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Friday, September 7, 2012

ONE INGREDIENT ICE-CREAM!

So, a long time ago, I was like "Here's how to make five-minute ice-cream!"

What a fool I was. 

Little did I know that there was a way to make ice-cream WITH ONE INGREDIENT. It takes a little bit longer than five minutes, but only because you have to freeze something. Otherwise, it's dead easy. 

What's that magic ingredient to make magical easy ice-cream? It's banana. 

You know how sometimes you can some bananas lying around and they're going a bit brown and you're like "Hey, I should make banana bread" and then you do? Well, I loves me some banana bread. But roomie suggested that instead of banana bread, I could make banana ice-cream. And I was like, "That sounds hard." 

Nope. (Thanks to thekitchn.com).

Here's what you do.
 

Peel and chop the banana. 

Banana carnage!

Freeze them for 1-2 hours. 

Put me in the freezer!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Look ma! I'm on TV! On the Internet! In a Newspaper!

So, a very enterprising young student writer for the Arizona Daily Star, Samantha Munsey, interviewed me about thrifting after reading my Hello Giggles stuff, Adventures in Thrifting

She does a near-magical job making me appear coherent, seeing as how I had driven back to Tucson from Illinois two days before and was literally leaving for Russia an hour after the interview. I'm hot, disheveled, wearing crooked glasses and say "Um," and "Like," many, many times (Toast Masters would not be proud).

I also hunch my shoulders like WHOA! though I comfort myself with the notion that I was very tired and stressed and the slouching (BECAUSE OF A MEDICAL CONDITION) gets worse when I'm tired and stressed. 

Anyway, fabulous editing job Samantha! Seriously, I'm impressed, because I know how much I rambled and wandered around and how loud and crowded it was in there. There's also this really magical moment where I say, "I'm wearing a pink fluffy dress!" and the sleeve of said dress falls off my sloop-y shoulders. 

But I was prepared, because after the interview I was so worried I looked deranged during the interview that I practiced talking into my iPhone camera in weird and embarrassing ways (lots of British and Southern accents and weird faces) and forced myself to watch them, to prepare for the worst.

But honestly, it was really fun to do the interview, Samantha Munsey was a peach, a professional peach, and I think she did an amazing job putting the video together. 

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Vagina Toadstools

Thoughts for a Sunshiney Morning has something very special for you today: a guest-poster, Ivy Wilson! (Found here and here). This post involves Germany, yeast, and mushrooms. Or, as Ivy Wilson deems them, Teutonic Toadstools:







Vagina Toadstools

I’m not a great baker, but I know that bread is supposed to rise.  Now that I live in Germany and no longer have a full time job, I spend more of my day cooking that I did back in America.  When my bread dough didn’t rise, I blamed myself for getting the cheaper of the two yeast brands at the super market.  I promptly returned to the grocery store and purchased the more expensive yeast.  It was made by a well-known, high quality German brand, but it was dead too.

I consulted my most Martha Stewart of German women friends.  “Oh – the dry yeast in Germany is crap,” she said.  “Go for the fresh yeast.”  I don’t know what fresh yeast is, so I said to hell with this nonsense and baked a chicken instead.

But, there was one place that day in Germany where yeast was alive and well.  It had become itchily apparent that there was an overgrowth of yeast in my females.  I’d had a few yeast infections before, and I was well aware of the symptoms.  So – what’s the big deal – you might think.  Surely women in Germany have vaginas that occasionally get a little yeasty.  Surely they have drug stores in Germany.  Just go to one and buy a German yeast infection treatment.  Well, not so fast.  


Monday, April 23, 2012

CAN WE GO BACK TO THE DAYZ. Except not really.


Despite protestations that I was never going to attend a fair again (too many times going to fairs convinced I was going to have a good time, only to puke up blue cotton candy or spend an obscene sum of money to get sunburned and nauseated by beer and deep-fried snickers which seemed like an awesome combination at first but then my friends wanted to go ride a spin-y ride and then I got sick (FAIRS ARE BAD PLACES FOR THE WEAK OF STOMACH), or one time I got yelled at by a cop in the parking lot who slammed his hand down on my car and screamed "DON'T YOU KNOW THE RULES OF DRIVING IN MINNESOTA??" -- this is what fairs do to people), I was easily persuaded to attend the Pima County Fair with @theKFoss by 1) The promise of a free admission pass and 2) Being told that Boyz II Men were the featured entertainers. 

