ice cream making and ranting

Tuesday, May 31, 2005


So VH1 has the most fanstastic new reality show, Kept

Jerry Hall, who's pushing 50, has a group of younger men competing for her attention. Oh yes, they're all American, but the show is in London, so they've got a little of the fish out of water thing going.

Now, she and her girlfriends talk the way old women talk about boys. Basically they're nothing but disparaging, and the show plays up the atrocious manners of the boys. so they have to pass tests, take lessons in being more civilized etc. all the win Jerry's heart and be her boyfriend. This is exactly what stupid shows like the Bachelor are missing, real honest to goodness mocking of the contestants. Jerry is awesome. I would definitely buy her a drink and sit there and pick apart everyone in the bar.

I can't wait until next week!

Also, I turned on the tv too late to watch the new made for tv romie and michelle movie. so i ended up watching small soldiers instead. I thought it was a kids movie. Boy was I wrong! It was creepy!! the toys come to life and really start doing scary stuff. Seriously, not for kids. Who their audience was, I don't know

Man 1/2 Way in Quest to Visit 1,000 Bars

Why 1,000 bars, you ask? Why not?

Monday, May 30, 2005

happy birthday to me

As you can see from the pictures, and thanks to the good people at cuisinart, Sweet Lady Jane and Carvel, my birthday weekend was full of cake and ice cream.

Fudgie the whale is the best whale ever. If only I could meet someone wearing a giant suit of him. Then I could really die happy. If you're not familiar with him, here's his intro:

If there's one thing people hate, it's an uptight whale. And nobody knows that better than Fudgie. His playful spirit brings any celebration to life. So grab a fork and dig in!

My birthday was also cat filled, although no one was wearing a giant suit of her either. Between the Hello Kitty book and washing machine Lydia gave me, and the Hello Kitty wrapping paper and Hello Kitty's Haiku book, and 2 absolutely retardedly cute cat cards, you couldn't get away from them. Here's a haiku for you, written on a page showing a picture of plush hello kitty wearing a purple bunny suit, sitting next to real rabbits:

Excuse me, bunny--
I am the easter kitty.
Are those your real ears?

yea! fudgie the whale! Posted by Hello

poor, sad, dead fudgie Posted by Hello

chocolate cheesecake and strawberry Posted by Hello

Sweet Lady Jane cakes Posted by Hello

after Posted by Hello

Friday, May 27, 2005

another librarian on blogging

From the Vamprire librarian:

Another librarian who hates blogs

And his equally pompus follow up

He actually makes a few good, albeit not particularly original points in the first article. The second one though is practically unreadable, and makes me glad that I didn't go to indiana. he's just a much of a freakshow as my, thankfully outgoing, director.

Honestly people:

1. you can't do anything about bloggers
2. thicken your skin. strangers are criticizing you? so?

strawberry ice cream!

I made the strawberry ice cream last night. I was so afraid it wouldn't work, but it actually did. Almost.

I made the recipe exactly as it said in the book that came with my ice cream maker, but somehow there ended up being too much ice cream mix for the bowl. After it churned for a little while I ended up spooning some out so it wouldn't overflow. But then the strawberries had to be added and there was just too much mix and not enough bowl. So that affected the freezing a bit. I ended up stopping the machine after 35 mins (20-30 recommended mixing time) with a milkshake like consistency in the middle and a hard freeze at the edges. At that point it was really good. Soft and creamy and delicious like only things made with no regard to fat content are. I probably could have gotten a straw and consumed the whole bowl. But I put it in the freezer overnight.

I tried some this morning. It was really hard frozen. I think this is because i have the freezer cranked way up. I didn't really have time to wait for it to thaw a bit, so i had a few bites, they weren't nearly as creamy and delicious as last night, and I'm afraid some ice crystals have formed, but I can't really confirm.

So, I'll be experimenting. First order of business, cut the recipe down by 10-20%. Secondly, store ice cream in the less cold freezer.

Anyway, Ice cream making is super fun (for now). You have no idea how happy I was when the darn mix started to freeze. And while I did make a medium sized sticky mess, the clean up was SO much easier than the deep frying clean up.

There's probably a heart attack in my future. Heavy cream is just so good! I may have to start excercising.

UPDATE: I ate some of the ice cream I brought to work. The freezer here is less cold, and the consistency is pretty good. I didn't chop the strawberries small enough though, they're icy and cold when you bite into them, the way frozen strawberries are.


As much as I love my new toy, and the fruits of my labor. I'm a little afraid. My dreams were STRANGE last night. If the ice cream keeps giving me dreams like this, I may have to give it up.

