Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The praise of the praiseworthy is above all rewards.

Some anonymous comment replies, before I forget...


Pogo - Palestrina was indeed the inspiration for Hallestrina's name. I like the way it sounds. :D
And thanks for the art-love, and the defense of my art work. You are a treasure. <3


Spooky's Darling - We thought of including Boromir, but in the end we only knew of one actual person who favored Boromir over all the other characters, and his personality matched all the people who like Faramir best. (Which obviously makes ppl who like Boromir totally-super-awesome [can you tell Faramir is my fav ever?]).


neverfit - You are correct. Eowyn kicks Arwen's @SS!! Especially since Arwen isn't even in the books hardly at all. 


Anonymous from the art post - Which art piece offended thee? The twins I did at age 17 without ever having any training whatsoever in art? Or should the tree made of wire perhaps have been made to scale? "Art" is what you make it, not what others tell you it is. And for the record, beginning anything with "no offense" when you know full well you are going to sound offensive just makes you sound uneducated. 


Sam, from the last post - Blogger won't let me look at your profile. :( Do you have a blog?


---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Someone suggested I do a "day in the life of Mich" post. (In the suggestion box, which is now gone because I was having technical issues and it pissed me off so I deleted it.) My weekdays are pretty much all the same, so I wouldn't bother doing a weekday in the life of Mich (unless y'all really really want to be bored to death?). I thought of vlogging a Saturday, but I feel like I suck at vlogging. Plus I have ADD.

Weekends are tough for me because I'm pretty sure I do actually have ADD (Mum disagrees--she thinks adHd). At least on workdays, there are specific things I need to do and the rest of the day beyond time spent at work is mostly devoted to the gym and alternately watching TV and trying to sleep. That doesn't leave much time for boredom.

I can't handle boredom. That's kind of why I've never been a huge tv-watcher, other than a couple shows that come on at night. I can't watch tv in the middle of the day. Just can't do it. Days I'm not working, I generally bounce from one thing to the next without much of a predetermined plan. This can be a problem if I'm hanging out at a friend's house and my companions are sitting watching tv. I last maybe 10 minutes. 20 maximum.

 And then I'll start checking out the books on your shelf. And your movies.

I might admire your family photos. After I've explored your living room I'll go to the loo.

Don't get me wrong--I don't root through drawers and cabinets or anything; that would make me uncomfortable. :/ But I do love checking out other people's houses. I'm fascinated by them, because no two are alike and none of them are like mine. Idk how to explain it without seeming like a nosy creeper....... oh well.

So on my way back from the bathroom I'll take my time having a shifty at the rooms en route back to the tv. If I run into another member of the household, chances are I shan't return to the tv at all. Your mom and I will be bffs by the time the movie or tv show is over.

This behaviour is the reason I was often the favourite of other people's parents when I was in high school. ...That also may have had something to do with the fact that Mum never raised me to call people Mrs. or Mr. Whatever. I called all the adults in my life by their first names while most of the other kids stuck with Mr. and Mrs. 

Some parents got really bent out of shape about that. I remember a girl scout's meeting or something like that and I had to ask the troop leader a question. When I called her "Diane" (I was 7) she practically tore my head off.

. . . . . . . . . . . 
What was I talking about?

 . . . . . . . . . . . .

Oh yeah--Day in the Life of Mich. 
-__-

This is why bird watching is a great hobby. If you have a bird feeder that you keep full and a birdbath next to it, it's like an ADD wet dream. The fun that comes from my attention span jumping from one activity to another without ever finishing anything...

can be had in one simple activity.

Oooo look, a frigginbird!

 FrigateBird, actually, but you get my point.



turn the volume way up, it's super budget




<3 !!!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Bah bloody humbug

Guess who woke up with a tummy bug??

-______________________-

Someone bring me a hot water bottle naaooooww!!!

I'm just going to lie here face down on the floor watching the Christmas Story marathon until I can stop feeling sick long enough to do something productive, like wander off into the wilderness to live among the grizzly bears.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

The boys of the NYPD choir were singing Galway Bay, and the bells were ringing out for Christmas Day...

I tried to do a vlog of my Christmas decorations like last year, but I never get any alone time in my house anymore. :( I feel that Mum would lock me up if I was wandering about the place in a Baroque gown talking to myself with my camera and making an even bigger fuss than usual over the decorations, so I guess last year's vid will have to do. It's mostly the same decorations anyway.... 