Of course, I remembered almost immediately a reason I do stay away from fairs: rides that make can me pukey and discriminate against odd numbers: 

This is why fairs are bad for a teenager's self-esteem. It's a very restrictive model!


It was also quite hot at first -- I guess it was the earliest day on record that Tucson has hit 100 degrees. 



But gradually, as it became clear that I wasn't going to puke up blue cotton candy or cry over being a single rider (vast improvement over fairs of teenager-hood), I began to enjoy myself. Night fell, and night has the magical ability to turn to fairs from depressing places to magical, neon-lit tabernacles of delight. 


Plus, there are funny signs. 



Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The Semi-Vegan Returns to Meagan Another Day

More vegan eats! (From someone who is not actually a vegan, she just plays one at home).


Me and my room had some friends over for dinner and decided to make some vegan sushi. As with our holiday party, we went a wee bit overboard while shopping and prepared about eight million different kinds of ingredients.


The basics of making sushi rolls: not actually that hard: prepare rice with rice vinegar; spread a row of said rice of some nori; spread ingredients lengthwise on the rice; roll with a sushi mat; chop roll; eat with soy sauce and wasabi.


What's challenging about making sushi with fish is, you know, learning how to chop up raw fish so that you don't end up contracting an intestinal parasite that grows to be the size of your lower intestine.


What's challenging about making vegetarian sushi is managing to combine vegetarian ingredients in a way that's flavorful enough to come through and taste interesting (Easier said than done: the rice and nori cover up a powerful amount of flavors. And I love rice and nori, but...you need a little pizzaz to your sushi roll, you know?).


So, in essence, there way a lot of prep work involved. We used Brigid Treloar's Vegetarian Sushi (Essential Kitchen Series) which helped provide some ideas.


There was a lot of chopping:


That's blanched* green onions, chopped cucumber...
*no clue what "blanching" is? I didn't either! It's cooking something very, very, quickly in boiling water, then dunking it in cold water 
Chopped red peppers, blanched asparagus,  seasoned shiitake mushrooms (soak dried shiitake mushrooms till they are not dried anymore, then boil in soy sauce and mirin)...
And also seasoned carrots (boiled in soy sauce and mirin).
If you're wondering why the above veggies looked so pretty, it's because my roommate chopped them with a mandoline. I'm scared of that thing and won't touch it. It makes such pretty, pretty vegetables though. 

Friday, April 6, 2012

Leona Lewis Guilty Pleasures the Guiltiest of Guilty Pleasures

While watching a show on Netflix that I am very somewhat embarrassed to admit I was thoroughly enjoying watching (hint: it may or may not be called The Bampire Viaires* **), I heard a cover of one of my guilty-pleasure songs, Snow Patrol's "Run." 


For your reference: 





(Note: I'd never seen the video before but it's sort of epic. Why are they wading through water and waving around road flares?). 


I discovered that the cover was by Leona Lewis, singer of one my FAVORITE guilty pleasures, "Bleeding Love": 



Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Baby Don't You Cry -- Gonna Make a Pie

So, lately I've been feeling stressed. Nothing urgent or terrible: just lots of stuff to do, phone calls unreturned, etc. 


And so I made a pie. 


I both love baking, and am sort of self-dramatizing, and this is one of my favorite movies: 





So it's impossible to make a pie without getting this song in my head: 





And if you want some poignancy to your evening, check out a little about actor/director Adrienne Shelly


But you know what else I love beside pie? Rice pudding. 


Oh, rice pudding. 

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Sitting Around in a Twilight T-shirt Wearing a Star Wars helmet on my head

I'm fond of posting this picture whenever I make the assertion that I'm Not a Nerd: 




I bought this TwilightNew Moon t-shirt at a thrift store; I just couldn't believe how awesomely awful it was, and so snatched it up immediately. I've worn it only once, upon the occasion here depicted; I went over to a friend's house for a BBQ, thinking only folks I already knew were going to be there and that they would think the shirt Immensely Funny. 


