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.

Friday, September 2, 2011

never, no! not in a million.. okay. let's learn about I.

I never wanted this blog to be about my hair- and I have every intention for it not to be.  I also have intentions of updating it daily but whattyagonnado?

I am markedly changing my hair this weekend... and I don't want to give away any surprises but it all goes to plan, it'll look cool.

I've been thinking about chemistry a lot.  One color, that tends to show up in designers' palettes at least once a year is bold, red/pink purple.  This is the darker version of my favorite color.  I have a very particular favorite color and it can be created in a lab easily because I did it in both of my chemistry classes.  I'd say my favorite element is mercury (Hg) since it's so fucking weird, but since you're not allowed to ever play with or experiment with it, then my favorite element is iodine (I) because it makes pretty colors.

Some facts about iodine:
  • it's atomic number is 53 (that means it has 53 protons, y'all!)
  • it's a halogen, like chlorine, and exists in diatomic molecules (I2, what what!)
  • at room temp, it's a violet gas but if you can get that shiz solid, it's silvery gray
  • this is news to me, but according to wikipedia, iodine deficiency is the leading preventable cause of mental retardation (EAT YOUR SALT, G!)
  • fuchsia is spelled F-U-C-H-S-I-A, also something I learned this week.

picture time!

Solid iodine
oh shiz!  it evaporated into the most beautiful color in the world

and as you can imagine, this is the color I intend to get my hair today.  because it's all about I.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

dream hair

It took me a long time to find all of the cords for the various camera/cell phones/whatever but here is my hair post.  In real life, my hair's pretty fade-y now... kind of My Little Pony purples... these are from last week:

As I mentioned in a previous post, I came up with the color scheme in a dream.  Unfortunately, despite my best efforts, two of the colors ended up being exactly the same so there are 4 instead of 5 colors.

It was really hard to get good pics like I wanted.  I asked Joe to take pictures of it outside in day light but we just couldn't get our schedules together to make it happen.  Oh well.

Joe totally helped me with the rinsing tho, thank god.  It wasn't easy to keep stuff separated.

Sadly, in subsequent showers, some of the pink/purple got into the platinum blonde and turned some of it a light pink.  It's not bad looking but it's not my dream hair.

No lesson today.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

No pics, no post.

I did dye my hair, as in the dream, sort of, but I have yet to take my glamor shots, so it's still a private matter as of right now.

I have no pictures to share otherwise, but if you'd like to see me in a hilarious plastic sweat suit, you can check out my weight loss blog: shittydiet.blogspot.com

If you want to read something that is poetic, well written, and hilarious to your brain, check out my friend's blog, CrosbyStillsNashYoungNicksNashYoungandStillsandNash.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

haul-y shit: haul + economics lesson

I had a dream about dying my hair and decided to follow that dream (because I'm not too old for dreams yet).

My dream hair had four (or was it five...?) different colors.   Horizontally sectioned from the top, lavender/white, fuchsia, violet, dark purple, navy blue/purple (it was five).  I think it's a merger between the rainbow hair I've been seeing on Fuck Yeah Fantasy Hair and when, in Howl's Moving Castle, Howl tells Sophie that her hair "looks like starlight".  Plus, I'm hoping to do something rad enough to warrant a submission to FYFH.

So anyway, I already have a dece collection of dye but it's been about 10 years since I've dyed my entire head so I knew that I would need MOAR DIE.  Because my dream colors are mostly very similar, it is unnecessary for me to procure one dye for each color since they can be mixed.  (That wasn't the economics lesson: YOU ARE NOT OFF THE HOOK.)
dece/semi dece hair dye collection, should you require proof

So I set out, into the sunset (actually away from the sunset- the mall and Sally are east of here), to Worth, IL to visit SALLY BEAUTY STORE/SOMETHING.

Is this worthy of a haul post?  Probably not.  I bought more Manic Panic in Hot Hot Pink, some blue mixer/toner/compliments (they discontinued the violet one, WHY?!), some blades for this razor I bought that I'll probably never use, and some clips.  I don't even remember what it all came out to.

