Feb 062011
 

So winter. I kind of hate New England right now, which I’m sure I’ll take back come late May when it’s 60 degrees and lovely outside. But for now, ick. There is SO MUCH SNOW. The first storm was kind of amusing, and then there was another. And another. And another. I’ve been back in school for two weeks and we’ve missed four days. : P But today! The snow is melting, the sun is shining, and my car was all nice and warm when I got in it earlier. When that happens, I like to pretend it’s actually spring. I’m good at ignoring six foot snowbanks when I feel like it.

Anyway, this is my excuse for not having posted since… September? I actually wrote most of an entry in December but didn’t finish or post it, about dying my hair purple. That was fun while it lasted, but I got sick of the fading weirdness after about a month and dyed it over mostly-normal-person red.

As for what crafty things I’ve been doing lately… not a whole lot. I’ve taken some photos, and picked up a knitting project from two years ago, a cowl that probably won’t be done until spring anyway. I’ve been meaning to paint and collage and cook, but cold weather and a lack of sunlight tends to sap my motivation.

Also, I’ve been going back through old Birthday Massacre albums and listening to them all again, since I’ve played the new one so many times now.

Lame entry, I know. I should at least start cooking nice things again. Perhaps tonight! We shall see.

Sep 152010
 

Just a quick update to say I’m alive and still doing crafty things. Some knitting is in the works (finished one of two arm warmers!), and I have a batch of finished ceramics from a class I took over the summer that just need a photo shoot. I moved and started school recently, which equals not finding stuff I need and not having enough time to actually unpack.

Been listening to SomaFM again recently, the lyric appears to be from a song called Sound and Vision by a band called Sea and Cake. I don’t know a lot of what Soma plays, but it all sounds nice…

ea And Cake Sound & Vision
 Posted by at 10:29 am
Jul 222010
 

A lot of ridiculous crap is going on right now, but eh. This blog is meant to exist outside of my drama spewing. I made brownies from scratch like a month ago, and Stacey took a lot of great photos, but I never got around to posting about it. So I will now. For the record, the brownies were pretty good. I didn’t mix them as well as I should have early on, so there were chunks of buttery sugar in the bottom of the pan (Oscar called them “flavor crystals”), but they tasted pretty good regardless. They were actually zucchini brownies, with shredded zucchini serving the textural purposes of an egg. The frosting was definitely the best part (also from scratch!). It was classic fudge frosting like you’d put on cupcakes or something and it was DANGEROUSLY tasty. The main taste issue with the brownies was a slightly too large pinch of Kosher salt, which was totally my own fault. Either way, Stace and Oscar seemed to like them well enough, so I did succeed in making my first batch of from-scratch brownies. Hooray!

So now, PHOTOS:

70's kitchen

Kind of a yellow picture but it makes my kitchen feel all 70’s.

mebaking

I’m a hippie.

mixin

Ingredients!

browniemix

Progress!

misochair

Miso looks on.

hazyfrosting

Mixing frosting in an enchanted forest.

oscar

Oscar prepares for his role as Official Brownie Tester.

facecat

Miso looks on disapprovingly.

BROWNIES23

LOOK GUYS, BROWNIES.

In other news, I heard Jumper by Third Eye Blind on the radio a few days ago and decided I should own that album again. I got the CD in something like 1997, but somewhere along the way I lost the case and then stopped listening to it entirely because I developed a bad association with it (this happens to me an unfortunate amount). Anyway, I was about to break down and spend the $8.99 to download it when I thought to check around my room just in case it had survived the 10 moves (I seriously just counted) that have taken place since I bought the damn CD, and… I FOUND IT! This was pretty miraculous. It felt like the universe said, “You’re having a shitty time. Here’s a CD you thought you lost under your bed 10 years ago!” It’s still a pretty good album; it’s aged surprisingly well. (Edit: except for the use of the term “cyberspace.” That does rather date this.) And I’m 25 now instead of 13, so it makes a lot more sense. I had this same epiphany about Jagged Little Pill a while back – turns out music written by 20-somethings is far more relevant when you’re 20-something. I was the wrong age in the mid to late 90’s to appreciate most of the music I was listening to at the time.

So beer? I think so. Right now we have some Southern Tier IPA, which is fantastic. If you like super-hoppy IPAs, please try this. It’s delicious. On a related note, I might be brewing beer in the near future (with help from Stacey). If it happens, I will blog about it!

