Tuesday, November 15, 2011


I really, really, really hate 95% of the quotes people post on Facebook and it's not because I don't like quotes.  I love quotes.  It's just that people get so wrapped up in trying to motivate themselves and others and it just always comes out as fakety fake fake fake.

Personally, I don't look to poems or presidents or the bible for inspiration to be a good person or to motivate me.

So here's something from the book I am reading, For the Love of Physics, that I found inspirational and I so rarely feel inspired by anything.  Blame my generation-WHY?! irreverence; there is nothing I can do about it... to the quote:

Of course I show them to people.  If you know a rainbow could be right in front of you, why not look for it, and why not make sure others see it too? 

- Walter Lewin

So today, I want you to go out there and be WEIRD ENOUGH TO SHOW PEOPLE YOUR RAINBOWS.

You can get the book here, which goes into so much rainbow detail you'll puke and it'll be breathtakingly beautiful, but for now, here's a short lesson in how to find a rainbow:

Stand with your back to the sun.  Look at end of your shadow (your head).  Look up 42º and to the right and left, there you should find a rainbow if conditions are right (sun is low enough, clouds are not obscuring the light, there is moisture across from the sun, etc).

If you want to see more rainbows, check out Atmospheric Optics
and if you're really, really into rainbows, check out the Cloud Appreciation Society, which I did not know until today existed but I'm rather excited about it.  They have a fantastic online gallery.

from National Geographic

Monday, November 14, 2011

and then it's like...

I haven't blogged in a while.

Here's an update:

I have nada to write about.  or I do but no pictures.  or time.  or I have time but I'd rather spend it playing sudoku on my phone.

In the last three weeks I have watched more Saturday Night Live than I ever have in my life.

Here are some revelations:
I like Jon Hamm and appreciate his hairiness.
Kristen Wiig is a monster.
Grew up watching Kenan Thompson and I still hate him- he's NOT funny and all of his impressions B-L-O-W.
I still think I'm related to Jason Sudeikis which might be why I don't find him at all attractive but Bill Hader is winning me over with every episode.
Super jealous of Fred Armisen because he gets to make out with everyone.

Friday, October 7, 2011

carson pirie scott goodwill haul-aaaa!

Here's the shiz I swagged at the Carson Pirie Scott Goodwill sale.  For those who don't live in the midwest, Carson Pirie Scott is a department store and is the same thing as Bon-Ton and Bergners and Bostons and some other stores.  Once or twice a year they give you coupons for every item you donate to Goodwill.  I always have things to donate to Goodwill so I got a lot of coupons but I only used three.

Firstly I got this A Byer dress, seen here on me at my aunt's funeral... it was $30 which is more than I like to pay for things I'm going to brag about but I didn't find anything that I felt better about wearing to a funeral.

Unrelated (hah!) but did you know that I have 21 first cousins?

I also got this crazy dress by Jessica Simpson (ew.) for $10- marked down from $99!  I feel fat so I put it on my mannequin.

Last but not least I got these Coach shoes, marked down from $208 to $25, as seen here on my cross dressing son.

I wouldn't normally waste my money on Coach shoes but $25 isn't so bad.  I've spent more than that on shitty heels at Charlotte Russe.  The lesson to be learned here is: I'm good at shopping.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

cupcakes for two challenge: low carb/gluten-free

I really loved this post from How Sweet It Is (even though Joe and Oli did NOT like the cupcakes; I didn't try them) and Kelsi's vegan version on her blog... but I don't eat sugar and try to avoid flour... and don't really give a shit about eating vegan.

Changing one thing in a recipe is difficult enough... I changed two.  I've made two attempts so far and plan to keep trying but I think my second try wasn't so bad.  In place of flour I've used great northern beans and in place of sugar I've used Truvia.  I thought the problem was going to be the bean taste but that wasn't a problem at all... the challenge was in how wet the batter gets.