Dream 1:

It's some kind of magical reality. I live with the good people, who guard some piece of jewelry that keeps everything good and right with the world. And of course the evil witch and her minions would like nothing better than to steal the stone and have the power to subject everyone to her will.

So the jewel goes missing. Where is is? no one knows. I totally freak out. I can't possibly live under the witch's rule. Should I kill myself now before things get bad? So we gather in some large school auditorium room. I'm totally freaking out, I decide I'm safest sitting under a table, and my best friend in the dream comes with me, along with a score of other freaked out people. We all hold hands, and I dont' know, something. Then the witch and her people stop by. it's not immediately clear if she has the stone, she apparently, often likes to terrorize us by dropping by. Today she decided to read us a story. She reads the story and leaves. She seems to know the stone is missing, but we don't think she has it. So, i gather the strength to walk and we go outside. It's like rapture, people are just missing. or one of those shows where you can freeze time, but you're still moving. Great, now I'm even more freaked out. And then my friend tells me about some place we can go. Supposedly we can form some kind of resistance, against whoever has the stone, in safety. That's pretty much it, there's no resolution, and really not much hope.


It starts pretty normal. I have someplace to go, but I have nothing to wear. Nothing. All of my clothes are like half clothes, they're all missing pieces. Finally I find something to wear, but I look down and one of my toes is super hairy, like a monkey. I get all freaked out, and shave my toe, everything seems to be fine. But some construction workers who are transporting orange port-a-potties see me and laugh.

I'm still a little creeped out by dream 1. Hopefully, It's just anxiety about getting old. My birthday is tomorrow. and I am 1/4 of the way to being 100. Because if it really is ice cream that freaks me out, I'll have no more reason to live.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

A Really Big Idea

Burger King's CEO has turned around the chain with a radical notion: give people what they want

New Red Bull-inspired coffee is coming with 40 percent more caffeine than regular—for those who "partied a little hard the night before," says Denny Post, chief concept officer.

I don't know what's cooler, super caffeinated coffee, or the position chief concept officer!

ice cream, ice cream, ice cream, ice cream, ice cream, ice cream, ice cream!

So I haven't confirmed yet, but the UPS website says my ice cream maker has been delivered. This means today I put the bowl in the freezer. And tomorrow I should have some fresh, delicious strawberry ice cream made from tuesday's farmer's market strawberries. Although I'll have to make it after class, It probably won't be hard enough to eat before I go to bed.
yea! ice cream!

I've decided to start with the recipe in the book it comes with. That way I know if I screw up it's my fault, because the recipe is specifically for my maker. I'm a little suspicious of the wisking of the sugar and the milk without any heat, I've never done that before, but can't imagine it would actually work.


Preparation: 5 – 10 minutes, plus 2 hours for the strawberries to macerate,20 – 25 minutes chilling time; optional 2 hours to ripen.

Makes twelve 1/2-cup servings.

1 pint fresh ripe strawberries, stemmed and sliced
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 cup sugar, divided
1 cup whole milk
2 cups heavy cream
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

In a small bowl, combine the strawberries with the lemon juice and 1/3cup of the sugar; stir gently and allow to the strawberries to macerate inthe juices for 2 hours.

In a medium bowl, use a hand mixer or a whisk to combine the milk and granulated sugar until the sugar is dissolved, about 1 – 2 minutes on lowspeed. Stir in the heavy cream plus any accumulated juices from the strawberries and vanilla. Turn the machine ON, pour mixture into freezerbowl through ingredient spout and let mix until thickened, about 25 – 30minutes. Add the sliced strawberries during the last 5 minutes of freezing.

Note: this ice cream will have a “natural” appearance of very pale pink; if a deeper pink is desired, sparingly add drops of red food coloring untildesired color is achieved.
Nutritional analysis per serving:Calories 222 (61% from fat) • carbo. 20g • pro 2g • fat 15g • sat. fat 10g • chol.57mg • sod.26mg

I'd better write out my will, I'm going to have a heart attack by the end of summer.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

the princess or the pauper

You've heard about the girl who went to her graduation, even though she was banned because of her pregnancy.

so the editorials have started pouring in:

Abstinence (and sexism) only: The vehicle is a bit too much on the liberal side,
but if this is true, *deity of choice* help us all.

