Monday, December 19, 2011

End of an Era

Kim Jong Il is dead.

I know, I haven't updated in a long time, but this is an incredibly worthy subject to toss around here.

I'd been spending the evening with Max, and had just gotten in the door when I caught a glance of the BBC news coverage. All I saw was a quick glimpse of an image of the man and what I thought was the word "dead".

"Dad... what... what did that say?"
"Kim Jong Il died! It was announced a couple of hours ago."

I dropped my backpack and ran to open the door. Max hadn't even gotten halfway past the front of the house yet. "Max!" I called. He stopped, and I put my hands on the stair railing. "Kim Jong Il is dead." We just stared at each other for a few moments in stunned silence. Then we said goodbye again, and he continued on his way home and I went inside again.

I was seriously stunned. Max and I had mused about the subject, since it was obvious that we would see his decline in our lifetime. I knew that he was already sick, but the bad guys always have a way of clinging to life when you really don't want them to, so I just assumed he would be sticking around for another couple of years. But this changes everything. This is a turning point in history that we're witnessing. I have no idea what's going to happen next, and from the way that the news is talking, neither does the rest of the world. On 4chan, someone posted "I feel like the world is getting cleaner, better... I'll sleep well tonight."

I agree. Yet another tyrant has bit the dust, and the ones that are left are (hopefully) starting to feel scared. But I don't know how well I'll sleep tonight, because there are a lot of questions. Like... what's next?

Kim Jong Il's third son, 27 year old Kim Jong Un, is set to be his successor, and doesn't appear to be ready to take the reins of his entire crazy country. According to some people, he'd like nothing more than to declare war on South Korea. I feel so sorry for South Korea right now, because they must be terrified. North Korea has a HUGE army, and while there are other countries that would definitely step up and defend South Korea, it's still a crazy prospect. Right now I'm just fervently hoping that the US doesn't decide to stick their nose in until it's necessary, because whatever the US does, Canada is sure to follow, and going to war with a country like North Korea is less than savory. I know that the US Navy recently set up a giant ship out there. I'm just really hoping that they wait and see where this is going to go before trying to play the hero.

Mostly, I would love to see North Korea liberated of it's insanity, but that's obviously not an easy people. They've been spoon-fed so much crazy bullshit by two separate dictators for so long, so my wish for the future is that they get to join the rest of the world one day.These kinds of regimes never last forever, so it was only a matter of time before it eventually happened, but seeing it happen is pretty amazing. I feel like everyone's holding their breath right now.

Ah, that was all a little rambling up there. I'm just really tired from being awake forever, and I can't think straight right now because all these future possibilities are whirling around in my head. What does this mean for the rest of the world? I feel like "excited" is the wrong word to use here, but yes, I'm almost excited. Change is coming, but is it going to be good? Or bad?

EDIT: Also, I find it incredibly disturbing that practically NOBODY is discussing this on Facebook. This is a big deal, people! As soon as I found out that he had died, I raced to my computer to see what what people online were saying about all this. Only two people I know (and they're not even people that I know very well) even bothered mentioning it. Loads of people were talking about Gaddafi, so why is no one acknowledging the death of another crazy dictator? It's not like it's not being well publicized. Or does nobody actually care?

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Still Not Dead

A new post will come. I'm just at the end of semester now, and it's incredibly busy. Be back soon!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Deus Ex Machinima

Saw an ad for a Catholic dating website, where the founder had this to say:

"In Christian marriage, one's spouse is one's "Number Two,"
while the only "Number One" is God.
...There's something really wrong with that.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Disappointing Marks and Midterm Week

Le sigh. I am always so busy now.

Midterm week starts tomorrow, and I have a million things to do:

-4 paintings to be completed by tomorrow (Pretty much done with this. Just need to finish up two of them)
-Ceramics project needs to be finished by Wednesday (Constructed, just need to etch design tomorrow)
-Design project needs to be finished (A dumb gray scale. Not too much to do, just making colour swatches and mixing colours. Working on this tomorrow and Wednesday night)
-SIX drawings to be finished for Friday (I am most concerned about these. I think it'll be alright though. I have tomorrow, Wednesday and Thursday to do this).
-A redo of a drawing that I messed up a little bit, due Friday (a bunch of other people messed it up too, though, so I'm not too upset)

I was a little frustrated with drawing the other day, actually. The day started off great. We talked and reviewed previous drawings for an hour, and then the teacher sent us outside for 3 hours to draw trees. So me and 4 other people (Sarah, Aidan, Miriam and Dimos) walked over to the golf course and found a bench that perfectly fit all five of us and our drawing boards. We then proceeded to totally goof around for three hours, and had a blast.

