Saturday, December 31, 2005

Its When Now?

I seem to have fallen into that cloudy, confusing space where the day? It's a surprise. It's amazing how regular events seem to be the only way I can keep track of the day in my head. Being on holiday from work takes one of those repeated events off my schedule, and the holidays takes another - expected television shows - away as well, and rejigging my gym schedule around holiday days messes me up even more. I know it's Saturday, but for the past two days, I've been pretty much convinced that it was Sunday.

That's right, Sunday. Two days in a row. And tomorrow? The real Sunday? I have a feeling that's going to feel like a Monday, kids.

But I digress. I post today to take part in a chain. Too much has gone on this year to create a recap that will do it justice, but Amy Corrinne posted an interesting method of encapsulating the year.

Instructions: take the first sentence (or 2) from the first post of each month of 2005. That's your year in review.

August: Oh, monkey, how I love you.
September: In a cage match, who would win?
October: I am blind.
November: I really, really do.
December: I made use of my ice cream maker today.

Let's see...monkeys, violence, ailments, vociferious belief and ice cream. That does pretty much sum it up.

Happy New Years, kids.

Monday, December 26, 2005

The Peanut Butter Solution

Ever see a wee Canadian film production called The Peanut Butter Solution? I did, when I was young, and it freaked my shit out, making me avoid eating peanut butter for fear of what it would do to my hair. And if you haven't seen it, what I just wrote makes absolutely no sense.

But that's okay, because this should: I made hot damn hand made peanut butter today, and it rules. Grinda-grinda with the peanuts in the food processor, grinda-grinda with the cinnamon sticks to add a little flavour, since I'm not down with salted, sweetened PB, but like a little variety on my taste buds, if you know what I mean.

It's funny, the more I learn how to do things, and make things from scratch, the less I want to rely on manufacturers to make these things for me. Peanut butter? Check. Ice cream? Check. Soap? Check. Just wait for the things that I'm gonna whip out with my new stainless steel mandolin! Okay, there will only be slice vegetables with that sucker, but I'm so excited about it, I had to say SOMETHING.


So it's been a few days. I'm pretty boring when left to my own devices. On vacation in my own house. Watching movies. Reading books. Making stuff. That's how it goes.

I did, however, have a really nice holiday weekend. Spent with my immediate family, it was really nice. I made them eat ice cream, and they let me become a bit of a hermit mid-day.

It's an endearing personality trait (at least, that's what I tell myself), my need to spend time alone. My mom tells stories about finding me, day after day, leaving my friends to play by myself in my bedroom closet - the only place where I could go to spend some time with myself.

Sometimes loners are made. But me? I was born with a need for a lot of personal, emotional and mental space. Sometimes I still wish I knew why, but most days, I just deal with it, and am thankful that the people in my life know that when I disappear for a half hour in the middle of a day spent with the family, its just because I need to be alone inside my head.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

The Fist Shaking. It is, This Week, Aimed at my TV.

And, through my TV, to the networks. And their programming executives.

The holidays are not a time for reruns! But yet, there they are. Which, in turn, causes me to turn to Deal or No Deal. And Howie Mandel. Which, in turn, causes me to turn the TV off.

But what of all the movies I had vowed to watch? Yeah, that. Okay, so I watched a few of the gems that I had recorded, but also? Continuing on with my need to vegetate, borrowed a number of horrid Hollywood DVDs from my parents and have pretty much watched them instead.

Capsule reviews:

The Machinist - Excellent. And gross. I had to pause the movie in the middle so that I could run to my kitchen to get something to eat. Apparently, I believed that if I ate something, it would put some meat on Christian Bale's bones. And when I say bones, I mean it.

OT: Our Town - Nice effort, nice sentiment, nice sections, but all around a pretty boring documentary.

Alexander - Run away. Run far, far away. There's nothing that says Greek like a drunkard with a Scottish accent. What?

Boogeyman - Not scary. Sigh. Plus, stars the guy from Seventh Heaven. Which is both hilarious, and sad. And now I remember the last movie I saw him in, Teaching Ms Tingle, and then I think about his co-star in that film, Katie Holmes, and then I decide that Watson and Cruise would be a much better celebrity couple. So, in short, watching "Boogeyman" wasn't a complete loss.

Monster In-Law - Jennifer Lopez shows that she's been taking acting classes. Jane Fonda brings the funny. Michael Vartan brings the cute. And still? I wish this had been an episode of a sitcom canceled after it's first airing.

Hide and Seek - Deniro and Fanning. Fanning and Deniro. What? Exactly.

The Pacifier - I don't even know what I was thinking. Please don't ask.

Fever Pitch - I wanted to like this one SO MUCH. I love Nick Hornby's books. I think Drew Barrymore is adorable. I would like SNL-era Jimmy Fallon to be my boyfriend. But these two? Really, really wooden. I postulate that when a wooden actor plays opposite another wooden actor, the result is a grove of oak trees.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Thank the Internets

Why? Because they provide. They provide the funny, mister.