From a survey of the 13 most frequently-used abstinence-only programs receiving federal government funding, Representative Henry Waxman publicized several examples of students being taught that a man needs “admiration” and “sexual fulfillment” from his partner, while a woman needs “financial support.” Another program teaches that “women gauge their happiness and judge their success by their relationships. Men's happiness and success hinge on their accomplishments.” And my personal favorite, a story in a series called “Choosing Best” told of a knight who decided to marry a common village maiden rather than a princess, because the princess kept giving him advice about how to slay a local dragon. The fable finished with “moral of the story: occasional suggestions and assistance may be all right, but too much of it will lessen a man's confidence or even turn him away from his princess.”

show 'em you're a tiger

The voice of Tony the Tiger died today

I watched a food network special awhile ago (or one of those channels) that said they've been trying to replace him for ages, because, basically he wanted to retire, and he wasn't going to live forever. And, no one in the whole world can do the Tony Tiger voice like him. They said they were considering having him sit down one day and read the dictionary. That way they could just string his words together. I guess we'll have to wait and see what the future of frosted flakes commercials has in store.

Yum, I want frosted flakes now. They're grrrrrrrreat! I think i'll work some frosted flakes into an ice cream recipe.

National Treasure

I was doing some hand sewing last night, and against my better judgement, I ended up watching National Treasure. My dad had already started watching it when I wandered in to hunker down with my sequins, still not fully believing it was a real movie, fully expecting the energizer bunny or something to stomp through.

This movie is the Italian Job, for freaks like my dad who watch PBS specials about Ben Franklin for fun. Let's review:

Main character, Nick Cage- who has slightly less creepy eyes than usual in this movie
Slow to come around love interest, sexy archivist who is too young and pretty for creepy nick cage
Tech savvy kid-- I do have to admit I have a newly formed crush on this Justin Bartha boy now. he's the perfect age for me, and much more attractive than his imdb pic leads you to believe

They want the treasure that they believe exists.

Since I didn't see the beginning, I dont' really know the back story. But it's well hidden, with some help from some creepy ancient masons (they're all creepy). And guess what, the bad guys are after it too. and they've followed clues etc, and the next one is on the back of the declaration of independence. Yes, our founding fathers left a message in invisible ink on the back of, arguably, the most important document in the history of America. So, of course both the good and bad guys want to steal it. right, so at exactly the same time the good guys (through technology) adn teh bad guys (through force) break in. and it's a darn good thing we established a few mins earlier in teh movie that the darn thing is behind 3 inches of bullet proof glass, because guess what, nick cage needs to deflect some bullets!

blah, blah, blah. they save sexy archivist, or whatever her title is, from the bad guys, and she joins the team. so, how do we see the invisible ink? every child with a diy science experiment book knows invisible ink involves lemon juice and heat. but they're not going to iron the dec. of independence. so what do they do? nick cage and sexy archivist lady lean down together and softly breathe, and since they're so hot for eachother, even though they dont' know it yet, their collective breath shows part of the image. and techno savvy nerd boy looks on, no girl for nerd boy.

so they follow more fake clues and crap, nick cage, the obnoxious expert on everything american history, somehow doesn't realize about the crucial daylight savings time point, and the new love of my life, techno nerd boy rubs it in their face. blah blah blah daylight savings time, ben franklin, turkeys, whatever. and they take a brick out of a building and find some creepy ben franklin 3d trifocal glasses. etc, etc,

so the bad guys catch them, they find a church, go down a creepy tunnel through a tomb, hundreds, thousands of feet underground, thousands of feet of 300 year old wooden staircases, and of course no adventure movie would be complete without the ground you think is solid collapsing. but somehow, magically they make it to the bottom. and they reach a dead end.

the bad guys were pretty smart up to this point. they were always pretty much neck and neck with the good guys. but at the dead end, they believe it's a dead end and get pissed. now, any duck with a pith helmet and funny accent would know that if you've come that far, there's no way it's a dead end, and they'd start searching for hidden passages. but the bad guys apparently don't watch enough cartoons. and the good guys give them a fake clue, and the bad guys leave the good guys to rot in the hole, and go off in search of treasure.

when clear, nick cage finds the magic button, and they move to the next room. Empty! and they're freaking ready to give up! there's a long heartfelt talk, we all learn a lesson. until finally the dumbasses find the second magic button. and look, surprise! all the treasures from all the world. a strong rival to the Librarian's collection. nick cage, cage's dad and sexy archivist practically orgasm on the spot. Techno nerd boy gives a giant green statue a hug, having no idea what it is, but sure that it'll make him rich.

and they all live happily ever after. the bad guys go to jail. nick gets the girl, and a house. nerd boy gets a fancy car. and they all get to jet set around the world visiting all the museums that they treasure has been given to.

have i mentioned how much this nerd boy is exactly like seth green in the italian job?

Unfortunately, this wasn't the only bad movie I saw in the last few days. I was very excited to sit home on Friday and watch the muppet wizard of oz. boy was that a mistake! the songs were pathetic. the obnoxious shrip guy played the part of toto. and the wizard wasn't even a muppet! the poppy fields was a lame psychedelic night club, served no purpose at all. there were also a few jokes that were a bit too "adult" for the muppets. i was very sad. I liked the muppet christmas. hmmph. at least fozzie was an adorable lion!