Ok so I know I said wasn't going to post until I caught up with commenters, but I wanted to post a nice Christmas recipe in case any of you might like to try making it for Christmas. 


Pat yourselves on the back, kids, because I am now going to share My Own mince pie recipe. (The version I usually don't hand out to people so their pies are never as good as mine.) 


You will need:
For the filling - red and gold raisins, currants, and cranberries (I just get the Sunmaid kind because the raisins and cranberries come all in one package. 2 packs of those and a box of the currants end up being the perfect amount.)
...but if you want to get technical about it: 3/4 cup of each the red and gold raisins, the cranberries, and the currants


- about a 1/2 cup of dark brown sugar (you may need more later, but let's start with that)


- a 12 oz. can of frozen apple juice concentrate


- one lemon, and one orange


- one Granny Smith apple, and one gala apple


- 1/4 cup of softened butter


- 1 tsp each of cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice; and 1/2 tsp. of ground clove, and ginger


- between 1 to 1 1/2 cups of brandy. I use E&J


Cut up the apples and dump them into a big mixing bowl, followed by the raisins, cranberries, currants, apple juice concentrate, brown sugar, butter, spices, and brandy. Add the zest of the lemon and orange. And mind you don't zest any of your fingers into it as well

Mix that up real nice. I like to let it sit overnight in a covered bowl, so all the solid ingredients can properly soak up the flavors of everything else, but you don't have to do that. 

The filling mix then needs to be cooked in a crock pot on low for 8 hours. If you don't have a slow cooker, go buy one. 
....or, just heat the filling mix on the stove for at least 2 - 2 1/2 hours on a low heat. 


After the eight hours, it should look like this:
Appetizing, no?




To make the dough:
I much prefer a shortbread dough, as that's always what we had growing up when Granny made these. 
You will need - 3 1/2 cups of butter (7 sticks of butter) softened
- 4 1/2 cups of flour
- 5/8 cups confectioners sugar
- 5/8 cups light brown sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract


Mix it all together in a large bowl. It's easiest if you use your hands. When it's well blended, wrap it tight in cling wrap and let it sit in the fridge for about 2 hours, and then let it sit out of the fridge for at least 1 hour. 


Once the filling is slow-cooked and the dough has had a good sit, you're ready to make the pies!
You'll need a good cutting board or a good surface for the dough, and a muffin pan. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F, and line your muffin pan with muffin cups. 
Make sure your cutting board or surface is well-floured, and keep the flour out because you're going to need it. The shortbread dough is not as easy to roll out as regular pie dough, but sure just try your best.
I usually just do a little bit at a time. You want it about a quarter-inch thick.


And then I use the container for the muffin cups to cut circles.
'Cause they're pretty much the same size as the muffin cups, which works for when you take those little circles of dough and use them to line your muffin cups in the muffin pan. 


And then use a small spoon to spoon the filling into the dough in the muffin tin. 


I like to use a star-shaped cookie cutter to put a piece of dough on top of each mince pie, but you can use any shape you want, or cover it completely, or not cover it at all. 
Before putting them in the oven, lightly brush the exposed dough on the top with some scrambled egg. I also like to sprinkle a teensy bit of cinnamon sugar. 


Bake for about 15-17 minutes, and then let them cool on a rack.


Amazing pies!! Not exactly a low-calorie dessert, but these pies are so rich that you physically cannot binge on them. One is quite enough. 




I hope you're all having an amazing Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanzaa/Solstice/Yuletide/Whatever. Eat pie! 
<3

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

It's possible, pig; I might be bluffing. It's conceivable, you miserable, vomitous mass, that I'm only lying here because I lack the strength to stand. But, then again... perhaps I have the strength after all.

I'm still here. Not entirely better, but then I was never perfect to begin with, so I suppose I shouldn't go round expecting miracles. 


I am now so far behind in responding to comments that I may not be doing a proper post for a while (shouldn't even be doing this one really, in case it generates even more comments...). The last post will eventually be deleted because it's whiney, but not until I have responded to all you glorious people who took the time to comfort me in my misery. <3


Am actually writing again (the fiction, not this), which is good. Also eating everything that isn't nailed down, which is bad; but sure it's Christmas and everything else sucks so bad right now I'm not sure I even care. :/


Got myself an early Christmas present:
Winchester bowie knife--it's pretty sweet.
And just to give you an idea of its size....
pardon the hangover pallor


Don't worry, I'm not using it on myself. 


