1.30.2011

An Icy Night at the Magic Kingdom

Once a month the Queens and Kings of Niagara's oldest GLTBQ fundraising organization: The Imperial Sovereign Court of Niagara put on a fabulous drag show at the Envy Lounge!  Tonight these bombastic babes and dashing dudes paid tribute to Disney characters (especially princesses and vixens!)  Of course my personal favourite was my friend Al/icia's rendition of Snow White - but I might be biased as I helped put it all together in Value Village (quite the hilarious experience)

1.29.2011

Wordle

I discovered this neat word-cloud tool a while back called WORDLE, and I frequently put chunks of my school papers into it to check that I haven't repeated any words too often.  But today I got to playing around with it - inputting some of my collection of literary texts to see what happens.  Two of my favourite results were Desiderata and Lady of Shalott:

  

1.28.2011

Mousetrap Quick Grab Pad



Cleaning out around the house, I found  a handful of mousetraps left by the last tenant - must've worked well because I've never seen any mice!  Their morbid purpose aside, these mousetraps are actually quite striking!

This 5-minute DIY is a practical (and not gross) way to display the cute Victor-mouse.  It actually reminds me quite a bit of Maus.  I simply pried off the trip release, slipped a small stack of index cards under the spring-loaded bar and bent the metal catch into a ring to hang it by.

1.23.2011

Fruit Relish Bruschetta

Made right near my parents house in Waterdown, ON - this Frootogo Orchards Fruit Relish has been sitting unopened since Christmas... far too long!  So tonight I made bruschetta :)


First I defrosted the waffles in my regular toaster and topped them with the Fruit Relish.  Sticking them in the toaster oven on a bake setting at 350* to warm the relish, I started making the meringue topping.  Earlier I had separated 3 cold egg whites and left them to warm to room temperature.  Beating them until frothy in a metal bowl, I added 1/2 tsp of vinegar and continued until soft peaks start to form.  I then added 1/3 of a cup of sugar, 1 tbsp at a time until it dissolved.  At this point the mixture should have stiffened, but it didn't and I was impatient so I spooned the mixture onto the warm fruit relish anyways.  Returning the now topped waffles to the toaster oven I baked them another 10 minutes until the topping was golden brown.  Despite not being floufy and airy like a meringue should be, it was surprisingly tasty!  {alternate version: cover the waffles with cocoa hazelnut spread first}

1.22.2011

Time Out

In the spirit of my recent break I've been listening to the Dave Brubeck Quartet's iconic album Time Out on my new record player.  Featuring eccentric time signatures and broad minded melodies, the album is a classic.  My personal favourite is either the Balkan (Zeybek) themed Blue Rondo a la Turk in 9/8 and 5/4 time or the signatureless Strange Meadow Lark but the most critically notable track is certainly Take Five.

I've always been a fan of his music, but as you can see from this article in Jazz Times, he's also quite the character:

“One morning I woke up and I heard somebody playing Beethoven on my piano, by memory. It was a roadie for my son Chris’ band. I said, ‘My God, this kid who’s a roadie can play better classical piano than I’ll ever play.’ Just looking at these kids kind of turned me off but I started thinking, don’t judge people by their hair and how they’re dressed. Pretty quick I had long hair.” 

Iola Brubeck, Dave's wife of 67 years is also a formidable force behind his career, having been both his partner and the mother to his children:

“I was a stay-at-home mom until everybody was out of the nest. But I also worked with Dave. When he was traveling with our sons, I did all the booking for traveling and took care of the business. Some people give me credit for getting Dave started [playing on] college campuses. I don’t think it was that I was so smart. I like to eat!”

A Political Statement, of Sorts
On a pair of hanging lamps in the living room:
Dave: “Iola, did I bring these from Iraq or Iran?”
Iola: “From Iraq but they’re falling apart, like Iraq is.” 
.

1.16.2011

on the note of librarians...

my on-the-go books: I seem to always have a few books on the go and right now is no different.  Along with The Book of Awesome which has taken up residence in my bathroom I'm also reading:

Thinking in Pictures: My Life with Autism by Temple Grandin
Risotto with Nettles: A Memoir with Food by Anna Del Conte
The Story Sisters by Alice Hoffman

As I'm not too far into any of them I wont give any reviews just at the moment, except to say my mum (who gave me all 3 for Christmas) knows exactly what I love to read: creative, narrative non-fiction - communicating information, like a reporter, but shaped in a way that reads like fiction.  Or, if I'm going to read fantasy: I love magical realism - blending the real world and the fantastical one seamlessly within the grasp of possibility.