Monday, May 23, 2005

Since Kenny is out of the country:

Time magazine listed their top 100 movies, not ranked, just listed.

I've seen 19 and 2 halves, making that 20, and 20%. this completely surprises me, because at first glance I thought i'd be lucky to get 10. Anyway, none of these movies are my favorite most of them barely made a blip on my radar.

Pinocchio was my sister's favorite video when we were kids. Mine was "My Little Pony Escape from Katrina." She watches boring grown up anime, I watch Lizzie McGuire and Spongebob. And I keep telling her she needs to grow up-- maybe I should rethink. or tell her to get a job with Time.

Maybe one day I'll be cool enough that people will read lists that I write.

Until then-

wedding bells

This weekend was my cousin's wedding. She's about 3.5 years older than me. She married someone significantly older, who already has 2 kids, including a young (i'm not sure how old) unwed mother, making my cousin a grandmother at 28. Crazy! and I complain about feeling old. How about marrying into being a grandmother!

I wasn't really expecting to have much fun. But the whole thing turned out great. I haven't been to a wedding in ages, and I hope they're all like this from now on.

We got to the wedding about 1 minute too late. we arrived, we saw the bride just about to walk, and we sat just as she arrived at the altar. The ceremony was super short, it couldn't have been longer than 15 minutes. They didn't even repeat the vows. the priest just said them, and all they said was "I do." And the priest, was such a jolly little man. Way too happy to be talking about the sanctity of marriage.

The wedding was in some annex of the crystal cathedral. We didn't get to go into the church they have on TV, but we did get to wander the grounds in the 1.5 hrs between when the wedding ended and when the reception place would open the doors. It was strange! There were all these bronze statues of biblical figures, and animals, mostly they were creepy when you got too close. Especially the shiny, silver robotic looking baby jesus, his giant silver head with the only silver thing around, with his swaddling cloth, mary and the donkey all being bronze and not shiny. I came up with a fantastic idea to make a religious carousel for large churches, or to travel to church events.

The reception was at someplace called the "hacienda" in Orange County. at first I thought it was weird, it really was like a converted house. The tables were set up so that some were indoors and some were out, but it worked out really well. The dance floor was indoors where there were a few tables set up for lounging, but the eating tables were all away from the music, so you could hold a comfortable conversation or go to the dancing room. This was so much better than the typical one room thing, I was very impressed.

As you walked into the recpetion you were handed a glass of champagne or apple cider. This champagne was actually good, unlike every other free champagne I've ever had. I managed to procure 3 glasses through out the evening, and then I made the mistake of going for my 4th, when it was replaced by something horribly vile. At that point I switched to coffee. I noticed that the good champagne was labeled by the hacienda, so I guess I'll never know what it was.

The best man, the teenaged son of the groom, gave the only speech of the wedding. It was short, appropriate, heartfelt, and absolutely un-embarassing. Kudos!

The meal was surprisingly large, and decent for wedding food. A large chicken breast, pasta and veggies with alfredo sauce. It was more than I could eat, and I was hungry. The cake was frosted with a basket weave pattern, and there were real flowers on top. It was white with strawberry jelly.

The first dance was a song I didn't recognize (no surprise there). but it was nice. There was a fairly decent mix of English and Spanish music (for the groom's side). There was nothing horrible like the chicken dance or the bunny hop that I though was ubiquitous at American weddings. And it turned out to be really fun dancing with my cousins and aunts and uncle.

There were some random people I knew from high school, and a few that i recognized, but couldn't remember at all. I think I impressed them all by how fantastic I looked, and how much more charisma I have now. (2008 reunion, look out!)

I had a very appropriate wedding outfit picked out, it involved a new flowery skirt and my very respectable casmir sweater. but then the weather turned warm, and a casmir sweater would have given me heatstroke. So the morning of the wedding i tried on half my wardrobe, and it turns out that i have nothing appropriate to wear in warm weather. So against my better judgement I wore a spagetti strap black tank with my aforementioned skirt, livened it up with a bit of jewelry and a bow in my beautiful long curls (innocent bow to counteract boobs, i think it worked). My outfit turned out to be appropriate enough. And I wore neither the sweater in the car, or the light wrap i carried around. I should have the appropriate wardrobe situation rectified by the end of this weekend now that i know what i'm lacking. yea for memorial day sales!

Alas, I didn't catch the boquet. It was basically thrown straight to the maid of honor. And I forgot to take a piece of cake home to put under my pillow to dream of my future husband. But it was still a good wedding. I wish Heather and Leo all the best!

