(no subject)

The internet is over-flowing with people making smug statements in some kind of childish playground debate. The internet is a bile-spitting contest.

The more information about my friends I'm privy to, the less I like them all. The more they speak to "the internet", the less they speak to me as an individual, the less I think they remember who it is they're speaking to at all.

The more public everything becomes, the less I want to speak. The easier it is to make noise, the more silenced I feel.

(no subject)

I love my new neighborhood!

We stopped into Phoebe's Cupcakes today to see about ordering a pie. Geoff asked about a pumpkin pie, and the girl at the counter swept into the back and emerged with a beautiful, golden, creamy looking pie that ended up being half the price of special ordering it! Plus a salted caramel cupcake for me (mmm!)

Also, I love the holidays. I'm not the kind of person who owns Christmas-themed clothes or jewelry, and I don't really seriously decorate or anything, but I like hearing Christmas music (at least the nice stuff) in stores, and seeing decorations on the street.

It's nice and cozy and warm in my apartment, and I have yummy things to eat, and I actually got some work done yesterday, so I can just enjoy myself and have my holiday today!

(no subject)

Someone really needs to tell the food bloggers of the world that putting vegetables into your cheese + egg + butter extravaganza does not make it "healthy".

Since tastespotting is failing me on this, does anyone have any recommendations for healthy recipes? I find that I've been falling too much into the "add some cream sauce!" school of cooking, and could use to recommendations for how to get out of this rut.

(no subject)

Dear internet denizens,

-When you blame US racism on the south, you allow it to exist in yourself and in other parts of the country unexamined. It makes the world a worse place. Please cease and desist.

-When you're obsessing about how pretty your new Mac is... I don't know, I think you look like a sucker for packaging, which shouldn't be how you purchase a computer.

-Wishing someone a happy birthday because Facebook reminds you to doesn't count as being a friend.

-Zealots of all stripes are rather boring.

-I need new Facebook friends. My new ones apparently make me grumpy. Or maybe glib one-liners make me grumpy. Yeah, that's probably it.


(no subject)

I created a kaboodle account over the weekend, primarily because I find it really annoying that I can't organize my etsy wish list at all. Kaboodle allows you to do that. Plus, it seemed like as good a place as any to start keeping track of all the kitchen supplies I'd really like to have (it all started when I decided I needed a pastry brush...)

But in so doing, I made a discovery: I'm apparently officially in that life stage where I'm captivated by furniture. Kaboodle comes with a pre-set wish list called "If I Had a Million Dollars", which I have ended up filling entirely with expensive, fanciful furniture.

The stumbleupon gave me this link as a recommended site for me, and it occurred to me my demographic has been pegged: I am one of those people, now, who sighs longingly over well-furnished homes.

To top things off, a friend of mine started telling me a humorous story about how much his mother knits and sews, and the part of the story that captivated me the most was his description of closet space dedicated to yarn or fabric. Closet space that isn't already filled with other things! Imagine that!

I want a home! A well-furnished home with lots of closet space! Imagine that!

(no subject)

Living in Chicago-- and more specifically, Hyde Park-- I've ended up being really interested in the World's Columbian Exposition-- the world's fair that was here, in this neighborhood, in 1893. It's partly because it seems so mysterious to me-- altough apparently beautiful buildings were created for it, only one remains in Hyde Park (The Museum of Science and Industry) and one other that was moved to another location in Chicago (The Art Institute-- though the idea of moving it has always sounded pretty incredible to me!) In general, there's this feeling of mysterious lost history here-- this was the site of something so huge and so few traces remain.

Then a BBC article made me aware of the fact that China is currently hosting a World Expo, in much the same vein as the one that was in this neighborhood. It's not that I was totally surprised that the tradition of world expos continues, but they have this feeling of idealism and optimism that seems dated to at least the 1950s. But more than that, the fact that, at least in this current one, countries of the world have crafted their own pavilions to represent their countries provides this really interested look at how countries want to represent themselves. You can look at brief descriptions of each country's pavilion here. As noted in the BBC article, many countries that we as Americans view pretty unfavorably have their own pavilions, so it's interesting to see how they represent themselves. North Korea in particular deserves a look (they're under their official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea) and I think it kind of highlights the hollowness of all the pavilions. They don't have to have any substantive content, and they don't have to be honest. Countries with horrible, murderous histories present completely white-washed visions. Cambodia's pavilion describes how its three major historical ages led to its current modern culture-- which seems so totally false in the face of the Khmer Rouge genocide that sought to obliterate all elements of modern culture from the country. Pakistan's is titled "Harmony in Diversity". And China includes a miniature pavilion for Tibet as one of its regions that includes praise for the patriotism of the Tibetan people-- patriotism to occupying China, of course. It's a lesson in international propaganda, and I find it fascinating in its shallowness-- with so many of these countries, I wonder who they think they're persuading?

At any rate, it needn't be all doom and gloom. The buildings look really cool, and I think it would be fun-- if a little overly "It's a Small World"-- to attend. And it appears that basically every pavilion features local food, so that's pretty exciting.

I wonder what will happen to the buildings when the Expo is over? I wonder if they'll become lost history, too?

(no subject)

In a fit of boredom, I decided to make meringues today.

Mind you, I didn't own any kind of mixer, and the store where I decided to buy one (the hardware store around the corner, which has a surprisingly well-stocked kitchen section) only had a hand-mixer.

Well, all I can say is it successfully worked out my antsy feeling to grind with that thing for an hour, but never did my meringue become the fluffy stuff depicted in the recipe, so I eventually just dumped it in the bottom of a cake pan, and we're getting some kind of meringue-puddle thing in an hour or so.

(It's still tasty minus the fluffiness, though!)

Shoe shopping

For my birthday, my mother offered to buy me a pair of shoes, so now I have to decide which shoes.

I'm having trouble focusing on what kind of shoes.
I could kind of use some black/semi-formal shoes. I don't really have any right now, primarily because I tend to like more colorful and interesting shoes a lot more. So after searching around, here are my favorite picks for those:
Black shoes 1
Black shoes 2

They're both by irregular choice, and I think they manage to be black and professional without being boring.

I'm also considering some non-snow boots. Here are some fun ones I'm considering:
Yummy boots one
The most Victorian boots two

I also could use some sandals, since summer is coming, and last years' sandals fell apart after some serious use.
There are many fantastic sandals, although it's important to me that they not have things that go between your toes, and preferably have some slight padding to the insole:
Practical sandals
Sandals with rugged soles
Super decorated sandals
AWESOME but kinda pricey/not so rugged sandals
Fun but maybe cheaply made sandals
Silver kinda less airy sandals
Missin' my old silver shoes sandals