Years ago, I swore off Saturday Night Live. And, as such, I missed Chris Parnell and Andy Samburg rapping not only about the Chronicles of Narnia, but about a conversation that I know I've had with at least one of you before - Yahoo Maps vs Map Quest vs Google Maps. Thankfully, a friend provided this link to the YouTube site.

Watch it now. Snort. And be reminded of 3rd Bass.

The Chronic-What-Cles of Narnia

In other news, I feel like I need to make a confession. My current special favourite song is "Where Soul Meets Body" (Windows Media Player) by Death Cab for Cutie. I feel like saying that I like Death Cab is like all of those kids who got into The Flaming Lips after they appeared on 90210. The OC? I shake my fist at you!

Saturday, December 17, 2005

So Good! (Falls Down)

The Raspberry Cheesecake Ice Cream I made this morning. Holy. And also, Crap. Seriously, kids, I really do think the ice cream maker was one of the best things that I have bought this year. And now I think that you all need one.


Today, out of the blue, I was reminded of a TV show that I haven't thought of in years. A show that may have, in part, been a reason behind the 8 months that I spent in Australia a bargazillion years ago.

Oh, Home and Away, how hilarious you are. Of all of the bad Australian soap operas I watched as a teenager, you were, by far, the worst. And, in turn, also the best. Because you were the worst. Oh, my.

"You couldn't read instructions if they were written a mile high in whiskey bottles, and that's saying something! "

Indeed it is, Alf. Indeed, it is.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

I Make Lists

Because its soothing. My current favourite list that I have going right now is the one that details all the excellent food experiements I'll be trying out while on vacation. Wanna hear it? Here it goes:

. Homemade peanut butter. You heard me! And don't you ever dare say you're surprised that I'm trying this one out. Oh, peanut butter, you are a lovely, lovely spoonful, and I am dedicated to mastering you! I know, I've tried before, but that wasn't really MAKING peanut butter, just adding flavours. Anyway, I picked up a massive nutty amount of peanuts today - although I must say I'm a little disappointed that I couldn't find raw, and had to go with dry roasted and unsalted instead. Because when I say scratch, I really, really mean it. However, no roasting of the nuts in my oven this time around, but definately with the grinda-grinda and the crazy flavours. I'm going to try a cinnamon. And a cinnamon dark chocolate blend. Ohhhh, man. I said, OOOHHHHH MANNN.

. Frozen deserts! I've made it my responsibility to bring the desert to the family Christmas dinner tonight. And, dammit, am I going to deliver. In addition to the Chocolate Cinnamon Cayenne Ice Cream that I've made previously, I'm also going to bring a Raspberry Sorbet, a Blueberry Frozen Yogurt, and, because my brother might be a little upset with the lack of cheesecake, a freaking Raspberry Cheesecake Ice Cream. The Cheesecake sucker will be attempted on Saturady, and if it passes inspection, I will be very, very please, and will possibly make it the centerpiece of the evening.

Its Gotta be Time for Another Injury Post

Not that I've up and hurt myself again, nono, but this post is dedicated to a past injury. A past injury that was misdiagnosed.

Remember three weeks ago when I crushed my finger at the gym? The doctor that looked at my x-rays that morning told me that I hadn't fractured the bone, and that I had a mere soft tissue injury.

That doctor, apparently, knows not how to read x-rays.

I went to my GP this morning because I've become quite concerned over the fact that my finger is still sauage-swollen, that I can't grip completely with it, and that it still hurts. She had the radiologist report. The radiologist report that stated, quite clearly, that the bone had been fractured.

Meanwhile, because it hadn't healed, I'd been envisioning a horrible future filled with microsurgery and tendon and / or ligament problems plaguing me for life.

So, emergency room doctor, I shake my fist, my fist with broken finger, at you. In anger!

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Helllloooooo Vacation!

It's so nice to see you again! I was beginning to think that maybe you were ignoring me, but, just when I need you most, there you are.

I think I love you a little.

Even if my first really holiday day will see me at the doctors to make sure I don't have to have my finger amputated.

The one thing that I'm not too happy about is that I had to leave work without saying goodbye, in person, to a couple of coworkers who have been out of the office since Monday. Sigh.

But vacation! You are here, and we will get along famously.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

This is not a Post about Movie Shame

And how I ask my DVR to record movies for me that I intend on watching "later", when, really, "later" sees me watching utter crap like Surviving Christmas.

Nope, this is a post about how clever I am to create a wee library of films to watch while on vacation. That's right kids, my vacation starts on Dec 15, and goes all the way on to Jan 3.

Thats some long holiday, it is.

Anyway, films on tap:

The Sea Inside
OT: Our Town
The Passion of the Christ
Bright Young Things
Bad Education
Hotel Rwanda
The Machinist

That should take me through a couple of days, I reckon.

PS: The IMDB Search Engine extension for Firefox? Brilliant.