Sunday consisted of watching tv and reading ice cream books. I'm very excited!

Friday, May 20, 2005

your chimes, they reel and they rock

Most people diet for the summer. The winter is over, clothing is shed, etc. Not me. Last year this time I got a deep fryer. Today, I finally bought my Ice cream maker.

I finally decided on the cuisinart after reading through a bunch of reviews. Since it was half price of the kitchenaid attachment, I figured it was a good deal. $80 seemed like an awful lot for ice cream. I could buy 32 half gallons for that price. So that was that. Bland, yet solid branded cuisinart. The shiny metal one they have at Target is very cool looking, but for the same price, I have to go with reliability.

They have the crappy plastic kinds for like $15-20, but from what I understand, they're mostly battery powered and tend to eat batteries, often before the ice cream is done. And crappy ice cream is not worth the savings.

Hopefully it will come in time for my big ice cream making party next Sunday. If not, it'll be the saddest ice cream making party ever.

I brought home a small stack of ice cream books from the library, so I guess i'll read through them. I'm thinking about getting the ben and jerry's one that seems to have top billing on amazon.

amazon sent me the link to the online manual, i haven't read through it yet. I'm actually hoping that I can make like a cup at a time, that way I can make tons of flavors, and not be stuck with them. we'll see if it says anything about a minimum amount.

Ice cream that is too liquid at the end of the churning gets the ice crystals when you put it in the freezer to harden. Supposedly this cuisinart thing is hard enough at the end of the cycle to not get ice crystals, but the perfect consistency to spread onto cake, or make ice cream sandwiches with or mold etc. IF this is true, it'll be the dawn of a new era for me. Nothing will be out of my reach!! I've always liked making dessert better than cooking actual food. Thinking about it now, I can't believe I bought the deep fryer first.

I'm taking flavor suggestions for my first batch, nothing too chunky please. I think I have to start with smooth and graduate up to chunks.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Lesser panda standing on two legs charms Japanese zoo

This isn't a real animal, is it?

Graduates fear debt more than terrorism


45.1% say they expect to graduate with $10,000 or more in college loans, with 20.6% saying they have more than $20,000 to pay off.

Certainly, I don't get out of bed in the morning fearing for my life. I get out of bed, because if I don't, they'll fire me, and I'll have no income.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

ok pic of Jana, bad pic of me. Where are the strawberries? Posted by Hello

Monday, May 16, 2005

Strawberry Nachos

Who knew something like that existed?! certainly not me, at least not until yesterday at the strawberry festival and there was a giant sign over the food booth.

at first i envisioned something horrible, like chips and nacho cheese sauce and strawberries. Then I thought of something like a strawberry salsa, much less gross. But I wasn't even prepared for the spendor of strawberry nachos Pacifica High school style. They were cinnamon sugar chips, covered in macerated strawberries (more solid than ice cream topping strawberries) and a whipped topping of some sort. it was the best thing at the festival.

so I spent a good long while trying to figure out what these chips were. a google search for cinnamon sugar chips brings up Lotus chips which, while it may taste similar, i knew that such a gourmet niche product/company would never supply enough for this nacho booth. the search also brings up every recipe page involving cinammon, sugar, and chocolate chips. this was not helping. a search for: churro chips brought nothing! a search for: strawberry nachos brings up a gazillion hits for the same recipe, which involves making your own cinammon sugar chips (chip making is best left to professionals) and macerating your own strawberries in amaretto (bleh!) and, finally leads me to the ventura county star article, written by a reporter who is practically me and writes only about things i care about. (really, it's too bad she's a girl, so i won't be able to marry her)

So i come to find out that these chips are called bunuelitos. and after some hit and miss searching I find an overpriced gift basket seller that includes La Central Bakery bunuelitos. and then i google that to find the most useless webpage ever but at least it has the phone number and address (oxnard, yea!). so when I get off my lazy ass i'll call them and ask if they sell to any stores in la county, because while these chips were good, they're not worth the drive to ventura county (at least not more than once a year)

Zack's sister totally missed out. I'd be tempted to skip my own graduation in exchange for strawberry nachos!