1.15.2011

DIY beaded glasses chain


Having to take my glasses off for a variety of things (certain cameras, my microscope, reading on the computer) I was getting tired of sitting them down somewhere and losing them.  So I made a simple glasses holder chain out of a dollar store necklace.  Using a pair of pliers I pried apart one link of the chain and slid the beads off each side.  I folded the end of the wire over into a little spiral to stop it from being scratchy and then rounded it off into a loop that I can slide onto the arm of my glasses.  Plus it helps me pull off a quick thinking Bunny Watson look ;)

1.09.2011

Tempura Onion Rings



I mixed up some "just-add-water" batter - it was remarkably simple but incredibly bland.  No amount of spices after the fact could fix it, so maybe I'll try adding dry spice to the dry tempura batter.  They only got the teensiest bit soggy overnight - leftover quality is key ;) next time I'll be trying the authentic Japanese batter.

1.08.2011

Mismatched Mix n Match Sox

LittleMismatched was born to inspire creativity, embrace individual style and celebrate self expression.  This is the second time now these awesomesocks have ended up in my stocking and I say the more the merrier!  Some people like socks for Christmas!

In our world, socks don't match-- MATCHING is mundane -- MIXING is MONUMENTAL and COLOR is cool. While we started with socks sold in odd numbers, we recognized that there’s an entire universe out there who shares our passion for creativity and self expression: think “outside the socks" - You can be a kid forever. Be BOLD, FASHION is FUN.


Since I'm usually wearing 2 different socks anyways, having a set of 3 to pick from means I'm more likely to find at least a pair amidst the rubble on my floor :)  The first set I received (left) were bi-coloured socks of the thick striped variety.  This time (right) I get two thin rainbow stripy ones and a puzzle piece sock just to change it up!

1.07.2011

Short Hills Provincal Park

The little red gorillapod that Santa brought me came in handy while 
a friend and I were walking around Short Hills Provincial Park today!

1.06.2011

Nostalgic Record Player / Stereo


Another super rad present I got for Christmas (thanks Mum and Dad!) was an Emerson cabinet style vintage stereo with wood veneer and fabric speakers. 

The steampunkish faceplate fits my "era" style - almost all the furniture in my house dates to between 1930 and 1960. 

But the thing also has a wide range of new technology: AM/FM radio, CD, USB for MP3, 3 speed turntable, even a remote control! 

My favourite feature is the ability to record from the turntable or radio onto CD-R or USB in MP3 and WMA format :) 

1.05.2011

cuplens

One of the coolest Christmas presents came from my brother @Stephen_Job and was only a week late, despite being shipped all the way from China!  My dear sibling found me a life-size, seemingly realistic "Cuplens" that looks exactly like a Canon 24 - 105mm zoomlens but is instead a medium sized travel mug complete with a petal hood lid!  All the details are perfect right down to the rubberized zoom rings, which don't turn but make a great grip.  Not into drinking things on the go?  This hollow lens makes a great container for all sorts of things: ashtray, change, pen holder...  Knowing how particular I am about plastics he tracked down one with a stainless steel interior (and the exterior is food grade plastic too) so I will most likely be using it for tea :)  When I'm done it tucks into its drawstring carrying case and into my backpack it goes.  Steve was even considerate enough to find a Canon one in a similar dimension to a lens I already own, so it blends right in with my collection. ee!!

1.04.2011

The Book of AWESOME


Unwrapping a piece of wrapping paper to find the word AWESOME: awesome


Unwrapping the rest of the paper to find a great book filled with AWESOME things: awesome-er


{1000 Awesome Things by Neil Pasricha}

1.03.2011

12" pizza in a Toaster Oven??

Believe it or not I was able to fit a 12" pizza from my local pizzeria J'Rocks into the new toaster oven I got from my parents for Christmas!  It has a curved back part that just barely fits the 12" circle but it heats up and cooks just that much faster.  I was also really happy to see Giant Tiger supporting a local business by selling J'Rocks premade pizzas in their freezer section :) 

Cooking the pizza was a good first go, but I'm also going to have fun putting this appliance to the test as a miniature oven - not just for baking but for roasting and broiling as well.  Living alone, it seems ridiculous to heat up my entire oven for such small portions of food.  That plus the fact that it has one of those auto-turn-off timer dials so I can't accidentally leave it running and burn things to a crisp!

1.02.2011

printable calendar

check out this super cute produce-themed calendar found over at Cottage Industrialist!

1.01.2011

HAPPY NEW YEAR