Then, I thought "maybe Hot Topic has some dye on clearance..." so I hauled ass to the Chicago Ridge Mall, returned something to Bed Bath and Beyond, and walked across the stupid mall all the way to Hot Topic.

It was steamy in there.  I mean, really just unbearably hot.  I was sweating up a storm.  There were so many people in there too.  God, it sucked.

So they had that horrible shopping incentive where clearance items were buy-one-get-one-fifty-percent off (if I ever use that phrase again, I'm going to say BOGO50).  So I felt like I had to buy four things, in similarly priced pairs.

Here's what I got: an Invader Zim tank top, some Raw dye, a shitty eyeshadow that I didn't know was shitty til I got home but I kinda had a clue, and some socks for my bff.

The total on the receipt: $28.34

BUT... is that truly the total cost?

Nope.  In economics, the total cost is the explicit costs + the implicit costs.

Let's break it down.  I am a business, Rora LLC, and what we do here at Rora LLC is make me happy.  We make purchases of raw resources (generally in the form of make up and clothes) in order to produce said happiness.

The exchange of $28.34 for the resources (input) for my hair dye project and general happiness was an explicit cost, as was the gas I had to put in my car to get there, mileage deductions etc etc.

$28.34 isn't too bad for what I got, but there were very high implicit costs.  There was the cost of my well being, since I had to listen to the absolute worst music while I shopped.  There was the cost of my time (there's another economics lesson there, but let's not get into that now).  Implicit costs are the costs that don't usually end up on balance sheets: the owner's labor and time (but not salary, that's explicit), resources that are already owned, etc  and implicit costs can be (but aren't always) hard to put into monetary terms.  But I would estimate that I just spent a million dollars on four items from Hot Topic.


Welcome to my personal style blog.

My mission statement for Stupid + Boring:

I aim to:

  • blog about myself and what I like as though others care
  • teach those who do decide to read a lesson of some kind (in a good way... probz)
  • fill the internet with pictures of myself

This is the third incarnation of Stupid + Boring.  The first (barely) chronicled my journey through two semesters of math class.  The second was a twice updated weepy blog about bad shit that happened to me and friends and family who died in the summer of '11.  I decided to move away from that because 1) I'm not sad all of the time and 2) I don't want to be sad all of the time.

So here it is.  I'll start you off with a haul post and a little bit of economics.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

June recap. part 2. say it. RIP Mike Olivieri.

The first day of the summer semester was a Tuesday (for me).  I was meeting with a claims adjuster in the morning so I switched to the evening class for c++.

It was like any first day.  Can you sign on the schools website?  Can you get into your email?  Can you see your grades?

As instructed, I signed into my email, then I signed into Moraine Valley Connect which is the site we use to sign up for classes, check our grades, gets messages about construction on campus, etc.  On the main page was a little note that said the flag would be at half mast in honor of soldier Michael C Olivieri.  I gasped.  I actually gasped.  I didn't think people really gasped reflexively but I did.  I started panicking... I was already in denial thinking maybe it was some other Michael Olivieri or maybe he had done something awesome and they were honoring him in that way.  Just typing his name into google didn't bring up a news story immediately (it does now) but then I found it.  I started crying, right in the middle of class.  Not sobbing.  Only the two people next to me saw.  They didn't ask.  First day so for all they knew I'm nuts and for all I know they're right.

I haven't talked to Mike in years.  He was my best friend right when I needed one.  And a good best friend.  We met at Comcast on March something (I used to know this by heart) 2008.  We were in the same training class.  We ate lunch together every day and took all of our breaks together.  We used to play trivia on his phone.  I remember his voice so clearly and the way it would rise when something was unfair.  Not unfair to him, but to me.  He was so protective of me, this pregnant weirdo who cried all the time.

I was so sad when he quit, right as we were about to make it through training.  I'm not surprised that he quit because he hated it (so did I, but I lasted nearly 2 years) but he didn't quit because he hated it.  The day he quit, he was supposed to go see his uncle about working with him but the night before his aunt and uncle were both killed in a car accident so he quit Comcast anyway to help take care of his cousins.