The teacher was posting out midterm marks that day, and earlier he had told us that he doesn't give out A's at midterm because he doesn't want it to go to our heads, or some other equally retarded reason. So the highest mark anyone can have right now is a B+. So I go and check my mark, and what do I have? B.

Yes, I realize that I am totally, 100% insane, that a B is still a really good mark if the highest is a B+. I used to make fun of kids like this in high school, who would get all upset that they didn't get an A when they got a B. I had always coasted in high school, because the marks that I got without putting any effort into it were still pretty decent. But I understand now. This is the first time in my life that I've actually worked hard at something, and I want it to show! So why the fuck don't I have a B+? I'm not going to lie to you; I was actually so upset that I almost started crying. I felt like I was going to punch somebody.

Every time we reviewed our drawings in class, mine always got compliments like "fantastic" and "perfect" from the teacher. So WHY. WHY isn't it showing? I know that I'm a complete lunatic, but I need to know why. I think I might go ask him about it, but I don't want him to realize just how much of a crazy person I am. Plus, he won't be back a school until Thursday, so I just have to sit and stew and seethe over it until then.

In other less-deranged news, I'm getting glasses! My long distance vision has been getting worse over the last year, especially now that school started. With work and school, nothing is ever more than a foot away from my face, so I'm always just looking at things that are close up. But when I have to look away from those things and look at things farther away, I get the most intense eye strain, headaches, dizziness and nausea. It's really horrible. So finally I figured that I should go and get my eyes checked, and now I'm getting glasses! Not fancy ones. I think they're kind of cute though. I hope they don't make me look too retarded. They're ready for pick-up today, but since I'm working all day, my mum said she would pick them up and bring them to me. Now I can show them off the all my friends. :B Haha, I'm such a dork.

Okay, this was just supposed to be a break from painting, but now I'm taking too long. Let's see what else is going on... Max's birthday is on the 24th and I STILL don't know what to get him, I'm not sure if I'm going to be anything for Hallowe'en, I'm going to go see West Side Story preformed live on the 26th, I got these 4 totally sick posters the other day (very pretty), Rachel got fired from her job, and I'm going to go visit Tanis and Christina in Florida in December!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Art And, Ugh, Feelings

I watched a movie called Art School Confidential just now, and I was able to finish watching it because it made me feel kind of depressed. Some eager little kid goes to art school and ends up getting totally discouraged from being a great artist like he wants to be, and starts trying to draw and paint according to what other people want. That's so LAME! I know it's just a movie, but I couldn't get over it. I was hoping for a feel good movie about a kid who goes to art school and then turns out alright after, because that's what I'm kind of hoping will happen to me.

I like school, I do, but there are certain things about it that are killing me. Like in painting. I'm not a big fan of painting anyway, but to top it off there's all this touchy-feely bullshit. The other day, our classes was about emotions, and how to paint emotion using colour, style and brushstrokes. Seemed solid enough, but it quickly degenerated into crap. First we had to name as many emotions as we could think of (pro tip: "hunger" is not an emotion, classmates) and then we had to pick one and paint the arrangement that the teacher had set up in the middle of the class according to that emotion. This ended up being a lot harder than I thought it would be and after two in class attempts, I decided to scrap them and try again at home. Just came up with a really great idea for that, actually. Anyway, it's stupid. When we were critiquing our self-portraits in class, people were saying the dumbest things. To quote one girl, "I feel like your painting is the cover of a book, and if I opened it I could read the story of your life." I seriously almost lost it in the middle of class. What the fuck?

I'm finding the things like this hard to swallow because, let's all face it, I'm not an emotional person. I never have been, and to be honest, I hope I never am. I don't get sad and think "I'm going to draw my feelings!" Sure, I have sat down with a sketchbook when I'm feeling a little blue, but that's because I enjoy drawing and it makes me feel better, not because I want to vomit up all my feelings on to paper.

I think it's because I'm not an artist in the way that all these other people want to be. I want to be a Kazu Kibuishi and a Lucy Knisely, not a Monet or Picasso.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Oh Yeah

Too busy... to blog...
Sense of guilt... growing stronger...