Then some people I didn't know showed up. 



Saturday, March 17, 2012

Skilled bacon

I really should be doing other things, but I just wrote two articles and my brain is whirling at a billion miles per hour, so I thought I'd do a blog instead. 


You know my trip to Peak Peak, documented below? Well, my friend N. made a horror movie about it: 





He also introduced me to this, which says "Skillet Bacon Spread" but looks here like "Skilled Bacon Spread". Bacon's got skills, man



Sunday, March 11, 2012

Peak Peak

So, I went on quite a grueling hike up Picacho Peak today (if you click the link, you'll see that there was a Civil War re-enactment going at the same time! Did you know that Westernmost skirmish battle of the Civil War was fought at Picacho Peak? We didn't see the re-eanacment but we did occasionally hear cannon fire during the hike). *Also, apparently "Picacho" means "peak" in Spanish, so the name can be translated as "Peak Peak." **Also, apparently, the whole Peak is a lava flow, but scientists have never been able to figure out where the volcano that exploded the lava was (clearly, aliens involved somehow, no?).


I've passed Picacho Peak numerous times; it's one of those landmarks that indicates you're leaving Tucson for real when you head on a road trip. It's right by the similarly iconic Ostrich Farm and it's not far away from the prison sign that says "Do not stop for hitchhikers."


I thought that after a shower I was gonna collapse into a heap. But instead, I find myself looking at pics and movies from the hike and wanting to post them (admittedly, I am doing this lying in bed, from which I shall not stir). I haven't even got all the photos that my friend N. took, but I the ones I have are so GOLD that I MUST post them. 


This one should not make laugh as much as it does, given that it's me (trying) to be funny. 


video

Here are the boning flies referenced:

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Baby Seals Make U Fall In Love

Okay, so it turns out I know nothing about photoshop/image manipulation, which I wanted to do in response to this Jezebel article Watch Ke$ha's Sarah McLachlan-esque Plea on Behalf of Baby Seals

But basically...

Ke$sha says



And the baby seals are like, WE R WHO W R! 

(I highly recommend listening to the Ke$ha video while being mesmerized by baby seal gif).


Thursday, February 23, 2012

Thrift Store Male Objectification!

Another one that's a little too saucy for Hello Giggles, but Bad Cholla sent me a picture of this epic poster for sale in a local thrift store: 

 Although...really...a woman's touch? Won't any touch at all do, really?

Monday, February 20, 2012

Call for Thrift Store Finds!

I'm putting out a call for weird and funny things that you've found at thrift stores! 

This one couldn't go on Hello Giggles, but I present it as an outtake for you all: 

The Blanket With The Inappropriate Towers on It That Do Not Make Me Think of Towers:


Sunday, February 19, 2012

Everything I love comes together in an explosion of unicorns farting rainbows

Lately, it's like the world is designing things especially for me (magical thinking? what's that?). 

Joel McHale reflects on Supernatural



As The Onion AV Club puts it: you just don't get stuff like this on any other show:

“You're saying an octopus did this?” a Winchester asked the medical examiner. “Not just any octopus,” the guy replied. Later, once the brothers were beginning to get a vague sense of what was going on, Sam said, “Now, the question is, how did a unicorn come off this sketch and kill Billy's dad?” You just don't hear dialogue like this on the shows with some combination of CSI, NCIS, or Law & Order in their titles. Maybe if every show on TV did have dialogue like this, I wouldn't enjoy it so much when I get to hear it on Supernatural. An alternate possibility, at least as likely, is that if every show on TV had this kind of dialogue, I'd never leave my living room.
And earlier, Misha Collins shows up on The Soup and beats up Joel McHale!:



In conclusion: 


Thanks to here!

AND LOOK AT THIS PROMO:




And on Tuesday, Misha Collins will be on Ringer and then the Fug Girls will recap it and everything I have ever wanted will come true.  