What's great about the original recipe is that it can be mixed up in a single bowl and only makes two cupcakes.  The recipes I've seen in the past for bean cakes required the beans to go in the blender but that kind of defeats the whole purpose so I just forked 'em.

Awesome shit: I found these silicon cupcake... cups ($5.99) and liners ($0.99) from IKEA.  Eff yeah... now I don't have to wash the unwieldy 12-count cupcake pan!

So as far as the cupcakes go... they're pretty good, they're vanilla-y, they're a little nutty (from the almond meal), and slightly healthy tasting but they do not taste like beans.

White Bean Cupcakes (pour deux)

1/4 cup great northern beans- rinsed and drained WELL
1 egg white
2.5 tsp Truvia (or 2 tbsp equiv of sugar)
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp of almond meal

preheat oven to 350º
fork drained beans until just mush
mix all the rest of the shit together
depending on consistency of batter, you may need to add more almond meal
fill cupcake liners and bake that shit for about 22-26 minutes.

I made buttercream frosting for the top but it was really fucking rich and I think next time I'll just whip up some lightly sweetened heavy whipping cream instead.

but here's the buttercream recipe anyway:

1/2 stick of butter, softened
1/2 cup of powdered erythritol
dash of vanilla extract
1 or 2 tsp heavy whipping cream or milk
2-3 drops of liquid sucralose (stevia would also work)

directions: whip it.  whip it real good.  (mix it with a handmixer)

Chemistry lesson!

In this recipe, I used baking powder... but next time I'm gonna change things up.  So what's the difference between baking soda and baking powder?  You don't need a whole fucking chemistry lesson but here's the principle, they both create carbon dioxide in your baked goods (make 'em rise).  Baking soda is its own thing... it reacts with an acid (lemon juice, buttermilk, vinegar...) to do its job... baking powder is baking soda AND an acid (but it doesn't react until it gets wet).  So DON'T use baking soda when you don't have an acid, but it's cool to use both baking soda and baking powder if you want a big top to your muffins and cupcakes.

Friday, September 30, 2011

oliver's birthday party and HOW TO make NASA cupcakes

I'm a really awesome mom a few times a year.  Most of the time I am kind of a shitty mom, but about thrice a year, I am pretty much the greatest mom ever.  This sort of on-again-off-again attitude toward doing things is how I generally do everything so it shouldn't surprise any one that I neglect my child 362 days a year, then go BALLS OUT to make up for it.

and I went BALLS OUT this year for Oli's third birthday/goodbye space shuttle program party.

I didn't take a lot of pictures because I was too busy being such a great mom.  The only picture I regret not getting was of the cake.  I have pictures of all of the components, but not the cake when it was put together.  Basically, I made cupcakes and a small star cake and spray painted them (edibly- awesome mom, not poison-control-center mom) silver.  I put the starburst (shape, not candy, get your mind out of the gas station) cake in the center, then put cupcakes all around it, then put three cupcakes on top of it, put candles all over and just blew everyone's mind.

the starburst-shaped cake and two uneaten (at time of photo) cupcakes.

I also have pictures of the decorations, which I didn't do.  I swell with pride, but worry it might be a kind of gay-pride, with what an awesome job Mr. Stupid+Boring did with the decorations.

look at that space shuttle!  also look at my crafting space.

birthday boy/someone who's gonna miss the space shuttle program.