School eats up all my time now, and I'm too tired to ever write anything anymore. I'm going to try and get better at keeping up with things, though. I have a lot of homework that needs to be done (specifically a number of paintings, which are the bane of my existence), and I recently found an old book I had as a kid that's a sort of How To Make Comics thing. It's really for younger folk, but there are tons of helpful things in it, including career possibilities that you could pursue that would work with comics, a list of reference material and tons of links to websites that could prove most useful. I'm going to start making comics for real soon!

No time to report in about everything else just now. I've got work at 8 am tomorrow morning, which means it's time for bed. Soon though, my children! Soon.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Calm Me Down

I'm sitting in my newly rearranged living room, staring at my portrait for Painting class. I don't think I care for it very much. Painting is hard, and boring. Well, not so much hard as annoying. I can't just zip along with it like I want to. And as I'm staring at it, I'm noticing a bunch of things that I messed up on, and now I have to go back and fix it, which means re-mixing all the stupid colours. And the hair's not right, and the dress colour, and it needs more shading. Grr.

Today was just a waste of a day it felt like. I'm used to being awake at 6:30 everyday now, and being done with school at 1 and then having the rest of the day to work on projects. So when I have a day like today, with no school and no work, I feel kind of lost. I only have the one project that I can work on from home, and it's not enough to keep me busy. I slept over at Max's last night, so I got to be with him this morning which was nice, but then he had to go to work and I frittered away my afternoon doing nothing. Hell, I even cleaned my bathroom for lack of something better to do. Forrest Gump was on TV twice in a row, and I'm not going to lie, I watched it both times. I actually just finished watching Serenity, and [SPOILER] I cried like a little baby when Wash died. He was my favourite! Now I just feel tired and hollow. It made me think of Yasaman.

Little things trigger these moods, and then I just want to go to sleep and have nifty dreams to make myself feel better. One thing that does help, though, is the new Mother Mother album. I encourage everybody out there to listen to Mother Mother. All of their albums are great, but this one has a special place in my heart now. It's just so fucking good. So, if you like good music and bands from Vancouver, you should obviously listen to their new album, Eureka, followed by their previous albums. Then hit repeat.

Monday, September 12, 2011

I'd Rather Still Be Asleep

Okay, I totally feel better now. It's just the combination of nighttime, hunger and stress that do these things to me.

I'm just stressed out by this self-portrait that I have to paint. It's our first project for this class, and I'm frustrated that the teacher didn't tell us anything about painting before shoving us out of the proverbial nest. I would have preferred a little instruction first. Who knows, though. It may turn out alright. I've only just started. I'm painting myself as a matryoshka, like my tattoo. She said we could represent ourselves however I want, so I'm making a cartooney matryoshka, and I'm going to to have different size and coloured speech bubbles everywhere, to pay tribute to the cartooning that I will eventually be doing.

Today I have to drag myself out of the house early so I can go to Deserres and buy a portfolio for school, and possibly some other essentials. Something called conté, and maybe a giant sketchbook. Tanis had a great one that she left behind, but it was down in the basement, and as I discovered last night when I found it, it got destroyed when our basement flooded. Great. Anyway, I don't really want to leave early, but what can you do. Actually... fuck it, I'll go tomorrow. I don't want to have to drag it to work with me, and on the bus after. Laziness reigns supreme once again.

I'm too bored to write about how Drawing and Design were, so I'll give you a little breakdown: Drawing is going to be dope, Design is going to be boooring. That is all. Now, listen to this song...

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Let's Just Stop And Think Before I Lose Face

It's like every time I think I've beaten it, it crawls back and gnaws at me some more.


Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Two Down, Two To Go

It's happened. School has started.

Painting, Ceramics, Design and Drawing. 9 am to 1 pm, Tuesday to Friday.

The getting up early part is not as bad as I thought it would be. I just go to sleep at 10 or 11 instead of 4 in the morning, hahaha. Painting seems like it's going to be a cool class. I'm a little worried because, like I've said, I don't know anything about painting, but I'm looking forward to the challenge. In the first class we just mixed colours and made a colour wheel, and the teacher gave us a bunch of paints and brushes. My first little project is a self-portrait, due in 3 weeks.

