Art Takes Many Forms: The Whimsical Patchwork Music of Pogo

Gotta love a good digital musician, right? Nick Bertke has produced some intriguing mixes with an otherworldly free-spirited feel and fast rhythm. I know that trance music is not for everyone, but people like Bertke definitely demonstrate the veracity and capabilities of the medium (even for people who aren’t baked out of their brains in a nightclub). I think I could work out to this.

Making Fake Reese’s Peanut Butter Chocolate Eggs

fake reeses 2

Happy Easter! I made some fake Reese’s eggs for a church get together. They aren’t all that complicated; if you’ve ever made peanut butter chocolate desserts, the recipe is kind of standard fare. There are a dozen different ways to do this, but this one is simple- just five ingredients, and all of them are common (six, if you want to count the fact that I did some in white chocolate).

ingredients

When the peanut butter mix stuff is done, chill it in the refrigerator until it’s firm. Form egg shapes on a piece of wax paper, then put them back in the fridge to chill again (this part takes a while- maybe thirty minutes or more). When the mix is firm again, put the chocolate in your microwave for 20 seconds, stir, then return to the microwave for 20 more seconds. Do not overcook the chocolate, and do not fail to stir it between heating- it should be nicely fluid by the second pass through the microwave. Remove the eggs from the fridge and try to work quickly.

It’s easiest to coat the eggs by picking them up individually and spooning chocolate around the edges first Then set the egg on the waxed paper and drop chocolate on the top and smooth. The peanut butter mix softens quickly, so I find it helps to have them on plates of five or six each- take one plate out at a time to avoid having them all get mushy as you’re working.

fake reeses

They taste just like the real things, (a little better in my humble opinion) and although they are super fattening, at least it’s fattening ingredients that you know about, instead of whatever processed evil spirits are living in the celophane-wrapped candy packets, right? Does that count for anything? At about 300 calories apiece, well… anyway they’re delicious.

A Collection of Sunday Sketches

birthday stairs
Drawing I made on my husband’s birthday.

compilation 1

compilation 2

morning people
“Morning people are such a blight on humanity.”

poor miss walrus

shoe tree

compilation 3

Text under Turtle on Puzzle Stack:
“How did you get all the way to the top of these puzzle pieces?” asked the bird.
“The ladder,”replied the turtle.
“That doesn’t explain much. How could a turtle climb a ladder?” asked the bird.
“Because,” said the turtle, “I am wearing socks.”

healthcare.gov

This isn’t much of a post; I’m just saying. Politics aside, the healthcare website has been such a mess.

kelly website

Before there was Lana Del Rey

There was Julie London. We had a record of hers in our home that I used to play. Just a cello (maybe it was a bass) and her singing. It was quite beautiful. I sometimes play this on Sunday mornings:

Bacon Bowl with a Baked Egg (and me, being the picture of fortitude during a trial)

bacon bowl with baked egg

I am preparing to fast for several hours before I go in to the hospital tomorrow and have a test done. Apparently, my lungs have decided not to participate in life, and in response I will be having a gigantic robot arm of death shoved up my nose and into my lungs, where it will tear a chunk of my lung-flesh out so the hospital folks can do lab stuff to it, leaving me a tattered, bleeding stump of humanity, but probably better off for the procedure. I’m being pretty brave about it, considering how badly the torment will surely be, but the fasting part really doesn’t appeal to me. It’s going to be like seven hours between meals. I decided to fortify myself with a batch of lemon bars and some bacon.

So, bacon bowls with a baked egg. You take three strips of bacon, cut them in half, weave them into square, and place them in the freezer on a small piece of tinfoil. Leave them for like half an hour so they are not frozen, but firm enough to mold into a bowl shape inside the tinfoil. (I like to wrap a second piece of tinfoil around them after that so the bacon grease doesn’t slosh out into the oven.) Bake them at 375 for about thirty minutes, then carefully pour the grease out, put an egg into the bowl and return it to the oven for another thirty minutes. Sprinkle a little oregano on top and eat. I should make a set of images to go with this. Maybe a post for later.

Facebook is Stealing My Umbrella

When I was a little girl, my family had a poetry anthology with this little number in it:

The rain it raineth on the just
And also on the unjust fella;
But chiefly on the just, because
The unjust steals the just’s umbrella.

-Charles Synge Christopher Bowen

We kids used to laugh about it because it sounded so funny. As an adult, I can see a little more of the point the writer was making.

The rain it raineth on the just

The rain it raineth on the just

And also on the unjust fella;

And also on the unjust fella;

But chiefly on the just

But chiefly on the just

Because the unjust steals the just's umbrella.