Of course I am glad that Oli had a great time, but really all of my pride is in those cupcakes.  So here's how to make your own awesome NASA cupcakes.

silver cupcake liners
Uniquely Duff silver cake graffiti (Michaels, Party City)
Uniquely Duff twisted candles in silver, black, & purple
Wilton 1M tip and pastry bag

a box of white cake mix
whatever the box of white cake mix requires
freeze dried strawberries (Trader Joe's)
freeze dried blueberries
red food coloring
blue food coloring

2 sticks of butter, softened
2.5 cups powdered sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
3 tbsp heavy whipping cream (or milk)

01. mix cake according to directions on box, likewise, turn on your oven*
02. separate batter into three bowls
03. in bowl one, mix about a handful of crushed freeze-dried strawberries and about 8 drops of red food coloring.  (adjust either to taste)
04. in bowl two, mix a handful of crushed freeze-dried blue berries and about 8 drops of blue food coloring.  (adjust either to taste)
05. in bowl three, do nothing
06. line cupcake pan with silver cupcake liners (for fucks sake)
07. using a spoon, distribute blue batter into cupcake liners (most box cakes give you enough batter to make 24 cupcakes, I made 12 and threw the remaining batter in the starburst-shaped pan... you do whatever you want but realize that you should have half of each bowl left after you've filled 12 cupcake liners)
08. distribute white cake batter.
09. distribute red cake batter.
10. bake according to directions on box.
*All of the rising that occurs in baking happens in the beginning.  If you want your shit to really rise, preheat your oven about 50º-75º above whatever temp your baking at, then turn the oven down to the correct temp right after putting your cupcakes in.

buttercream frosting:
01. with an electric hand-mixer, combine butter and sugar (it's suggested you do this one cup at a time with the sugar)
02. add vanilla extract
03. keep mixing!  it's gonna be a while!
04. add HWC or milk one tbsp at a time until the frosting is a texture that YOU can be proud of.
05. cover with plastic wrap and stick in fridge until you're ready to decorate.

01. wait for cupcakes to cool completely on a rack (FOR REAL)
02. put your buttermilk frosting into the pastry bag
03. frost those dirty cupcakes!
04. refrigerate uncovered for about 20 minutes or until frosting hardens on the outside.
05. cover your workspace in newspaper.
06. spray the cupcakes until they're silver.
07. candles.
08. serve.


Thursday, September 29, 2011

Nice hat!

Well, hello.  I am a terrible blog owner.  Blogs should be allowed to run free and I keep mine couped up and neglected.  I should have realized it was going to be a bigger responsibility when I got it.  Here's a blog post I started a few weeks ago and now have time to finish.  Other upcoming posts: cupcake for two challenge, Carson's Goodwill sale haul, and probz new hair pics.  On the learning front: you're gonna learn some physics because I need to learn some physics.

This is style-related only in the origin of the thought that spurred such an idea for such a blog.

SO I'M SITTING THERE, thinking about whatever, and the idea of prêt-à-porter came to mind.  It pretty much translates to "ready to wear" and refers the factory-made clothes that make up 95% of my- and almost everyone else's- wardrobe, as opposed to haute couture or bespoke clothing which pretty much no one can afford.

ANYWAY... this isn't about clothes.  This is about hats.  Little hats.  Like the one that the e in prêt-à-porter is wearing.  Isn't it cute?  It's a circumflex.

IT IS TIME: to learn some French language history.

The circumflex dropped itself from the English language a long ass time ago but it's used a lot in the French language.  It's considered an "accent mark" but it doesn't do anything to the sound of the word (okay it does, but not all of the time) so WHY THE HELL IS IT THERE?  Because French people like little hats?  Yes.

But also, it's there to signify that once, a long time ago, there was another letter there and people stopped pronouncing it and it started being spelled with out it.  Some French linguists of the time were all like "fuck that!" but there was nothing they could do, times-a-changing, but put a little tombstone where the letter used to be.

The most common missing letter is s*.

anglais français
hospital hôpital
hostel hôtel
forest forêt
beast bête
feast fête

Yay!  Now you've learned some French words that are easy to remember because they're almost English words.

Prête doesn't have an English equivalent per-se, but is similar to a word we are familiar with.  Presto.

*The accent aigu ´ is also sometimes used when s is missing, like the French word for "spice", épice.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

as promised

here it is from beginning to end.
as promised.
hair, hair, hair.
iodine colored.
no lesson.