May 302010
 

It’s a lazy Sunday afternoon – time for music nerdery and kitty photos!

A couple of weeks ago, Stacey and I were really bored one night and  decided to check who was playing at Great Scott in Allston – turned out it was Eluvium, an ambient band I had heard of before. We ended up going, and it was a really great show. I need to go to more ambient shows in the future. I wasn’t sure what to expect, really, as ambient music is by nature pretty quiet, but it’s also really beautiful turned up super loud on nice speakers, I found out. I also wasn’t sure how much of the show would be live instruments, but there was a lot of live piano and guitar mixed with samples/loops from a computer. And a Wii remote being used to trigger some samples. That was pretty nifty.

After the show we lurked at the merch table and ended up with some vinyl of both Eluvium and the opening act, Julianna Barwick. I also picked up the newest Eluvium release, Similes, at Newbie’s the other day. Both albums I ended up with are really nice, although I’m partial to Similes, which includes a lot of quiet vocals that decidedly add to everything else going on. The album I got on vinyl, Miniatures, seems to be somewhat less cohesive.  On both releases there’s tons of lovely piano, in particular on the song The Motion Makes Me Last, off Similes. I could listen that over and over, and have been…

I’m having a hard time describing this – it’s perfect music to think by. Unobtrusive, but beautiful and affecting. Like most really good ambient, it’s effective either as background or for intent listening, quiet or loud, speakers or headphones.

I also mentioned kitty photos:

sleepy

lazy

keyboard pillow

There are more of these, but I’ll save them for another post.

(I’ve been at home a lot lately, so Miso and I have been hanging out. He’s just so photogenic, I can’t help myself…)

Apr 172010
 

So I made delicious food! Twice! Last week I decided I should start cooking again, so I dug out a cookbook I picked up when I worked at Barnes & Noble. Sifted through and found a recipe for “Scrumptious Sage Soup” which turned out as more of a stew, but still very tasty.  I made it for the first time last Saturday, and it was good enough that Stacey went to Trader Joe’s after work earlier in the week to pick up ingredients so I could make it again. If I sound full of myself, it’s only because I have a history of sucking royally at cooking, so this transformation is fairly miraculous. And makes me feel better about myself. : P

dancin

The cooking itself when smoothly for the most part. Half of this is just chopping vegetables, which I need more practice with, but don’t actually mind a whole lot. Chopping fresh herbs in particular is nice because they exude all their lovely scents. And chopping onions did clear out my sinuses…

chopping

cooking

But yeah, lots of fun all around. And super healthy! I think we’ve been eating better recently, which is great.

aftermath

Note: Photos are mostly by the lovely Stacey, who could safely hold my camera because he was not covered in lemon juice all night.

On a mostly unrelated note, on Tuesday I picked up Kaki King’s new album, Junior. I actually went out to the Leominster Newbie’s to get it because I was in Ayer anyway. I hadn’t been out there in a long time and it was gloriously nostalgic buying a CD there on the release date. I listened to it on the way home and quickly discovered that, like every Kaki King album, it doesn’t do well on car speakers. There’s way too much road/other ambient noise to hear all the subtleties, so today I played it twice through over my good stereo speakers in the kitchen while I cooked.

First, it does well with repeated listens. I was kind of ambivalent the first time through, but by the third I was rewinding to songs I really liked and singing along to some of it. That itself is worth mentioning… there are a lot of lyrics. She sings on all but two or three of the tracks, which surprised me. Reading some reviews online, I found a lot of complaints about her voice. I don’t think that’s entirely fair. True, she doesn’t have a flawless or necessarily well-trained voice. But I think it suits the songs. The vocals are echoey and distant, wavering and melancholy. They’re actually great. I feel like her voice is more of another instrument than vocals on top of the music. It adds texture and color. So whatever complaints people have about her technique, I think they’re missing the big picture here.

There isn’t much to be said about the guitar that hasn’t been said a hundred times over. The girl can play a goddamn guitar like nobody’s business. I do miss the tapping and complex acoustic stuff, but she introduces electric solos here that are equally awesome. And the instrumentals are still unbelievably beautiful. Kaki King’s music makes everything glow.

Now that I’ve written way too much and drank a bunch of wine, I think I’ll peace out. Hope all is well with the… three people who read this? Right.