Friday, December 09, 2005

An Open Letter to Rick Springfield

Dear, dear Rick ~

I don't know if you realize how much it pains me to write this. It pains me like a 45lbs plate weight dropped on the ring finger of my left hand, that's how much it hurts. And why? Why am I so distressed? Because watching your guest appearance on General Hospital has forced me to come to a horrible, horrible conclusion: as an actor, you stink.

Please, just stop.

Thank you, and good night.

Monday, December 05, 2005

My Skin is Trying to Desert Me!

Why? Because I brought it to Calgary in the winter. In fact, it's trying to detach itself from my body and take the next flight back to Ontario.

So lets talk about the horrid winter experiences that I've had in this city. I'm in that kind of mood. Calgary, usually I love you, but you try me dearly at the end of the year.

One past winter visit, in particular, spotlights just why you and I will always have a contentuous relationship when it comes to the cold. My hotel was located just a few short blocks from my company’s office tower, and even though the cold was enough to make my monkey crazy, the thought of taking a cab offended me to no end. I was tough! I was a woman of steel, and may have just had the Underoos to prove it! I had boots with a heavy tread! And mitts! And a hat! Goddamn it, I was prepared for the cold.

Right. For the cold. Not for the thieving air that stole every bit of moisture out of my body.

Though I was only there for three days, when I returned home, I came across a horrifying souvenir of my travels – a dry circle of skin around both ankles, at the exact location where my boot (and always falling down in a pool around my ankles socks) ended. The freaking air! I swear it stole up my pant leg like a thief in the night (day) and left its mark. Took weeks for the marks to fade. Weeks, I say.

Another Calgary business trip saw me, replete with inflatable cast Robot Foot (much to my chagrin, having a Robot Foot did not, it seem, help to improve my break dancing) encasing my right leg, from foot to knee, strolling to and from hotel to office again. Broken foot! Snow on ground! Taxi? Hell no. Confession: I am insufferably cheap. Even when the company is footing (Robot Footing) the bill. And also, 6 blocks. At the most. Seriously, folks, isn’t the fact that I work for an Oil and Gas company enough of a smack to the Environment’s face? I feel like it’s my duty to take action against the pollution in my non-work life whenever I can. But I digress.

Anyway, it was March, and I had assumed that Calgary was a sane town, and would’ve quit it with the snow. And it had, at least when I had landed on a Sunday night. The Monday morning was another story. I emerged (hobbled) out of the front enterance of the hotel into a steadily falling snowfall, and at least 3 centimeters of the stuff already on the ground. By the time I got to the office, snow had infiltrated my Robot Foot through the toe opening, and the first half of my sock was soaked through. But that was okay, ‘cause my toes? So cold they weren’t feeling a thing.

But lets face it – anything the Calgary can throw at me will always pale in comparison to February in Winnipeg. Even wearing four layers of winter clothing did nothing to combat the elements. Attempting to breathe the air made my lungs freeze and seize up, and my skeleton may have tried to run away, with plans to hitchhike back to Ontario. At least in Calgary, it's just my skin that's attempting to make a great escape.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

So Excited I was About the Pudding Pop Ice Cream

I forgot to mention this: Susur Lee (or, as he's known in my world, "Oh, Susur") has been scheduled to appear on Iron Chef America in 2006!

That is all.

Soft Serve is for Suckers!

I made use of my ice cream maker today. Or, perhaps I should call it an "ice cream" maker in reference to today's project, but, don't fault me, I wanted to start with something easy and inexpensive to get a feel for how the machine worked. And, let's face it, what I made? EXCELLENT. And nostalgic.

Earlier this year, I found out that Jell-O Pudding Pops had been reintroduced into the US market, and I swear to God, my whole body started to shake with excitement at the possibility that they'd make their way into Canada. So much so that I might have contacted Unilever Canada to ask about it? When they told me that it would be a cold day in Hell (a cold day in Hell WITHOUT PUDDING POPS) before they'd sell them up here, I may have spiraled into an ice-y snack-based depression.

Imagine my delight when I spied a recipe in my machine's accompanying instruction book for fudgesicle ice cream. Looking at the ingredients (2 packs of instant pudding and 3 cups of milk - see what I mean by "ice cream"?), I realized that, Goddamn, PUDDING POPS.

Of course, not being able to leave well enough alone, I added a tablespoon of cinnamon to the Jell-O Chocolate Fudge instant pudding powder ("chocolate" is always better when it's followed by "fudge" - they're best friends, you see), and when it was all finished up in the machine, I stirred in a cup of diced fresh strawberries.

And I can't tell you how it tastes because it's the consistency of soft serve! And soft serve is for suckers!

Really, though, it's getting a bit more of its freeze on right now.

And really? I do hate soft serve. With a passion. Always have. In fact, a friend got me all kinds of excited about an ice cream stand near her new home that my disappointment was almost palpable when we finally went and I realized that the place only served soft serve.

So, yeah. Pudding Pop excellence will be consumed this weekend. And real ice cream, REAL ice cream, REAL chocolate cinnamon cayenne ice cream, will be made next week.