(And, eeeeep, speaking of unicorns and rainbows...)

Monday, February 13, 2012

I'm not crying, it's just raining on my face.

I volunteer at the Poetry Center once a week (and now teach there! for a little while!); among the numerous lovely things about this is that I can read from their complete collection of literary journals. I took a stack of Fairy Tale Reviews to my desk today and was happily reading. 

In the grand female tradition, I get strangely weepy at certain times of the month; usually a feeling of great sadness descends upon me at some embarrassing moment, and I get weepy over a tourism commercial for California or sob inappropriately at some song on the radio that's really not worth tears, like Katy Perry's "The One That Got Away." (NOTE: I have never actually wept over Katy Perry's "The One That Got Away"; this is just an example). 

Anyway, today the strange wave of emotional weepiness that overtook me today was from a non-embarrassing source: a piece by Donna Tartt in "The Blue Issue". It involves a grandmother, and as Cher Horowitz says, "Old people can be so sweet!": 

But a few books we loved especially, and read doggedly again and again, almost as if they were religious texts, and chief among these was Peter Pan. Did I love it so because of the mysterious Scottishness that colored her voice as she read?...Because we ourselves--so passionately close--had crossed paths in time so very strangely: she like Wendy at the end of the book, bent in the back and with white in her hair, and me still a child? (In my edition of Peter Pan, there is a line drawing of Peter stranding in the firelit nursery regarding Wendy, who is no longer a child like himself, but an old lady: it might almost be great-grandmother and me, drawn from the life). I suppose in the end Peter Pan was such an important book to us both because it is ultimately such a dark book, about change, loss, again, mortality, death: the very questions that hung so heavy between us. She was in her eighties: our days together short, and we knew it, which was why our every goodbye on the corner of Levee Street held within it the vertiginous terror of permanent separation. And when she did actually die I refused--fierce sunburnt little pagan that I was--to direct any prayers Heavenward on her behalf: instead, at her funeral, I silently beseeched Peter, small fitful god of our household religion, to go with her part of the way so that she would not be frightened.

At that last line, I became this:


Old people + emotional power of literature + death + childhood + Peter Pan = I just need to go home and eat some Red Vines now.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Tragic Lost Opportunity for more 30 Rock clips

Chocolate, chocolate, chocolate...ack!



When posting about my party below, I completely forgot to include this 30 Rock clip, which sums up my attitude to entertaining:


Monday, February 6, 2012

Holiday Party So Late Holidays So Over

It's time for another installment of Laura Takes Pictures of Stuff, Does Not Post Them for a Long Time! 

Back in the holidays, me n' the roomie had a Holiday Party. The theme was, bring any weird food or drink that your family always makes around the Holidays. Like, is there a certain jello salad your grandma always makes? Bring it! 

Before the party, I got a few anxious queries about what constituted "weird." Like, what if the offering was not weird enough? To which the answer was, anything is welcome! Weird and non-weird alike. 

We went shopping for decorations at the dollar store and fortunately we did not get too carried away:

There was lots to enjoy at the dollar store, including The Worst Holiday Ornament of All Time:


Monday, January 30, 2012

Dreamy/Inappropriate

My roommate made this recipe for Dream Cake. And it's one of the few recipes I've seen (keep in mind, again, I did not make it) where it came out looking as pretty as the pictures on the recipe promised!

Dreamy...

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Supernatural 7.4 Recap: Ghost Cars Not Scary; Everyone Feels Guilty, Except Sam

If there's one thing I've learned from watching Supernatural -- and never let it be said that time spent watching this show has not taught me anything useful -- it's that haunted cars are not scary. 

Arguably the worst Supernatural episode ever (Yeah, yeah, I know) is "Route 666" from Season 1, in which the villain is a racist truck. Yes, a ghost truck. A ghost truck that is racist. A racist truck.

It's so bad that they even refer to it as the "racist truck" when they get all meta in Season 4 and discover that Supernatural is a series of cult books.

Dean: Everything is in here, from the racist truck to me having sex. I'm full frontal in here, dude.