Mar 092010
 

Still listening to the masterpiece of Engrish that is Waste Management by t.A.T.u. Admittedly, this album has some great remixes that weren’t on the Russian version. But keep in mind, the remixes are almost all in Russian. I’m sure there’s a reason for that.

Also, on the song “Running Blind,” which was in English to begin with, I couldn’t for the life of me under the word “echoes” until I looked up the lyrics online because the “k” sound is completely missing. I guess the pronunciation is weird coming from Russian or something. But now there’s this remix of said song, and they totally punched in the missing syllable! I find this unspeakably entertaining.

My computer doesn’t seem to appreciate so much running Firefox and Songbird (my pretty Linux-compatible music player) and transferring about a hundred photos at once. But some of those photos (the ones that aren’t from April of LAST YEAR) are of hopefully delicious bread! So prepare yourself, dear reader, for a barrage of really bad photos:

bread1

bread2

And here’s Stacey doing dishes! He gets husband points.

dishes

And finally, one of the cat. Because he was laying in our clean laundry.

cutie

AWWW so cute. But so much fur in our laundry…

Mar 082010
 

Hey look, I’m baking bread! How exciting! Hopefully it will not come out like crap. I’ll take some sexy baking photos once it’s done.

In other news, I downloaded the English version of the most recent t.A.T.u. album (yes I know the correct punctuation shut up). It’s not bad. But I’m realizing I always get their albums in English first and then in Russian, and that seems to make a difference… the English lyrics now sound totally stupid. As evidenced by the title of this post. Way to go, whoever is translating this stuff…

“Little people, reassemble.”

Right.

I’m going to post this now before I think better of it. If there are baking photos to be had, I will post them separately. I am going to start using this damn blog. I swear.

Nov 182009
 

So Stacey and I have web hosting again, and I’m resurrecting my sadly under-used blog from last year! I liked this idea a lot, so I’ll try to actually post in it this time. Hopefully this will consist of baking, painting, hair dying, knitting (if I ever start knitting again…), photography, and whatever other creative/crafty things I find myself doing. Winter’s coming here in New England, so I’ll have plenty of time stuck inside to get myself into trouble. ^.^

In other news, WordPress has changed a lot since last I used it.  I’ve been messing with a super customizable theme (Suffusion, there’s a link at the bottom of the page), which I think is now tweaked to my satisfaction. The header image is from a photo I took a few years ago (like, five) somewhere out in Gardner/Winchendon.

sunset23

Also, GIMP is my friend.

But I should probably get more sleep. Until next time, this is your crazy insomniac internet junkie, signing off.

(and re: the title, I just got the new Collective Soul album, it’s actually really good)

Nov 122008
 

Bonjour, all. So once again, I have a blog! It’s been a while since I’ve attempted this, as most of the time, blogs don’t pan out for me. I tend to post a bunch for a couple of weeks and then completely forget about them. Sort of a hit-and-run approach to online journaling. I posted on livejournal quite a bit back in the day, but have since gotten royally sick of the drama it cultivates… let’s leave that crap in high school where it belongs. That said, I’m trying something new here – instead of angsting all over the internet like I have in the past, I’m going to document the crafty stuff I do in my free time, especially my recently discovered love of baking.

If you’ve known me for a while, you know I suck at cooking. Maybe not as bad as some people (ask Oscar about the grilled cheese incident sometime), but you still shouldn’t leave me at home by myself for more than a few hours… I end up eating slices of cheese and stale cookies, anything to avoid making actual dinner. It’s not really terrible, I just tend to turn the heat up too high, or not add enough water, or not pay enough attention to what I’m doing because I’m easily distracted, and things burn and stick to pans and end up tasting none too great. Microwaves are my friend generally… I lived out of the frozen dinner section at Trader Joe’s when Stace used to work closing shifts at B&N.

But baking! It’s all the fun of cooking with none of the frustration. None of this endless chopping of vegetables, or standing around stirring for 10 minutes, or making sure the heat is low enough not to set the pan on fire (which I have managed before) but still high enough to cook things sometime in the next year. Baking is scientific. Measure each ingredient, mix until it’s the right consistency, set a timer, put it in the oven and walk away. I’m oversimplifying, but you get the idea. Make tasty things and surf the internet (is it 1996?) at the same time? Sign me up.

So that is that. In addition to writing about my baking misadventures, I will also babble about my various knitting and painting projects. And dying my hair crazy colors. And… obsessively taking photos of my cat.

soft