My biggest regret is that I never told him how much he meant to me for being there.  After he left Comcast we kept in touch for a little while but eventually, it just fell away.  He loaned me the movie Once and I never watched it, I sent him a text asking if he knew of any jobs (partially an excuse just to talk to him again) but he never responded.  And that was that.  He wished me happy birthday on Facebook this January.

And I just hope he didn't die thinking that I was too cool to hang out with him after he left Comcast, or that he wasn't important to me, or that I didn't care.  Because I did and I do.

this is not as I knew him but he looks good.
I don't like most people and I don't spend much time (any) trying to make friends.  Mike's death is a reminder to me that I have to stay close to people who I love, whatever the effort.  I just wish I could have learned it before Mike died so I could tell him thank you, thank you, thank you.

I wanted so badly to attend his wake but I didn't have any shoes because of the flood.  I was on my way to Walmart to buy the first black size 8 shoes I saw when my mom called to tell me she had locked herself and Oli out and I had her spare keys because I was borrowing her car.  I had to tail it to the city and that was that, missed the wake.  I went the next day to the funeral procession.  Stood outside in jeans and tennis shoes and watched the cars go.  It was really cloudy that morning but the sun came out right when the first car left.  The rest of that day was all good news.  I don't remember all of the great things that happened that day but I remember we got lots of good news from two of our three insurance companies after days of bad news.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

June recap. part 1. a fish is not aware of water.

I don't blog as often as I should... especially for someone who's registered so many blog names.  I wish I would have documented this summer better, but I didn't, whaddyagonnado?  I'll do my best to do it now.  It will be boring.

I think this summer probably started out the same as any others... I finished my spring classes (easy except for macro economics, which gave me a scare), signed up for my summer classes, bullshitted, whatever.

I can't remember the date (8th or 9th of June) but whenever it was, the evening of the flood, I slept great.  I opened the window and listened to the storm and drifted off into perfect sleep.  I woke up around 7AM, took a piss, and decided to go back to sleep because it was so. fucking. wonderful.  When I woke up again, the water sounded a little too close.  From the bed, I looked out into the kitchen and saw water pouring in through the air conditioner.  Minutes later, the bed was floating.  This was about 9AM.  By about 920, the water was up to our waists and the electricity was still on.  I had to stay up on the second floor landing with Oli (my nearly 3 year old) so I couldn't really save much of anything.  Not that it would have been safe to try, with the electricity on.  Eventually the water receded, and we started throwing shit out.

kitchen after water receded
only pic taken as water was rising
The next week, Oli stayed with the grandmas and we stayed at shady motels.  You know, the kind that let you stay 4 hours.. except we stayed there over night.  They're cheap.  For our relationship, staying at motels and having a vacation from parenting was pretty awesome.  Kept us strong mentally for the next two weeks of throwing out things we loved.

Eventually the money started to run dry- our renter's insurance did not cover floods, though our car and motorcycle insurance did, thank god.  We ended up staying for about a month in the basement of our landlord's son's family.  It wasn't bad but Oli acted up really late at night and we were paranoid about them waking up from him screaming.  He also refused to poop there and ended up being VERY constipated (we went to the ER once).

At the end of July we moved back in.  They had to rip out and replace half the walls and all of the flooring.  They also replaced our oven.  Our landlords gave us a mattress, so luckily we didn't have to replace that, but all other furniture had to be bought again, save for two tables, a folding chair, and a kitchen chair.  So far we've been able to do that pretty inexpensively.  We raised a fairly decent amount of money (about $1000) on facebook.  A really nice woman named Marina, who I have never met and only knows my mom from message boards, shipped me four boxes of clothes and supplies and donated money.  Strangers can be kind.

The flood was the definition of disaster but was not the worst part of June, unbelievably... but that's all I can stand to write, right now.  My house is still a mess and not unpacked, nor has everything been replaced or cleaned but for the most part, the flood and its damages are off my mind.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

I hate old blog posts so I hid them all because they're all irrelevant and without unifying theme (STORY OF MY LIFE!).

Now this is the only post.  Someday I'll hate it and delete it.