Friday, January 1, 2016

Cake con Pere e Cioccolato

Today  I was looking for this recipe and realized I had never put it on the blog.  I got this recipe out of an Italian cooking magazine. The chocolate-pear combination is tasty and it isn't super sweet.

Chocolate Pear Cake
Pears, 500g (about 2.5 pears--I usually use red pears)
Chocolate, 150g (about 5.25 ounces)
Flour, 200g (about 1.75 cups)
sugar, 150g (3/4 cup)
butter, 150g (1/2 stick + 4 Tbl)
5 eggs
butter and flour for the pan

0. Preheat oven to 325 F. Butter and flour bundt pan.
1. Chop the chocolate and melt in a double boiler (or microwave)
2.  Peel, core, and dice pears. Toss the diced pears with 1 Tbl. flour.
3. Beat the butter and sugar until fluffy.
4. Add chocolate, flour, sugar, and five egg yolks--reserve 2 egg whites.
5. Beat 2 egg whites with a pinch of salt until firm.
6. Fold beaten egg whites into chocolate mixture.
7. Fold coated pear pieces into cake mixture.
8. Put cake into bundt pan.
9. Bake cake for one hour.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Cultural Differences About Sex

I watched Koutara-san, a Japanese anime series, but I almost couldn't finish it because it was so creepy. Like a whole lotta anime, the characters were high school students. The main guy keeps having fantasies about the main girl. Nothing creepy there really. Guys think about sex all the time. He does it because he's a guy, and he does it because she's psychic and is embarrassed when she reads his mind and "sees" his fantasies. Funny. Everyone calls him a pervert, but really, like most teenage guys (and guys in general), he's just a horn dog. Okay. Nothing really strange there.

Main girl goes home. Grandpa makes her sit in his lap. Then he fantasizes about her. Okay. Crossed the line. Creepy. Gross. Disgusting. What's with the dirty old men in Japanime? They chase high school girls around peeking up their skirts and snapping photos and it's supposed to be funny. But this was a cut above. A whole-notha-level. That's his GRANDDAUGHTER! Ew! Grandpa goes on to tell the main male character how he got to feel her thighs! Then he fantasizes about his granddaughter's female classmates. I almost quit watching. The girl called him a pervert, but that's about it. It seemed "normal." I'm so disturbed.

Grandpa even chastised the main male character for only fantasizing and not making any moves on his granddaughter!

Japan has a problem with men groping women and girls. It's so bad that they have female-only cars on trains. That seems like just avoiding the problem rather than dealing with it. I'm not saying we don't have our own messed up attitudes about sex here in the US. I know we do. It's just crazy how ogling young girls is so mainstream.

I just had to rant about that.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Elvis Costello Close Up

Elvis Costello wrote a book. Ross heard about it on the radio. Actually, he heard that Elvis Costello was going to be in town talking about the book he wrote. Sorry Karlie (yoga teacher), everyone gets bumped for Elvis. Ross bought us tickets to the event, which included signed copies of the book.

The doors opened at 6p. We showed up about 5 till 6. The line was a block and a half long, which meant we wouldn't be able to sit, we'd have to stand throughout the event. I was wearing a pair of Miz Mooz heels, which was a good thing. They were comfortable enough to wear, standing for 3 hours, and they gave me some height to see over the crowd.

So the event: Elvis spoke with some reporter guy, kind of interview style. Elvis also had a little slide show for us. We were expressly told to only take photos at the very start of the event or we'd be kicked out. Haha. It was so crowded, there is no way they could get to people to kick them out. Most people were good about it though. 

It is fun to hear Elvis talk cause he has a cute accent. At the end of the event he actually played a little guitar--we were told there would be no singing or performance. Then an old buddy of his came out and they played and sang together.  The music performance part of the event was probably about 15 minutes total. I recorded it with my phone. Then at the end I took a bunch of photos. These photos are the only two really that came out. Both were taken at the start of the event. 

This was the closest (physically) I've ever been to Elvis Costello. There were some folks sitting at his feet--yeah, I was annoyed when people from the back of the line got to sit in front, even closer than the folks who were first in line.