More Strawberry fest

i ended up having to drive. the website directions were crap and mostly consisted of: get off the freeway at any one of these points and follow the signs. I hate following signs, but what could I do? i missed the turn for the lot where the shuttle takes you to the festival, and ended up driving the extra 8 miles to the fair parking itself. I was pretty sure we were going to die, lost and alone in farm land, but after the initial missing of the turn, i didn't make anymore bad choices (+1 for the places I don't have to drive)

it took, like, 100 years to get through the line to pay for entry. and really, it wasn't a line, it was a blob and a baby kept kicking me. and finally at the end of my torture i had to pay $12 admission. (+1 to avocados for being free, +1 to garlic for having tons of ticket sellers and very little, if any waiting) told me it would be 75 degrees, it was closer to 85. i wore a t shirt instead of a tank top, but i was only a little too hot for a little while. and unlike the garlic festival, there was shade, and the shade was cool (+1 for strawberries)

at first i was overwhelmed by the amount of food choices, but 3/4 of the choices didn't involved strawberries at all. hmmph. for some reason I had it in my head that there'd be strawberry sausage (like chicken apple, or something) I spent forever trying to find one, but alas, no strawberry sausage. in fact, savory use of strawberries was pretty much non existant. disappointing.

the first thing we ate, oddly enough, were $5 garlic fries. they were battered and fried and the perfect crunchiness, and better than the ones at the garlic festival (+1 strawberry)

then I found the strawberry nachos and decided the strawberry festival was the best thing they ever invented (+3 strawberries)

jana didn't like her strawberry smoothie, but for only $2.50 and made by a bunch of high school kids, what can you expect (+1 for the smoothie at the avocado fest (not avocado flavored))

satiated for the moment i went for a strawberry beer in an adorable souvenir pilsner glass $10 ( pilsner glasses, second only to martini glasses in the form over function glasswear category). I saw that it was amber, but i was surprised about how ambery it tasted, and how unstrawberry it tasted, after a few sips i adjusted, and it was decent. and i was left to carry that damn glass for the rest of the day. now, the sign clearly stated it was Widmer's, but the ventura county star article clearly states that it's firestone. i am a bit confused, but since it's only made for the strawberry festival, and you can't buy it anywhere else, i suppose it doesn't matter. gosh the glass is cute. it was even cuter when i got home, and i was kicking myself for not buying another glass. (+1 strawberry festival for having the theme ingredient in beer. -1 garlic festival for selling crappy beer in a souvenir tin cup with a budweiser logo on the back--you're paying enough for the damn thing, if you're going to have advertising give it for free)

the second round of food involved jana's $7 chicken skewer, which seemed expensive, but it was more food than she could eat, and my horrible, horrible choice of $6 fried zucchini. not only was the portion small, they were very mediocre. I was very sad, and disappointed for letting my fried food urges win over my craving for a sausage, or filipino food plate (-1 strawberries for fried zucchini)

full again, we set off for more craft fair shopping, passing by all sorts of treasure from corian cutting boards in teh shape of animals, a ridiculously expensive, and ridiculously ornate mad magazine jewelry box, expensive hats, skirts made from retro embroidered table cloths and much much more. i ended up coming home with a wooden cat ceiling fan pull, a hula girl necklace, lightning bolt earrings (very misfits), and a small non-retarded strawberry present for lydia. (+1 strawberry)

unfortunately I wasn't hungry enough for the $4 make your own strawberry shortcake tent sponsored by entemann's. i was very sad, because these things were works of art (although I'm sure they weren't as good as the strawberry nachos). (-1 me)
so we headed home and found the freeway, despite the efforts of the info booth people to get us lost by sending us the worst possible way to the freeway. i was disappointed about how little i ate, but after the sixty-some dollars i spent that day, i was glad to go. before we left we picked up a box of strawberries and I won a free liter of soda from my bottle cap

two things struck me that the festival was lacking:
1. man in a giant strawberry suit
2. strawberry ice cream
Honestly, strawberry ice cream. After eating garlic ice cream, and guacamole ice cream, i was waiting for something that actually tasted good. they only ice cream in the whole place were dove bars, vanilla with chocolate coating. ridiculous.

also, now that i'm getting to be a festival circut regular, i've started noticing vendors. the berry dessert people who were at the garlic fesival were at the strawberry one. one of the guacamole vendors at the avocado festival was at the strawberry festival. and the generic corn sellers at the oc fair were at the strawberry festival. i guess they're like carnies. I know i'd be much happier if i ran off to join the fried potato vendors than if i ran off to join the circus. yum!

Friday, May 13, 2005

freak things

Today I saw a truck. It was a freezer truck, the extra large kind, not a normal one. The whole side of the trailer was advertising the lemon and lime flavored ice cubes they sell at the grocery store. I don't think I know anyone who has ever bought those. I almost had to buy them one 4th of july, because they seemed to be out of regular ice, but then they brought a whole cart full of normal ice from the back. I can't imagine the whole state needing that giant truck full of flavored ice, much less having it be useful for local deliveries. Has anyone tried this ice before? I imagine it's not useful for much, except maybe margaritas. Lime flavored root beer anyone? Lemon in your coffee?

also, at the mall today, there were these freakish babies. More freakish than i usually think babies are. They were blonde twins wearing pink dresses, and their thin little baby hair was sticking up in pig-tails at about a 25 degree angle, like antenna, or like someting from that cat in the hat movie. and the creepy things were staring at me and laughing. I could not get away fast enough.

