Monday, November 30, 2009

Time=(insert number here)

I was thinking today what a shame it is that we (students) spend so much time on assignments that never get public viewing time. I'm mean really. I spend hours on video and design projects that get viewed at most 5-10 minutes by an instructor. They are scrutinized and then given a meaningless number that signifies what they are worth. I hate numbers. If only we could be graded on intent.
Anyway, because I can, I am going to post some projects that I have worked on this quarter. Some of them are a little ridiculous but others aren't half bad. At least I feel better about giving them some time on center stage.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Drama high

The dust has settled and the first day of tech week is over. It's currently 11:21 PM and I am working on coming down off my drama high. There is something unique about drama types. When members of a cast have not seen one another for a length of time there seems to be an inordinate- a word which here means enough energy to power a nuclear bomb, amount of well wishing and high volume story sharing when they reconvene. Such was the case tonight, and it was lovely. I got an enthusiastic sneak hug from Rose, an impromptu song from Duvid about his being 'surprisingly fit' and during intermission there was a spirited rendition of 'Love lifts us up where we belong' from Papa and Lushia. It was quite epic really.
Now I sit in the captain's leather chair with massive amounts of hairspray in my hair and my face feeling somewhat crunchy from the vigorous scrubbing it endured to get rid of stage makeup. I smile and think, "It doesn't get much better than this."

Saturday, November 14, 2009

The fickle pumpkin pie

So this weekend I was enlisted to make a few pumpkin pies for a friends' birthday. It was my first 'order' as it were and I was quite pleased. As I donned my stained white apron I thought, "Don't mess this up. The reputation of the Mathis pumpkin pie recipe is in your hands." Oh Poop. No pressure whatsoever.

There was no use dilly dallying. I had 4 pies to make in 3 hours. We were going over to Madam Finnagin's for dinner at 7, and with just me doing the baking it was going to be a tight race. In short order I had 2 pots of pumpkin and spice plopping on the stove and had set to work on my pie crusts.

I don't know why I have such a hard time with crusts. Every time I make them they come out different. Somehow, though we grew up in the same house, I missed the 'how-to-make-awesome-pie-crust' tutorial that my sisters got. Now, to my credit, I have made some pretty decent pie crusts in my time but as far as consistency is concerned they are nothing like my sisters'. Their crusts are sturdy supportive things that make a pie feel secure and protected. My crusts are flimsy and flaky, falling to pieces at a drop of the hat. Their crusts require a rolling pin to flatten. Mine roll out at the sight of a soggy noodle.

And so the ingredients are before me. I have decided to try using a food processor to blend my crust this time around. I read an article in Real Simple this week that made me think that it was a superior way to go at it, and figured why not? As I tossed the ingredients in and pushed the pulsate button, I was delighted to see the results. The process which normally takes several minutes for me to complete was finished perfectly in a matter of seconds. Flushed with victory I added the water and watched in horror as my dough transformed into something resembling whipped frosting. Oh crap.

Meanwhile on the stove, my pumpkin is boiling away. I have noticed that the consistency of one pot is different from the other but figure it will work out in the end.

Back in pie crust land, I have managed to salvage my crust more or less. It is a signature Summer Lee crust and I massage it into submission without much fuss. In the process of making these the crusts I realize that I won't have enough flour to make two more. I phone the captain who is at the church and request an extra ration. He acquiesces to my request and says he will be home shortly.

At long last, I roll out two beautiful crusts, not very much unlike this. I check the clock and realize that I am not going to have enough time to bake both sets of pies before dinner. I also realize that I am one pie pan short. Just then the captain breezes through the door, flour and sparkling white grape juice in hand. I smile and silently note his deposit into my love bank and then ask him if he can go out yet again and find me a pie pan. The gentleman that he is, he smiles and dutifully awaits instructions. I call up my crafty jewelry-making friend and ask if we can borrow one from her. She laughs and gives us the coordinates to where they are hidden in her kitchen. Out goes the captain, and away I go again on my last set of crusts. Sadly, this batch does not work as well as the first. The first looks like a cancer patient loosing his hair and I quickly decide that I will be a crustless pie. The second looks like a kindergartener's play dough sculpture. "What have I done?" I think to myself as I stare at my creations. Huge. Epic. Fail.
"Screw it," I say out loud. Most of the mayhem is under the pie line. They will never know.

