Muppety goodness

 I thought it had been too long since the two loves of my life* had made their appearance together. So I went and rewatched this video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oiMZa8flyYY

That’s right, OK Go and the Muppets. Plus, Bret McKenzie of Flight of the Conchords was the musical director for the upcoming film. I am fangirling more than is rightfully appropriate for a girl my age.

Watch. Enjoy. Feel the awesomeness.

*Damian and Andy of OK Go count as one love of my life under the heading “OK Go.” The Muppets are the second entity. They’re both categorised by way of synecdoche.

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I GOT SO MUCH DONE TODAY

Amazing what happens when you get home from work before 3 a.m.

I’m trying very hard not to write about work right now but it’s what happened all weekend so it’s kind of on my mind.

What I did today:

  •  turned the heat on 😦
  • finally picked up a course pack for a course that’s nearly halfway through
  • mailed a letter
  • killed a fruit fly with nail polish fumes*
  • found out my friend ISN’T DEAD! (we thought she’d gone missing; turns out her phone broke)
  • used my roomie’s metropass to figure out that the bus doesn’t come very often (thanks, P!)
  • bought more of the same fabric for a commission that has taken me WAY too long to finish (sorry, C)
  • bought some pieces for my Hallowe’en costume (which shall remain a secret until Archery Fun Shoot tomorrow!)
  • discovered a way to use my fascinator in my Hallowe’en costume (and that’s all I’m sayin’!)
  • got my new ear piercings to stop bleeding so much
  • rounded up a bunch of clothes and purses for donation
    • still need to find a shelter to which said items will be donated
  • watched a movie about notorious courtesan Veronica Franco
    • briefly considered becoming a courtesan, realised time travel still doesn’t exist
  • played way too much Bejeweled (dammit)

So, there was some productivity and some really, really… erm… opposite of productivity. Either way, I got a lot done today. And now, back to breaking my top score on Bejeweled…

*True story. It was buzzing around my room, I go to paint my nails, bam! it’s belly up beside the bottle.

The plight of the non-foodie

The other day in my cooking course I admitted to my class that I take shortcuts while cooking, shop at Metro, have only boiled my own stock once, and generally don’t like to take all that time to do the slow, hand-made-with-extra-love thing. They looked at me like I had just punted a newborn organic free-range kitten into a flaming pit of shark’s fin soup (which is delicious with some ground bald eagle). I’d forgotten I was in a room full of organic locavore foodies, and to them the confession that I occasionally eat frozen pizza was high treason.

My prof had asked whether everybody adhered to the local-farmer’s-market-sustainability agenda while cooking, and had emphasised the fact that not doing so does not make you a horrible person. She set me up. According to the death glares sent my way via the rest of the class, my favourite hobby is tearing the ozone layer with my teeth while filling rivers with pesticides and killing good, honest, filthy-handed farmers with my city ways and convenient luxuries (like Pop-Tarts. Luxurious, I know).

I’m sorry I don’t have enough time, patience, money, desire or ability to cook and eat the way you want me to. But to eat the way I do is as much my decision as your vegan lifestyle is your decision. If I want to pay less to get more food that lasts longer without spoiling, I will do so. Modern farming evolved to keep up with city lifestyle; if you want to live off the land then a big city really isn’t the place for you. Kudos to you for growing your own herbs and small vegetables – like I said, I don’t have the patience for that. I respect your eating decisions. I’d appreciate if you would respect mine.

Besides, it’s not like I’m this guy: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xaLpVzPxY6w 

P.S. Current food terminology is highly inaccurate! “Organic” is defined as anything that lives and grows. “Chemical” is defined as everything. Oxygen is a chemical, this is why it is a major part of chemistry. Hydrogen is a chemical. Carbon is a chemical. Combined they form carbohydrates – what plants are made of. Every plant and animal is organic. Every plant and animal is chemical. If you grow a corn stalk chemical-free then you are growing it without air and water. You cannot have an inorganic potato, there is no such thing (unless it is plastic). [/rant]

Perils of waitressing (at a sports bar)

  • Soccer hooligans
    • with snare drums
    • with vuvuzelas
    • with babies
  • Football hooligans
  • Hockey openers/playoff season
  • Pretty much any major sporting event
    • except anything MLB (sorry, it’s true)
  • Darts (thank god we don’t have any)
  • Pool cues
  • Pool balls
  • Most other balls
  • $7.99 mini-pitcher night
  • After-work sports teams
  • After-school sports teams
  • Public washrooms
  • Getting the wing sauce wrong (hasn’t happened to me… knock on wood)
    • because wings are expensive and we don’t get a discount
  • Butt-grabs (mostly by other waitresses but still surprising)
  • Shoes. Oh god, shoes.
    • and spider veins
  • The lactose-intolerant
  • Apparent year-long patio season
  • Spandex

In no particular order.

 

Wedding bells

Since my roommates and I moved into our house here in July, the old tenants’ mail has been piling up steadily with the intent that one of us lazy arses is going to eventually find out a forwarding address from the landlord. Since none of us has taken the initiative, the mail has accumulated into quite a pile. Today, my roommate who deals me some good Futurama episodes went through it all so we could save ourselves the trouble of forwarding the junk. (This was a move designed to make us feel like we were doing something, which we undoubtedly will not follow through on.) He came across an envelope in the shape of a wedding invitation and lo! It was so. (pix 1 and 2)

What to do? The name on the envelope was not even one that we recognised as one belonging to the previous tenants; could it be that this unknown couple was inviting someone they hadn’t seen since the people BEFORE the people before us lived here? (I think that sentence made sense.) Indeed, the invitation was addressed to someone “and guest,” so the couple was unclear whether their intended guest would even be bringing a plus one.