When the Impala gets possessed in Season 6's episode "Mannequin 3: The Revenge" (yup, it's actually called that -- also the villain in that one is a haunted kidney!), they at least play it for laughs: 

  "It possesses sex dolls! This is not a sex doll!" 

Thanks to here for gifs
  So, you'd think if there was ONE thing anyone involved in Supernatural would know, it's this: haunted cars. Not scary.

Guess how S.7 episode four, "Defending Your Life," begins? 

Yup. Ghost car. 

Even the guy getting chased by the ghost car thinks its lame:

A ghost car? Really? It's not even a meta episode!









Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Meagan-y Meagan Eats!

So tonight I was determined to cook with ingredients we actually had in the house (as opposed to my usual "I can totally make this! I have all the ingredients...oh. I guess I need to go out and get star anise. And shitake mushrooms. And bok choy.  But other than that, I can totally just whip it together. Right after I figure out how to use the food processor. Oh, and coriander seeds. Need those too. Will ground coriander do? Man." (At this point, I go out to the store for the first of several trips I will make that evening).


So because we had some avocados, I made guacamole with this recipe. 
I followed the recipe exactly, 'cept I didn't use the entire half onion. No matter how finely I diced the onions, I didn't want the gauc to get onion-overwhelm and I wasn't going to take on the Herculean task of putting the food processor together. (SHUT UP I HAVE POOR SPATIAL REASONING SKILLS IT'S MEAN TO LAUGH AT DISABLED PEOPLE). So I used about a quarter of the onion. 

The recipe says to leave the gauc out for an hour, which I side-eyed. Wouldn't it go brown? Luckily, my roommate has evolved and accurate opinions about how to cover guacamole with cling-wrap, so it worked out. 


Basically, the technique involves making sure the cling-wrap is down OVER the guacamole. Allow me to demonstrate with the guac leftovers:


Just try to get in, oxygen. I fucking dare you.
Anyway, my roomie put on some brown rice in her rice-maker/vegetable steamer (no, I don't know how to use that, either. I SAID SHUT IT), and I heated the rest of the onion in a pot with some olive oil for five minutes, added some garlic, and heated two cans of black beans (using about half a cup of the bean broth) with lots of cumin, salt, pepper, lemon-pepper, and a little cayenne (also about five minutes).


Put rice, beans, and guacamole together with some salsa and what do you have? You basically have a bean bowl from Chipotle! Okay, it's also a staple meal from many cultures. But forgive me if my point of reference is a Chipotle bean bowl. 


My roomie was out when the food was all ready, so I ate before her. When I heard her come in, I waited for a few minutes, then snuck into the kitchen to manipulate a compliment out of her:

"This is so good!" she said, upon seeing me.



"I know," I said, humbly, then added: "When I was eating it, I thought it was almost as good a Chipotle bean bowl."


"I think it's better," she said. 


"I DO TOO!" I shrieked. "I JUST DIDN'T WANT TO SAY THAT FIRST!" 


I really was proud, you guys. Okay, so I used a recipe for a guacamole. (Um, it's also possible that back in the day I looked at this as a guide for making rice and beans. SHUT IT). And I didn't exactly think up the idea for a meal of rice, beans, and guacamole by myself. But...but...I didn't have to do extra shopping! And it was really easy! And it was really good! The recipe for guacamole is especially a keeper. 


So it spurred me to share some more of my vegan cooking of late. 

I didn't take pictures of tonight's meal, as I seem to have fallen out of the habit of obsessively photographing everything I cook. Maybe...because...I cook...more regularly...? So it's not as epic of an event? Or maybe because I'm not so great at photographing food and it never looks as good in the pictures as I want it to? 


But, anywhoodle, I've got a backlog of vegan recipes. As I've shared before, I'm currently a meagan, so I can go out and enjoy a burger every once in a while, but I cook vegan when I cook. 

Cooking vegan, I've decided, is awesome. Mexican food, particularly, is a bit of a revelation. 

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

I Want to Call This Post "The Mysterious Case of Sherlock Holmes and His Many Adaptations" but I Also Sort of Hate Myself for Wanting to Call it That

So writing this made me think about how much I love all things Sherlock Holmes -- from the original stories, to the Jeremy Brett TV show...wait.