And indeed, once they were baked you really couldn't tell. The two best looking pies we took up to our surrogate parents, and the other two were baked later that night and went to a lunch with my crafty friend and her husband and the other to some of Michael's students. Hopefully the latter set will eat them in low lighting.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Me and Mr. Lee

I am so amused. The Captain got his first piece of artwork today from one of his study hall kids. Evidently the artist was buzzing around like a bee, spreading mayhem wherever he landed and after repeated warnings got thrown in the brig, aka. the captain's office. The prisoner requested pen and paper, standard issue, but the captain was not in a generous mood and denied the request. Somehow he managed to get ahold of the supplies he needed anyway, (Mentally adding him to my crew of disreputable scalawags) and fashioned a picture for his jailer. I thought the resemblance quite good really. The hair is about the right length and the beard is decent too. I think it says something about the artist that he drew his own head as shrunken. Inferiority complex perhaps?

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Common sense on leave for weekend

So. It's Friday night. The Captain and I have decided to have a relaxing evening playing games and eating Hala bread in honor of Sabbath. We are in the middle of our second game of Ticket to Ride when we get a call from his cousin, Elyse. Would we like to come over for games after vespers? Please. Need she even ask? We would be there with bells on. The evening skips by and soon it's time to leave. I decide that I need to spruce up my appearance before I set foot in public and pop into the bathroom for a brief interlude with my straightener. About a minute later the captain pokes his face in the bathroom door as I stand waiting for it to heat up. It seems to be taking a long time, as is often the case when you are trying to go somewhere. I look into his eyes and they say to me, “Can we go now pleeease? It’s time to plunder!” “Just a minute,” I say grinning. “I’m just waiting for it to warm up.” At this, I pass my fingers close to the ceramic plates. Too close. Searing pain shoots up my finger. “Argh!” I say in a truly piratey fashion.
“Oh honey!” says my captain. “Are you okay? Here let me get you something for that.” He disappears into the kitchen for a moment as I stand staring in disbelief at my finger. As if I can’t believe what it’s just done. “Stupid. Stupid. Stupid,” I say shaking my head. The captain returns with Aloe in hand and squirts some onto my finger. The rest of my hair is straightened without mishap and we exit stage left to the party.
We arrive at the gathering and are warmly greeting by cousin and cousins’ tall bearded Canadian boyfriend with broken jaw. He towers at 6’7” and rumoredly broke his jaw from falling from that height. Me thinks it is a lie but it makes for a good story anyway.
As the rest of the guests arrive the captain and I behave like true married types and tuck ourselves into a discreet corner in the kitchen and explore the tea options. Before long I’ve kicked back a glass of pomegranate tea and decided to have another. I stand up and holding my glass in one hand I reach for the ladle. As I bring it close to my glass I immediately see a problem. The ladle is bigger that the top of my mug. But instead of putting my glass down and reposition my hand to hold onto the handle like a normal person, I sens the ladle on a crash course for the mug. And what happens? Scalding water is poured down the side of the glass and consequently over my fingers. Now at this point, most people would put the ladle back into the pot of water, put the glass down and reposition their hand. Sadly, I am not a normal person and I continue to pour the hot water down over my hand, all the while jumping about and saying, “Oh! Ah! Hot water! On my hand. Ow. Ow. Ow.” The jumping and flailing about results in further splashing and scalding until I return the cup safely to the counter top. As you can imagine this little outburst has drawn quite a bit of attention. The giant is greatly concerned. I am hugely embarrassed and lapse into a bit of fevered silence. And my captain? Evidently his mothering was used up with our first bout of the night. He is sitting in his chair. Laughing. My hero.

Friday, November 6, 2009


I was looking at my apple this morning, contemplating whether I should smell it, eat it or let it live when I noticed that one side of it was red and the other side was green. "Are all fuji apples like this?" I wondered. I ran a google search and it doesn't appear that they are so I thought, "My! I've got myself a pretty clever apple here. I think I will just admire you." Way to flex your colors little apple. I approve.