Thursday, July 28, 2005

AAAAAAARGH!

Eftel put me on hold and I'm being forced to listen to Delta Goodrem! AAAAAAAAAAAARGH!

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Recipe: Pecan pie

From http://www.ortech-engr.com/pecans/pecanpie.html

Janis Dohmann's Pecan Pie

2 Eggs, Slightly Beaten
1 Cup Light Corn Syrup (I used Golden Syrup)
1/4 Cup Sugar
2 Tablespoons Flour
1/4 Teaspoon Salt
1 Teaspoon Vanilla
1-1/4 Cups Broken Texas native pecans (Or just use broken walnuts, because pecans are v. expensive in Australia)

1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees C.

2. Spread pecans in an unbaked 9-inch pie shell. (Pampas makes a nice sweet flan shell. Their ready-rolled, cut-it-yourself pastry however, is terrible.)

3. Mix remaining ingredients and pour over pecans.

4. Bake at 180 degrees C. for 40 to 50 minutes or until filling is set.

TIPS:

1. I blind-baked the flan shell for about 10 minutes to make it extra crispy.
2. Cover the pie crust with aluminium foil about halfway through baking to prevent crust from getting too brown before the pie is done.
3. Next time I'm going to try and use honey instead of golden syrup because I don't like the slightly metallic aftertaste of golden syrup . Will also try halving the sugar as it was very sweet.

Unfortunate

Darn it! System of a Down gives me motion sickness. I was listening to their "Mezmerize" album last night, and although I was really enjoying the songs (especially B.Y.O.B. and Revenga), I started getting that strange dizzy ill feeling that you only get when your parents force you to sit in the back seat for hours and hours with the smell of hot vinyl in your nostrils. Oh yes - good times...

So that's rather unfortunate as I really do like their music. (I can see Ching rolling her eyes - first hip hop, and now metal, she's thinking. Oy vey :) I think it's mainly the thrashy bits that give me vertigo, which is strange because I wasn't even head-banging at the time...

Anyway, it's very annoying, this tendency towards motion sickness. I can't play first-person PC games or go in submarines, and although they say that people who get motion sickness tend to have a good sense of balance (due to some mechanical process in the inner ear), "they" have obviously never seen me try to balance on a bar stool while painting behind the Rangehood (I nearly electrocuted myself, but that's a story for another day).

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Arrested Development/ice-cream

I love how 80s and 90s TV stars are being rediscovered and reinvented. First the ladies (and lovely gay Matt) from Melrose Place in Desperate Housewives, and now Jason Bateman in Arrested Development. And Silver Spoons boy in Scrubs and, is it NYPD Blue? I can't remember and quite frankly can't be arsed looking it up. All we need now is for Scott Baio to join DH and my happiness will be complete.

Doh, now I have the Charles in Charge theme song in my head. I don't know the words, but that is one catchy chorus!

I watched 7 episodes of Arrested Development back-to-back last night and nearly peed myself laughing.

Ice-cream with Susan was very good yesterday. I had a Magnum Ego (yes, the irony) which is vanilla ice-cream dipped in chocolate, covered with caramel and then dipped in chocolate again. Frozen caramel is a bit strange. I can't wait till Nasa invents a way of making caramel runny even though it's frozen between chocolate coating. Hmm, if they added alcohol to the caramel that would probably work. Add alcohol to caramel? Brilliant!

Hang on though, that would mean that the outer layer of chocolate would have nothing to stick to. Damn, think these things through before you say them, Angie!

Now, I was rather traumatised last Friday because two large bits of white chocolate coating dropped from my Cadbury Dream ice-cream onto the carpeted floor, so you can see how having two layers of chocolate dip gave me a nice feeling of security. I also like the new Arnott Tim Tam Cornettos, and anything cookies and cream can do no wrong in my eyes.

You can tell that I'm staying with my parents again, can't you? It's not just the extra eye bags that even miracle SK-II eye film can't soften, and the harassed lemming look and the slight tremor. It's also the inversely proportional weight gain correlating to time spent with parental units and trying to fill my emotional canyon of doom with food. Ching, back me up on this one.

Anyway, talking to Susan is great. Everything suddenly falls into perspective and you can see that things aren't always your fault, and really, as she likes to put it, in 100 years who's going to care anyway?

Japan!

I'm going to Japan next February!

Kim e-mailed to say that Monika (the travel agent) said it would be OK to fit me in for the first week (snowboarding in Niseko) so it looks like I'll be there for the whole three weeks: first week snowboarding in Niseko (I'll have to take private English lessons at first because I've never done it before), 2nd week seeing Kyoto and 3rd week seeing Tokyo, where I might get to catch up with Momo and Pete Strauss from kendo, but with only 4 days in Tokyo this may be a little ambitious.

Woooooohoooooooo!

I've already budgeted for it. Will have less to spend on house deposit, but it'll be the trip of a lifetime :D

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

I need chocolate

What a delightful morning. First I'm woken by the strange odour of soup at 6.30 (it's not really the kind of thing you want to wake up to at that time of day), then later I smell burning, and the smoke alarm goes off. Someone's forgotten to take the soup off the stove, and I can't find the smoke alarm because it's been fastened to the ceiling fan using a luggage tie.