I'm pretty sure I'm the only person on the planet who gives their drug dealer vitamin*-friend a Christmas card. Lil' Sis was making fun of me. 
(She's no longer getting a Christmas card.)


I feel like I'm rambling, so I'm going to shut up now. 


Hope y'all are having a nice week so far! ♥

Sunday, December 18, 2011

shut up

I'm pretty sure all men are pigs.

every

last

one



I just hate everything right now. Especially myself.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Time heals the wound, but then there's still a scar.

I apologize for my absence. I've been in a funk. Again. 
:/


Pogo inquired about one of the things on my wall from the hoarding page. Here's a better shot of it:


Acrylic on a 4' x 3' canvas. I painted that my senior year in high school. And creepily enough, I started it on the night of September 10, 2001. The painting itself continues to horrify my mother, which is why it hangs behind my bedroom door, so she can't see it if she needs to go in my room. 


I have twice been offered large sums of money for that painting, which mostly confuses me because I don't think it's all that special.  I still can't part with it though...


My forays into the fine arts are few and far between. Even the enforced art I had to endure my first year in college (media arts majors had to do the same foundation courses as everyone else, although the school has since changed those requirements...). Most of my work was absolute crap, but occasionally I produced something that gave my professors orgasms. 


The best ever was the 6-foot tower of army men, all of them symmetrically arranged and hot-glued together. It was on display in the school's gallery until a senior sculpture major "accidentally" knocked it over and destroyed it. 


2nd runner up was this:

We had to choose any album cover and create a model of it, to scale but twice the size of a CD case. I was one of only 2 students in a section of about 40 kids who chose a classic rock album. (That's Led Zeppelin's Houses of the Holy, if you can't tell). My prof made a spectacle of me in front of my peers when the project was finished, and I was not amused (I'm not big on being the center of attention). I was even less amused when my masterpiece vanished from the display case. Apparently it was making the rounds in different professors' offices. Eventually I managed to steal it back from one of the graphic design offices.


This project is Mum's fav:
I call it "The Tree". Or, "How to Finish an Assignment in 3D Design Without Actually Doing Any Work."


When my 3d Design prof started us in the wood shop, I flat out refused to use any of the saw and sanders and other deadly machines. I'm really not fond of power tools, especially things with large moving blades. But alas, Prof told me that in order to pass that particular "mixed media" assignment, I MUST use wood as well as stone and wire. 


So I dug that little triangular piece of wood out of the scrap pile, slapped it on my rock with some hot glue, and wrapped a wire hanger around the whole thing to make a tree. I used much thinner wire that I got in a jewelry-making shop to make leaves and things. As much as Prof hated me at that point, he had to admit that he adored The Tree. 


Why did Prof hate me? This project:


That was the first wood shop assignment--we had to make an animal that was in some way mechanical, with lots of moving parts. I decided to do a dog/wolf/?? thing on wheels, because it seemed easiest. 


Except me "making" that consisted of me first asking Prof to please show me how to work each and every machine in the wood shop, then giving him instructions on how I wanted the pieces of wood cut, then making him sand all of them, and then him "showing me" how to drill holes in them, which resulted in me only having to put the pieces together at the end. Prof pretty much did the entire thing. 


And somehow I still got an A. 


:D 




I shall hopefully catch up on commenters this week, but I'm not promising anything in the way of haste. 

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

I would not take this thing, if it lay by the highway. Not were Minas Tirith falling in ruin and I alone could save her, so, using the weapon of the Dark Lord for her good and my glory. No, I do not wish for such triumphs...


A friend and I had the most nerdalicious hour-long conversation EVER last night. We discussed how you can psychologically profile someone based on their favourite character in Lord of the Rings. As far as all the people we know, our conclusions are quite accurate (obvs with a couple exceptions). Here's what we came up with--

If your fav character is:

- Frodo - You are the everyman, humble but also courageous. You're probably the quiet type.


- Sam - Yeah we get it, everyone knows you're a great person and a really good friend, or at least you'd like everyone to think that. The sad truth of the matter is that people like Sam do not actually exist, but sure you're probably trying your best.


- Gollum - Put the drugs down.