Another fun time with Elvis. I'm glad Ross heard about it and we were able to get tickets. I'm glad we have the money to spend willy-nilly on these sorts of things. Oh, and afterward we walked across the street (6th Street) to get Amy's ice cream.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Fort Worth Zoo

I haven't posted in a long time, but I have so many great pictures from the zoo, I really need to do a blog post. We went up to Fort Worth for my 10 year reunion. I'm actually really glad that I went. I might do a post about that.

Yesterday we went to the zoo. It was a beautiful day, and I read online that they had lion cubs and I wanted to see them. We got to see lion cubs, jaguar cubs, and 2 year old elephants. It was a great day at the zoo.

This is the male lion cub. There were also two females. One was hiding, only peeking up from behind a rock. I took tons of photos. Apparently they like to play with dad's mane, but he wasn't out yesterday.

I love how my camera has super zoom. I can zoom in between the links of chain link fence and get super close up shots. My camera is awesome, but I need to learn more about how to use all the features. When we first got to the zoo I was having a lot of trouble with the view finder--everything looked blurry, but the shots came out crisp. Luckily Ross and I worked out that the camera has a thing where you can change what the view finder looks like--I guess so that it is clear if you are looking through it without your glasses.

That is a coyote.

The two year old elephants were so adorable. They weigh 1700 and 2000 pounds! They are aunt and nephew, born only 28 days apart. The male has tiny little tusks. I wanted to hug the  (not so) little elephants.

We spent a really long time at the jaguar exhibit. The cubs were playful--with each other and their mother. So as we were standing there watching them, and I desperately tried to get the camera to focus past the chain link fence--a lot of folks passed by. A bunch of people kept calling them Jag-wires. That makes no sense to me. It was odd, and annoying. The other thing was that people kept calling them all sorts of things--cheetahs, leopards, tigers, lions. Well, it was little kids calling them tigers and lions, but the parents didn't say anything. What? Tell the kids it is a jaguar (not jagwire)! Spend more than two seconds looking at them as you pass by. Oh well, Ross and I enjoyed watching them.

Here's a shot of me being cheesy. I have the wingspan of a turkey vulture.

A long time ago, when we still lived in Fort Worth, we went to the zoo and Ross pet an armadillo named Digger. He talks about it all the time. He says he wants a pet armadillo. He wants his own Digger. When we got to the petting zoo area Ross asked the zoo keeper if Digger was still there. The zoo keeper was nice enough to go pick her up and let us pet her. Ross was over the moon. Digger is now 12 years old. That's a lot older than armadillos live in the wild.

One more video: The elephants playing.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Mini-Project: Bag for Ross

In between major projects I decided to sew a bag for Ross. I used a combination of online tutorials and a bag that I got in a swap to figure out how to make a reversible bag. It didn't take me very long at all to make. I only made one mistake--I cut one piece too small. Luckily, I had enough material to cut another piece.

After I was done I typed up instructions for myself, that way I will know exactly how to do it next time. I think I'll whip up one of these for my next swap partner.

Pink Silk Upcycle

 Over Memorial Day weekend when I was shopping with my mom at Saver's I decided to buy some very large shirts and try to use the material to make something different. I paid less than 4 dollars for this hot pink silk shirt:
I cut it up into pieces and tried to find a pattern that I could fit onto the material. I hadn't thought about how the large armholes would affect trying to make a new shirt. After three tries I found a pattern that fit:

View C was the only one that I had enough material for. I had to buy some hot pink thread. I bought quite a few zippers. I practiced sewing a zipper on some muslin, then I decided I wanted an invisible zipper. The zipper wasn't nearly as hard to sew in as I thought it would be, but I made a bunch of mistakes because I'm not good at 3D visualization and the instructions I had were opposite of my garment--top was bottom. It got confusing. After lots of procrastinating because I hate hand sewing, I finished the top.
Here is the new, upcycled shirt. I made it to fit while wearing my corset. I like how it turned out, and I'm glad to be done with it.

I have a couple of other shirts I bought to upcycle, but I'm not sure what to do with them. I think one of them will make cute little pj shorts.

Next up will be a shirt for Ross.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Celebrity Visit: Dwayne Johnson

I didn't get much sleep last night, but in the little bit that I managed, Dwayne Johnson AKA The Rock AKA The Most Charming Smile on Earth visited me. I was teaching a math/finance class and handing out practice problems. Dwayne came down to the front of the classroom to get the practice problems from me. He was in some sort of gladiator get up. We had a brief conversation. That smile just melts me.