Because the unjust steals the just’s umbrella.

It is so often that the person who’s just doing his job, living his life, has to carry the person who is not. Isn’t it funny (or not funny) how often the unjust then wastes the resources someone else produced and then turns around to demand more?

just unjust panel 5

So now Facebook is being called out, yet again, for (allegedly) violating people’s privacy by scanning messages marked private and selling user demographics from them. It bothers me when companies do things like that- the rule of law is a valuable principle, and should be cared for and respected. When people abuse the legal system like this, the end result to the rest of us is new legislation. Laws piled on top of laws to clarify the mountain of laws we’re all already buried under. When this is finally brought to that point, the corporate fatcats at Facebook will have no new opinion about my privacy, nor will they decide that they now have enough money. They will find a new loophole, and continue on. We will all have some new legislation, whether it will directly affect us or not.

Django Django’s WOR

Here’s a song by Django Django with an intriguing video of the Indian Death Well riders. I think the song works well with the video footage and the notion of facing death simpy because it is your job. The men have such an interesting perspective on risk, don’t they? I’m not a hero, there is an element of danger in everything…

Happy Monday! Go do something risky and big today.

Butterbeer Cupcakes

butterbeer cupcake

Amybites concocted this wonderful recipe for Butterbeer cupcakes. For those of you not familiar with the term “butterbeer,” it is a fictitious (nonalcohloic) beverage in the Harry Potter stories. The cupcakes are really delicious; this is now my third batch, and I’ve probably gained two dress sizes because of them, but oh well.

You can click here to view the recipe, if you want some butterbeer cupcakes of your own (which, believe me, you really do). Without completely reproducing the recipe, I will tell you a few things.

  • At each spot where she says to beat the ingredients, whip the batter real good. The fluffier, the better.
  • You can shortcut the double boiler with store bought butterscotch ganache, but I like to make my own from scratch.
  • If you don’t have a squeeze bottle, you just need to get one- you can buy it for a buck, but it’s too important to skip. When you go to put the butterscotch ganache into the cupcakes, wait for them to cool a little. When it sinks into the cupcake, put more in until the cake stops absorbing the ganache. This usually takes several passes for me, but it’s worth it.
  • Do not skimp on special ingredients. I cheated on the immitation butter flavoring and they turned out mediocre and weren’t worth the effort.
  • Put a block of cream cheese in the frosting. It gives it less of a sugary confectioners’ sugar sweetness and brings more of a salty contrast to the cupcakes.

They make 18 cupcakes, and take about an hour from start to finish.

Right and Wrong Don’t Matter in the Woods

My brother and I were talking about the background of the area where he lives, and he mentioned a phenomenon about the language. There are certain words that his neighbors do not have, which is nothing noteworthy, as no two languages are going to have identical vocabularies, except that some of the words he listed frankly amazed me. Logic, mindset, proportion, eternity, infinite, science… the two that were most surprising to me were right and wrong.

Imagine a society with no word for “wrong.” How does that even happen? There is a right way to put shoes on, and a wrong way to hold a baby, and so on. It seems only natural that sooner or later, a person will encounter someone else who is doing something in way that is just clearly not correct:

that is right2

that is wrong

My brother said there are words for “beautiful” and “ugly,” which lead me to wonder if those are the go-to labels people would apply to correctness and incorrectness.

that is beautiful

that is ugly

If they do that, maybe judgey people who go around telling others how to raise their kids look like they’re calling each other’s children ugly.

Anyhow, if they don’t have words for the phrase “You are doing that all wrong!” one has to think that they don’t need that phrase very much. Does their vocabulary indicate that their culture is less judgmental or discerning? A possible contributing factor to this is the tendency for people to borrow words from surrounding languages until their native vocabulary has thinned, but I can’t help thinking that the personality of the individuals using the words has a stronger hand in defining the common vocabulary.

The title of this post is a line from Sondheim’s Into the Woods, which I probably talk about too much. The woods are a metaphor for people’s struggles, often surfacing their true character as they journey in and out of them throughout the story. I embedded a clip below of the baker’s wife and Cinderella’s prince meeting in the woods, because of that phrase: “Right and Wrong don’t matter in the woods, only feelings…”

If I were taking my sociology from Stephen Sondheim, I would say that he has an explanation for people allowing those words to go by the wayside, and it’s a matter of not considering them a big enough priority when trouble arises.

Another part of me is thinking it must have something to do with blended languages or something, though. I just can’t wrap my mind around a society that simply has no term for “wrong.” How different would our culture have to be if we never made or used such words?

Maybe we would have been better without some of them. I can think of a few words now that I would like to trim out of our collective use: money, schedule… What do you think?

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