Hold up.

Before I go any further, I've just got to blow a few minds.

Jeremy Brett played Sherlock Holmes on a well-known BBC adaptation of the stories from the 80s-90s. He was awesome and weird. He looked like this:



He was a bit dark.

Por ejemplo:


Hey, does he look a bit familiar? Something nagging at you? You know who Jeremy Brett also played?

Fucking Freddy Eynsford-Hill from My Fair Lady!


THIS DUDE:



Okay, sorry for the digression. So: if there's anything better than the original Sherlock Holmes stories, it's all the sequels and reimaginings, some of which are arguably better than the original.


Sunday, January 15, 2012

Snow Mad

When you live in Arizona, you don't see snow much. Or at all. When you encounter snow for the first time, it can be...well. A little overwhelming. 

I hiked Madera canyon today, with two friends who each have a cute dog (for stats, check this snazziness out). We got up high enough that there was still some snow on the mountain peaks. My friend's dog, Rupert, had...quite the reaction when experiencing his first snow:



(There's also a close-up of my ass in the video, if you're into that sort of thing. Plus my voice). 

The thing about this video is...this did not happen once. It happened over and over and over again. He became so excited that we dubbed it "snow madness." After all, he's just a poor, desert-dwelling dog. It's natural that his first snow drove him a little crazy!

The little man-made ponds on the hike were also frozen. Being fairly stupid, I decided to tread on the ice to see if it would hold me. It did!

This looks fake but isn't.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The Secret Miracle: Don't Be A Douche

Okay, so as I mentioned, the $100 that I finally earned from folks clicking on the ads on this blog was used for a writing project--a deposit for a residency at the Prairie Center for the Arts where I'll be for a month-ish this summer (it's a key deposit--I'll get it back if I don't trash the place). So: your support here on my blog = time writing this summer. And once/if I get the $100 back, I'll totally take suggestions as what I should do with it (Bedazzling? Fine liquor? Objets d'art?).

In honor of writing, I thought I'd share that I'm currently rolling around in awesome books. I just finished Colm Toíbín's The Master, which was bliss, and I'm still reading his short story collection The Empty Family.


And for all those authors out there looking self-promote, this is why I started reading him: my friend S. lent-then-gave me the book The Secret Miracle: The Novelist's Handbook, edited by Daniel Alarcón. It's interviews with authors--divvied up by theme--about various aspects of the writing process (well, specifically the novel-writing process). 



Anyway, S. and I both agreed that some authors came off wonderfully--as in, "How insightful/charmingly self-deprecating! I'd bet we'd be total BFFs and could go down to the pub and have a pint and talk about George Elliot/insert author of your choice! And even if we cannot or should not ever develop a personal relationship, some of these writing insights are both reassuring and useful!" --while some came off a utter douches.  


Saturday, January 7, 2012

My Show Wins



Okay, so I'm obviously way behind in my Supernatural recaps, and my feelings about Season 7 have vacillated between



and 


For starters, it turns out that this? This flowchart I made? Stupid show proved me totally wrong: 

Damn it writers, what's next? Sam is gonna sleep with a girl and she's gonna LIVE? STOP SCREWING WITH MY EXPECTATIONS.

 But...I have to say that Show came back from break with the episode "Adventures in Babysitting" and...I lurved it! 


Tuesday, January 3, 2012

30 Rock: I want to go to there.

I tried to find two clips from 30 Rock today for a Hello Giggles post: either the one where Liz Lemon is caught wearing a bathing suit as underwear or the one where she says, "I'm not sure you want to take advice from me on this. I ate a Three Musketeers bar for lunch and my bra is held together with tape." I could find neither, but I satisfactorily wasting time looking at 30 Rock clips and now I have them book marked for the right occasion!

So to celebrate 30 Rock coming back soon, here you go.

A reminder of why Jack Donaghy is the best ("It's after six. What am I -- a farmer?" is the moment I knew I was in the love with the show).


And now -- 30 Rock clips for any occasion!

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