The invitation requested an RSVP by September. Oops.

Now what to do? Obviously it was too late to forward the invitation, even if we could track down the invitee. Plus the wedding was last weekend.

So my roommate and I did the best thing we could.

We sent a letter of congratulations and some origami. (pix 3 and 4)

P.s. Yeah, that’s the quill pen in action. Awww yeah.

A poignant vignette in the life of Kate

Scene: My brother, Mittens, and I are sitting in a Chinese restaurant (lovingly nicknamed The Dishwater Cafe due to the low standards of their tea and tapwater) over lunch, eating beef and broccoli and General Tao.

Mittens: So, what’s your new song about?

Me: (reaching for his beef and broccoli) Meat.

Mittens: Your song is about meat?

Me: What?

Welcome, Christmas, bring good cheer

It’s that time of year again. The time when the church choirs dust off the carolling books, the department stores haul out the holly, and as soon as that pesky Hallowe’en’s out of the way (which we’ve been preparing for since August), the countdown for Shopping Days Left Till Christmas begins. (Only 65!)

Today I started rehearsals with the Kingsway United Church for their annual Christmas Pageant (which I’m pretty sure takes place on December 8th or something). This is my second year as choir director and already I’m known for my embarrassing choral warmups, eccentric conducting, and tendency to lose my voice by the end of rehearsal. (Thankfully, I’m only in charge for three weeks, and then the music director steps in to lose her voice instead.)

What a joyous season. Kids plan their costumes and get hyped on stolen candy from their parents’ shell-out stash while we celebrate the birth of Baby Jesus and try to be enthusiastic about shepherds for the next two months. Ring a bell, ring it merry up and down.

(As a side note, I’ve decided on my costume for this year. You know how most girls just add “slutty” to whatever they’re wearing? Slutty rabbit, slutty girl guide, slutty SS Youth, etc.? I’m just going to be a slut. That’s right – I’m going as Hester Prynne. The sluttiest Puritan of them all.)

(It’s kind of weird that I’m allowed to be a role model for children.)

Well, I’m off to the land of nod. Need to recuperate from all that exuberant conducting. It is a workout. Merry Hallow’s Eve to all, and to all a good night.

Roommates

“I now control what she watches through use of my black stick of awesomeness.”

“That she sticks in her (USB) slot?”

“…Yes.”

I love that Roommate #1 (my Futurama enabler) didn’t even recognise what he was saying could have been interpreted as dirty.
Really.
With me as a roommate. You’d think my influence would’ve had more effect by now.
Thankfully Roommate #2 was there to fill in the holes for him.

That's what she said

That's what she said

Molto grazie!

Thanks to my friend Judy (www.judyphamwrites.com) for the shout-out on her blog. Here’s a plug in return!

Thanks also for inspiring me to get my words out there, too. After all, developing a vernacular is half the battle in figuring out what to do with your seemingly useless incipient English degree.

Gracias, amiga!

Cook the Books: an actual class at U of T

 

The best cookbook ever

This is an actual assignment for an actual half-credit class at U of T. Be jealous of my course load. 

This cookbook was given to me by my mother at the age of fourteen, incidentally the year I learned how to boil water. Its wit, along with its good advice on all areas of kitchen activity, convinced me that even I could eventually learn how to heat tinned soup without cutting myself or add pasta to that boiling water for a more filling meal. The recipes are simple and direct, easily understood, and easily undertaken by somebody with my primitive cooking knowledge.

What makes this book really important to me, other than the sarcasm with which it was given to me by dear old mum, is that it manages to instruct without patronizing and gives sound advice. The author, Evelyn Raab, wrote this book as a means of instructing her two then-teenaged sons on how not to starve to death. It’s helped me do much the same, though usually because of the first instructions in the book: throw everything in the fridge into a stir-fry. 

Eight years after I received this book, it is still my go-to for simple, everyday meals that still manage to take me an hour and a half to put together. Effective tips on managing food waste, storage, portioning, ingredient substitutes, and shopping list efficiency throughout the book provide a good grounding and general arsenal for the culinarily challenged. There are a few basic recipes as well that can be used as the foundation for more complex recipes – pie crusts, different kinds of crumbles, and bread, for example – so that the beginner cook can advance to novice and begin to take on more complex recipes in the future. The title of this book is extremely apt.

The day I burned myself and dropped half a frozen pizza through the oven rack was the day my mom decided that enough was enough, and bought me the first cookbook she found in the children’s section that didn’t involve an Easy Bake oven. From that day forward I’ve been burning myself on pot handles, casserole dishes, baking pans, Pyrex and all sorts of other cooking accoutrements! While my ability to cook hasn’t hit the pinnacles of fine cuisine, I am now able to not starve to death due to techniques learned in this book. Raab’s goal of educating her teenaged sons on the basics of kitchen abilities has been successfully achieved in Clueless in the Kitchen.