Tonight I go to see the shag musical.
Tomorrow is the famed strawberry festival. I imagine this will be much better than the garlic and avocado festival combined, if only for the fact that strawberry ice cream actually tastes good. Also, it may be the first festival I've seen featuring beer made with the theme ingredient.

what a great weekend! I'm sure the'll be plenty more freakish things to blog about, maybe I'll have a giant strawberry man picture to post!

Thursday, May 12, 2005

if you don't expect too much from me, you might not be let down

along with being food and drink filled my weekend was music filled.

barely had i gotten off the plane and a drink is in my hand and the karaoke revolution starts up. If i remember correctly the first thing I sang was hey jelousy, prompting us all to declare how old we were (except maybe zack). I don't care what anyone says. this is a good song, and it makes me happy. and even though it was stuck in my head for 3 days, and i'd randomly start humming, it didn't make me mad. I was just embarassed, in case anyone realized what i was singing. although the lesson for the evening was that even though my favorite ex-roomate and I are good at many things, being david bowie and freddy mercury is not one of them. although the real conclusion is that sad robots are adorable!

I never did much music shopping while in Berkeley, but evertime I visit I'm so excited to go to amoeba and dig through used cd's, and more importantly, cassette tapes for my car. So far, I'm very happy.

My Alphaville singles collection makes me very happy, and I started listening to my adam ant tape this morning, it seems to be promising. i also got u2's war, and a random 80's compilation. $3 for 4 cassettes! i have a feeling this may be the end of an era though. the cassette section is dwindling. so i guess i'll just have to get a new car soon, one that has a cd player.

As far as cd's go, I didn't get weezer from amoeba, they wanted $13 for it, which seemed a bit much. I bought it yesterday from Best buy for $10. it is very poppy, i'm not sure about happy, because i didn't really listen to the lyrics, but it puts me in a good mood. i just wish it came in a jewel case like normal things. i hate trying to be responsible for those paper things.
Thanks to Matt for steering me to the correct Shakira cd. Although it took me like a million years to figure out where she'd be filed. After going through every section, I finally found the "latin" section on the floor underneath something very important, like the african section or something. i spent a good 5 minutes furious, and trying to console myself that when i'm a librarian everything will be organized in a reasonable manner. So amoeba has a few strange categories. my trip to best buy revealed that they file shakira in the rock/ r&b section, where normal people put popular music. finally i listen to the cd it turns out half the cd is music they play in my belly dancing class. I thought the instructors had some kind of knack for finding good dancing music from various places. turns out, not so much. if it wasn't for shakira being born, we might have to dance in silence.

Not having enough halloween music, I picked up new wave halloween hits. most of the tracks are almost good, and some of them actually are. then there's that god awful sonic youth smack in the middle. worth $6 I say. it's almost impossible to find a cd of halloween themed songs that i mostly don't know already.

if only i could stop singing gin blossoms. I'm sad now that i didn't bother looking for that cd.

pretty much unrelated, except by the fact that elvis is a musician: he has a mini series on this week. I watched for 15 mins last night. here's what i learned priscilla was 14 when they met, he was, i don't know, but old enough to be in the army. because of this he wouldn't have sex with her (even though they'd been dating for a long while) and she begged and begged. because sex is bad? he did however hook her up with some kind of drug resembling speed. because drugs are good? that's when i stopped watching. boys are so dumb!

What the FCC?

So, everyone seems to have been bitten by the cafe press bug.

I've started reading speakspeak in preparation for the intellectual freedom class I might take in the fall.

vacation update

No good can come of drunken blogging, which is why I didn't blog all weekend (unlike some people). Fantastic things can come from drunkeness though. What the party on saturday lacked in size it made up for in enthusiasm and good company, not to mention singing robots. all in all it was a fantastic weekend of drinking, deformed animals and shopping.

during the bevmo grand opening I bought a bottle of cran-raspberry vodka. Mostly i bought it because it came in a metal bottle that looks like some kind of hair product. I drank it on saturday, but by monday I found the perfect cocktail for it, cran-raspberry vodka, 7-up, lime. and you have to drink it with a pink elephant cocktail swizzler, and i'm sure it's better in a coffee mug that has a picture of you on it.

