperoni. Once assembled, bake in preheated oven for seven minutes or until outer crust starts to brown. Rest three minutes before cutting and chow down. Enjoy!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Kittehs!

Can't live with 'em; can't it's frowned upon to hunt 'em for sport. Bobbi is owned by two cats, Rannie and Huck, and today she posted Huck's rules for existing: "Everything is here to be bitten; if it fights back, bite it more; Those things moving in the yard are fascinating; I must do more biting! Immediately!" And, of course, "It should be dinner time." My kitty seems to follow the same rulebook, although she doesn't go after me when I'm sorting laundry, but rather when I'm changing the sheets on the bed. She has her own rules, as well, namely "#14: 'In the morning while Mommy's getting ready and has to be out the door in 20 minutes' is the best time to demand petting and affection. 'In the evening when Mommy sits down and has nothing else to do' is the worst." That, in turn, led to Mr. Brindle posting this.

I should really put up some cat pictures at some point. Objectively speaking, Cecily is quite a pretty cat, and sweet. Bitey, but sweet.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

I Am Not A Fast Cook: Quick Tuna Salad on Toast

Lo, the recipes! They return! Although they probably won't return for long because NaNoWriMo starts up in a few weeks and then pretty much everything but instant oatmeal and Starbucks goes out the window.

To begin: Take two thick-cut pieces of bread (your choice) and stick them in the toaster, cachunk. While they turn golden brown and delicious, combine in a bowl: 1 can tuna in water (drained); one spoonful mayonnaise; one spoonful capers (with juice); one tablespoon chopped onion (if available; do not use onion flakes without rehydrating them first); three or four shakes of garlic powder; and Tabasco sauce to taste. Stir with a fork until combined, breaking up any large chunks. Set aside. Next, use a vegetable peeler to make cheddar cheese shavings, enough to cover the toast one layer deep. When the toast pops, immediately cover one side of each piece with the cheese and allow it to soften, then top with the tuna. Eat immediately. Enjoy!

(And I know the recipe says "quick", but if you want really awesome results, mix up the tuna ahead of time and let sit for at least several hours. Overnight is best. Makes a great sack lunch if you've got access to a toaster when the time comes.)

Heh.

I changed my profile picture and now I can't find my comments on other people's blogs. Funny, that.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Tonight at eleven ... DOOOOOM!

I haven't been blogging much because things have been really up-and-down for me lately. For instance, I'm 99% sure I have full-blown fibromyalgia. It would make sense; I have all the symptoms. I'm also 99% sure that I have overt schizoid personality disorder. It would make sense; I have all the symptoms. (Note: It has nothing to do with schizophrenia; the similar names stem from similar symptoms, not similar causes. So I've got that going for me.)

I prefer to think of the mental and emotional issues in non-clinical terms; 100 years ago, I would have been labeled eccentric and a recluse, and I'm okay with that. Just putting a finger on something that's been niggling at me for most of my life is enough to help me get a handle on it. Anyway, between dealing with that and the other thing (chronic pain and stiffness is just so much damn fun), not to mention all the fun a few weeks ago, blogging has been light. I would normally apologize, except I'm not sure anymore why I do this so I won't.

Also I'm working with someone whose company I realized I really don't enjoy, but that's not really grounds to quit what I'm doing, so I'll just put up with it. Doesn't mean I'm happy about it.

I did change my hours at work (same eight hours, just arranged differently) so that'll be a nice change. Turns out I have to do that at least once a year or I get too far into a rut. It's a living.