I park at the train station and start walking to work. It rains at a diagonal angle. 5 minutes into the walk it rains harder and I decide to go back to the car and drive in and pay for parking at work. I turn around and my shoes fill with water. I leave the train station car park and as I drive out the rain stops and the sun comes out.

Having lunch with Susan later. I plan to have an ice-cream the size of my head afterwards. As Jon said last night, it's funny how girls eat bad food when they're feeling bad, and guys eat bad food because they know it's bad and feel bad afterwards.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Bad things I have done #2

I made a prank call to a boy I met at Bible Camp (yeah, har har, get it out of your system now), pretending I was the mother of a girl he'd been dating and now she had morning sickness and I demanded an explanation, young man!

His mother took the call and gave the phone to her husband, I didn't know and kept talking. Chaos ensued. He got my name and threatened to tell my dad (the parish priest) and I spend the next hour on my knees praying to God not to smite me and wondering if 12 year olds could be sent to the big-house.

I didn't make another prank call for 4 years, and then I got someone else (Nicky) to do the voice :)

Eggs

So on Groove (101.7) this morning they were talking about eggs and how you like to have them, and for me that would be (in priority order) 1) half-way between soft-boiled and hard-boiled with a few drops of soy sauce, served in an egg-cup with hot buttered toast 2) fried with a slightly runny yolk and a few drops of soy sauce 3) scrambled with salt and pepper on hot buttered toast 4) in cake.

Hot damn, I love eggs. Although I hate birds. Oh - the irony!

And then I thought of this girl who I went to boarding school with but was a few years above me. Her name was either Fiona or she had a sister called Fiona or her sister's best friend was called Fiona. Anyway, they had to put together projects for some Science fair and what Fiona-or-maybe-that-wasn't-her-name chose to do was the developmental cycle of the chicken in the shell. So she took 21 freshly fertilised chicken eggs*, put them under an incubator, and then every day, cracked an egg open and put the contents into a small jar. This didn't start off too badly, but apparently by day 8 it started to become quite gross, and by day 16 she was peeling off bits of egg off these half-formed embryos *barf* And on the last day the last egg hatched. Awww...

* It just occurred to me that it would be really hard to perform artificial insemination on a chicken, let alone an unfertilised chicken egg. Hee. I'm feeling silly today.

Friday, July 01, 2005

Urban legends

I was reading stuff on the Snopes site today, and this reminded me of how you get the same urban legends all over the world, but with local flavour (Mmm, new instant noodles now with...local flavour!) Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose, eh?

Here's one I remember my Mum telling me about the Phillipines:

Apparently there's a huge department store in Manila that's been owned by the same family for decades. They're incredibly rich and have lavish lifestyles, but they have a horrible secret [
can you see where this is going?]; one of the sons in this family was born horribly deformed and he's kept locked up somewhere. Some of the women's fitting rooms are actually rigged with a fake wall, and while they're trying on clothes these walls open up and the hapless women are whisked away to feed his gruesome appetites, never to be seen again [what, they're so rich they can't buy sexual favours like normal rich bastards?].

And then in the country I grew up in, whenever any big construction projects are going on single women and young people are told to stay indoors, because superstitious builders believe that foundations will only hold firm if people are buried underneath them. Bridges are especially bad because you need someone for each post.


There's also the local vampire or
pontianak who appears as a beautiful girl with long flowing black hair dressed in white, often accompanied by a strong smell of frangipani or jasmine. They only prey on men, but what exactly they do to these men has never been elaborated on [are they forced to go curtain shopping at Ikea? The horror! The horror!] Apparently though, if you're a little desperate and want to find yourself a sexy female slave, word on the street is, you can trap these ladies in mortal form. There's a little hole on the back of their necks, and if you carry an iron nail around with you and you're fast enough to insert this nail into the hole, they'll become mortal and be your docile love slave. To which I say, good grief, if you're desperate enough to risk death at the hands of a vengeful she-demon to get a bit of nookie, why not just propose marriage to Rose Hancock? Eh?

I don't know if this story has a happily-ever-after. Follow-up stories have someone accidentally removing the nail and either watching the pontianak crumble into a pile of dust, or turning on the man who enslaved them and dealing him a horrible death.


Ooh, I've just remembered another one called the penanggal.
It's a woman who's made a pact with the devil, looks normal during the day, but at night her head detaches from her body and flies around with her entrails dangling behind her, looking for pregnant women and young children (mainly firstborns) so that she can feast on their blood.

Apparently they enter through the floorboards so the main way to deter them is to have spiky plants underneath the house (ref: the Queenslander house-on-stilts style of architecture) or to sleep with a knife under the pillow.

There's also a little demon some witch-doctors keep in a bottle made from bits of dead baby that they've robbed from graves.

Hmm, I'm starting to creep myself out. And I'm house-sitting this week. Doh!

PS. I hate clowns. They're evil at worst, and pathetic at best. Just thought I'd throw that in. Nicky used to have a clown doll that laughed when you pulled the cord hanging out of its back. Ye gads that thing was creepy.