- Eomer - You are probably a woman. Or maybe a gay man. (We don't wanna discriminate.) Whatever you are, you appreciate very manly good-looking dudes, and your personality is probably of the Alpha persuasion.



- Legolas - You are definitely into dudes.


- Aragorn - You're probably male and you wish you rocked that hard. Too bad no one actually rocks that hard.



- Merry and/or Pippin - You're just all around awesome, and you enjoy the simple comforts in life. Mainly eating, drinking, and being merry.
- ...and if your fav is just Merry - Same as above, but you read the books before you saw the movies.


- Gandalf - You are a giant nerd and we salute you for it.


- Faramir - Congrats, you read all three books. You're also probably about as close in personality to Aragorn as any real human could hope to be; you just don't brag about it.


- Galadriel - You are strong with the Force. ...and you're probably kind of a weirdo.


- Arwen - You're a dude. If you're not a dude, you are a hopeless romantic, and you might want to try and accept the fact that you will never find anyone in real life as awesome as Aragorn. He just doesn't exist.


- Eowyn - You, m'lady, are more awesome than you think you are. Don't be so hard on yourself. ....You also might be a feminist.



 - Saruman - You're an asshole.


- Treebeard - Hippie!!


- Tom Bomadil - You rock harder than pretty much everyone, ever.


- Gimli - You like video games. A lot. (I disputed this, but since I couldn't think of anything else it stays...)


- The Mouth of Sauron - You laugh at innappropriate moments, are fluent in sarcasm, and you might be a sociopath.


- Theoden - Good job, you're a mature adult!




- That Drunk Hobbit at Bilbo's Birthday Party - You are the life and soul of everybody's party. 





Anyone like anime? These nearly decapitated me when they fell out of my closet. I'm pretty sure I stole them from someone...
...claimed on a first-come-first-serve basis. You can take all or a few. 

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Those Protestants; up to no good as usual...



First some anonymous comment replies, because I've forgotten to do it for like the last 20 posts...
Cleo: Thanks for the Underwood-love!

Pogo: That painting was actually painted by me. I'll post a decent pic of it if I can remember...

Anonymous 1 from the first car post: I got the Cthulhu sticker on ebay, while trying to find this one I saw of a t-rex eating a Darwin and a Jesus Fish (and inside the t-rex it said, "shut up").

Anonymous 2: Glad I could make you laugh. :D And the alethiometer is still in my purse.
I think it's pretty much a security blanket at this point... I like shiny fancy things. 

Spooky's Darling: you are correct in the pronunciation of "Mich," since it's technically just "me." But you could go either way, since it also kind of refers to Michiru. :D

Em: Not creepy at all. I'll still be your nanny if you want. ;)

ArachneMorte: That was my pumpkin pie; thanks for the compliment!!


*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
Almost ran out of vitamins* this weekend.

shut up

But new Vitamin-Friend is a muffin, and not only did he come through for me, he also DELIVERS. We have fallen into a system in which the only contact we have is through texting, and all transactions are conducted via my mailbox.

This became problematic Sunday night when I went to retrieve my prize at around 11.00. A dense fog had settled over Bergen County and my driveway looked like a scene from a horror film. And OF COURSE when I need to go to the mailbox, the raccoons decide to start some kind riot out the front garden.
-__-


Little Bro #2 texted me on Friday to see if I wanted to go see some band with him on Saturday. Since I hardly ever get to hang out with the Little Bros, I of course said yes. We had a good dinner (omg the ranchhouse salad was DELICIOUS) and the band was ok, and I was reminded why I never go out anymore because the place was filled with loud girls in offensively short skirts, and awkwardly drunk guys in lots of plaid.

We got home around midnight, and I went to bed with the intention of fleeing Dad's house before they could try and convince/guilt me into going to church with them. This plan failed, because Step-Mom woke me up Sunday morning to tell me that Little Bro #2 was playing the drums in the church's "band", and would I like to come to church with them to see him play?

Le sigh.

I'm completely tolerant of other people's religions. As far as I'm concerned, there is no right or wrong choice of religion. They're all more or less the same basic principles--something large and immortal created the planet and everything in it; and you shouldn't do bad things like killing people and stealing, and you'll can get some kind of reward in the next life. And I think it's great if you've found a faith that really makes you feel happy and fulfilled and junk. 