sunday was a bit of a wet day in the city, and it ended with me purchasing nothing but food. I was very disappointed in myself. although monday's shopping trip resulted in some rather adorable pink shoes, utterly incomparable to lydia's xena shoes though. I spent more money in berkeley on tues than my 2 days of sf shopping. it seems to be a rather non-peak shopping season.

as for food and drink:
sunday was Oakland's famous Luka's, where I ordered a beer involving woodruff syrup. I still don't know what a woodruff is, i looked it up for a few seconds, it seems to be rather similar to a weed, or weedy wildflower. I know I prefer wheat beers, and I know most things involving syrup can't go wrong. And I was pleasantly pleased when a giant goblet of green sparkling liquid arrived at the table. It was good, tasted like a sweet sparkling wine. It however, did not taste a thing like beer. my mac and cheese bubbling hot and tasty even if the mushrooms were a bit hard. I probably shouldn't have eaten so many fries. but the leftovers made a lovely breakfast.

Monday was the tonga room, at the fairmont hotel. this was a plan left over from december, when drinking wasn't really in my cards. I knew this hotel was 6 blocks up from union square, but what I didn't realize was that it was practically straight up. if the incline was any larger i would have needed mountain scaling gear. next time, my trek up the hill will involve some kind of vehicle designed for transporting people. finally we made it, somehow, after me complaining for like 5 blocks about how old i am. we're greeted with a pretty generic, albeit nice, hotel. and we do down some corridors, pass a grand ballroom or two, and make it to the tonga room, which is fantastically dedicated to its theme. step inside and instantly the sterility of the hotel corridors are washed away and you're in a dark, tiki haven. the $7 buffet of appetizers and really awful fruit was decent, and the $6.50 happy hour tiki cocktails packed a bit of a punch (although i was probably still recovering from walking up the hill) My drink involving rum, vodka and some kind of juice was much better than Lydia's lava bowl, which was disappointing not only in taste (taste's like lava I guess) but in apparance. Luckily the bar and buffet were decked out in paper umbrellas and such. there was a pond, and a rain show every 20 mins or so. And there were tons of grassy roof things. I don't really know what they were, but they looked like large muppets. I was glad I went.

Lunch on tuesday was at the adagia restaurant (conveniently located a few steps from kroeber fountain (is that what it's called?) across from cafe strada). This restaurant had far too many waiters, it was a bit ridiculous, especially considering the service wasn't that good. I wish it had existed when I lived in berkeley. The food was good and the prices were decent. the room was filled with older people, professor types, etc. Lydia and I ate some complicated things, something like risotto with asparagus and meyers lemon. and rigatoni with chicken, mushrooms, pesto, and something else green. Not that I use much salt, but the communal salt bowls that involve strangers putting their fingers in and taking some seemed a bit gross.

Raphael's on center was tuesday's going away happy hour. Suspicious as I was of a vegetarian restaruant, it worked out best for us to dine and drink next to BART. If i knew from that start that $3.50 cocktails were involved, I wouldn't have doubted at all. so, $3.50 cocktails were involved. Not random well drinks, but fancy things in martini glasses. the raspberry mojito (served in a martini glass) was tasty, but a bit too murky for my taste with all the mint leaf bits, raspberry seeds, and other puree floating around in the alcohol. my second coctails was rather smoother. vodka, limoncello and (possibly raspberry) sorbet. and boy was it pink, but not quite as pink as the cosmo, which was like day-glo pink. i don't know how it got that color. the food, or at least the appetizers were a bit too froufrou for me, most of the things that sounded interesting tended to involve one major ingredient that i didn't like. I didn't get a chance to see the dinner menu, but i imagine, since they don't use meat they make up for it by the froufrouness. my caeser salad was surprisingly tasty considering a few hours earlier i had dismissed the salad as a big plateful of lettuce. and my bruchetta was exactly how bruchetta is, bread with tomatos on top. this was the closest thing they had to the sandwich i was craving for some reason. blakes may be better with the fried food, but the next time i'm in berkeley and want to drink on an empty stomach betwen the hours of 3-6, raphaels is where i'll be.

so, being a bit happy, the trip to the airport was much more pleasant. the flight was on time. and I was off the plane one minute early. And now back to real life where I don't drink, mostly, at all.

Monday, May 02, 2005

I've never eaten a sea mammal

After 20 years, whale meat returns to Japanese school lunch

If you go to Japan and come back without having tried whale, I will be very, very sad.

There was demand for whale meat but we simply could not afford it for school lunches. Before, the price of 100 grams (three 1/2 ounces) whale meat cost about 500 yen (four dollars), but now it costs about 125 yen, equivalent to that of chicken and pork," he said.

"Thanks to the help from the government, we were able to offer whale meat for our children," Sawada said.