However

I'm not sure about everyone else, but I feel really awkward around other people's religions. It's like going over to someone's house on their laundry day, and sitting in their living room when the family's knickers are hanging up to dry on the clothes horse and on the radiators (probably not such a common occurrence in the States, but I'm sure you can imagine how awkward that would be...). You're sitting in your friend's living room just trying to hang out and have a good time, and trying to look anywhere but at your friend's mom's bright red Victoria's Secret wonderbra.

That's how I feel when I go out to eat with Dad & Co., and they say grace in the middle of the restaurant. Or when I'm spending the night and they do the family praying thing before bed (I hid in the bathroom for like 20 minutes Saturday night until I was certain they'd gone to bed). On Thanksgiving, I got the Evil Eye because I automatically crossed myself after Dad finished saying grace over Thanksgiving dinner (I cant help it; it's like a nervous tic).

A couple of friends have said they feel the same way, and they actually opined that it's because we were raised strictly Catholic. We've been conditioned to believe that all other religions are full of heresy. Especially the Protestants. 
o.O

The thing I dislike more than my father saying grace in the middle of a restaurant, more than the nightly family prayer, more than the forlorn look of disappointment he gives my religious jewelry, is going to church with them on Sundays.

I can't handle it.
so I just sink into my chair and pretend I'm invisible

The informality of the Service (I got told off for calling it "Mass"), the lack of any kind of art on the walls or windows, the constant leaping out of the chairs with "halleluja!" and "praise the LORD!!" from random churchgoers, the religious pop-rock, the powerpoint presentation projected over the cross, the table of coffee and breakfast pastries that people hang around during the service (blasphemers!!), the way they call their minister "Pastor" instead of THE pastor (that drives me extra nuts; I don't know why...).

I have nothing against it, but experiencing someone else's religion up close and personal like that is difficult. It's just so completely alien to me, and it goes against everything I was raised to believe about the practice of religion. YOU PEOPLE SHOULD NOT BE SO OBVIOUSLY ENJOYING YOURSELVES.
we're going to be SMOTE because y'all are having fun

And it proves that the Catholic teachings have truly been perfected as far as Classical Conditioning, because even though I'm not a very devout Catholic and I don't go to Mass very often, attending my father's church always makes me want to run screaming across the street to their town's Catholic church and curl into a ball at the priest's feet, begging for forgiveness and psychically absorbing the nice calm, quiet, and very pious hymns.
I had one of Palestrina's madrigals playing on my ipod for most of the drive home, to make me relax.

WTF.

I guess because religion really is such a personal thing? But it still bothers me that I get so bothered by daddy's church. If that makes sense. 

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Oh Christmas tree, much pleasure thou can'st give me...

Firstly I want to say thanks for all the support I got on the last post. You are all truly amazing. <3


You know what drives me COMPLETELY FREAKING INSANE?

I can handle nails on a chalkboard. I can handle people talking about horrific gore and violence and bodily fluids while I'm eating. I can deal with germs and annoying/loud/obnoxious people and really bad drivers and children speaking with their mouths full. 

But

I cannot 

under any circumstances

EVER

stay in a room with your f**king Christmas tree

when only one strand of lights is blinking. 

WHAT IN THE NAME OF CHRIST ALMIGHTY IS WRONG WITH YOU

It's wrong. So very very wrong. And I will fix it. Even if it means going out and getting you a whole new strand of lights to replace it. The blinking lights shall be disposed of, never to sporadically darken your doorstep again. 

That's just as bad--that one length of fairy lights along the eaves of your house that blinks every couple seconds

even though none of your other lights are blinking. 

I'm going to burn your f**king house down because I CAN'T LOOK AT IT WITHOUT BURSTING A BLOOD VESSEL. 

....ok Christmas rant over....


Now a Christmas art project instead.


Mum bought a bunch of new garland things at K-Mart. I strung them about the dining room, but they needed a little something more. 

I dug around in the downstairs closet to see if we had any nice ribbon in festive colours. We didn't, but we DID have a bunch of leis hanging around on the bottom shelf (from a birthday party? idk....). I grabbed those and some pipe cleaners
as well as some yarn and glue. 


After some experimentation, I made cute flower things with the pipe cleaners and the red and green flowers from the leis. 


And attached them nicely to the garlands.


Even Mum liked it when I was finished! I think it looks pretty awesome. 


AAAAAAAAAAAAAAaaand this is exactly why you should never throw anything away



Hope y'all are enjoying your weekend!