Ceramics... is such a bullshit class. First off, I was late for it. Toootally my dad's fault. I told him that I was going to take the bus, but he offered to give me a lift. Now I don't generally turn down free rides, but maybe I should have. I told him that I wanted to be on the road by 8:20. First time in a new class, I like to be early. So obviously we leave at 8:35 and get completely fucked over. Traffic like you wouldn't believe. I was silently raging in the car, and he was making jokes the whole time. I know he was just trying to make me feel better, but goddamnit, I was so angry. I'm going to apologize tonight. Anyway, I get to the school right at 9. No problem, right? Wrong. Big problem, because the Langara website told me that my class was in room A002, which apparently doesn't exist. So I ran all over the place like a maniac, asking strangers, and two professors where it was, and every person took me in the wrong direction. When I finally found what I thought was the class, I hastily walked in... only to slip on the floor and come crashing down, smacking my knee into the cement floor and getting the entire classes attention. So I hobble to the back, knee throbbing, and look at the sheets with the course outline on them that had been handed out. And lo and behold, it said "Introduction to Sculpture". I was in the wrong class. So I whispered to the girl, asking if she knew where fucking Ceramics was. Apparently it was in the classroom right next to this one. So I slipped out, not making eye contact with anyone, and got into Ceramics 10 minutes late. Grabbed a seat in the back, grabbed the worksheet, whatever.

My ceramics teacher is exactly what you would expect a ceramics teacher to be like. Mid-50's, long crazy hair, soft voice, total hippie. But not a fun hippie. One of those hippies that finds the time to slip incorrect social commentary into their sentences. While explaining that we shouldn't leave our belongings in class while no one was there, because we were an "inner city school with all the doors unlocked." Langara is in no way an inner city school, folks. It's in a completely residential area with an enormous golf course behind it. Later on, she reiterates that we should never leave our belongings in class lest our things be stolen, and reinforced this by saying (with a little laugh) "You know. City of thieves." At this point I don't know what the fuck this woman is talking about. Langara isn't even in the actual city part of Vancouver. She said a bunch of other annoying hippie things (organic is her favourite word) and proceeded to be a total bitch to Katherine, a girl I met that class. She thought the class started at 9:30, and got lost on top of that, so she showed up almost an hour late. Every time this teacher talked about class expectations and being late she would stop and look right at Katherine. Then, as we were lining up to receive huge lumps of clay, she told Katherine that she had to go to the back of the line because she'd been late, and that she'd speak to her after class. When I talked to her, I laughed and said that this class was really hard to find, and that's why I was late, and she said "Not really. Didn't you do to the orientation?" 1) I'm not a new student, asshole, I don't have to go to the fucking orientation. 2) They take you on a 15 minute tour on the orientation. They don't personally show you where every classroom in the school is. 3) Even if they had, it wouldn't have helped because the class ended up being in A006, NOT A002, you stupid fuck. So hey, guess who my least favourite teacher is? Anyway, project for this class is to make a pot, due on the 20th.

Tomorrow is Design, and I think the teacher is actually a customer at Famous Foods! I saw him in the classroom for it yesterday. He always looks kind of angry, so I don't know what to expect. I'm just going to go in with zero expectations, because I don't actually know what Design is going to be all about. The class I'm most looking forward to (Drawing) is on Friday.

In other news, I bought an easel for 50% off the regular price (regular it was $100!), so I'm pretty stoked about that. Also, going to sleep early is doing good things for me. I actually eat regularly and everything now. Feels good, man.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Finally Fall

Ahhh, finally. The first day of September. I've been waiting and waiting for this.

Why? For one thing, school starts in 5 days, and I'm getting pretty impatient. I want it to be here NOW. I do pretty much nothing in my spare time, so school will fill that void for me. Another reason I've been excited for September is the weather. It's actually starting to get cooler which I'm so happy about. Dressing for summer has always been a huge pain, because it's just so hot that I can never be comfortable. But in cooler weather I can bundle up and feel just fine. Also, fall fashions are infinitely better than winter ones. In H&M yesterday, with Rum, I saw about a million things that I wanted to buy. Unfortunately I had about $4 in total in my bank account, so I wasn't able to buy anything. But I did figure out what I was going to be for Halloween! I'm going to be a 1940's reporter. Trust me, it's going to be excellent. Fedora, suspenders, fitted pants, white blouse, tie, high heels and vintage glasses. I'll get to do nice, smokey makeup and dark lips, and obviously talk how they used to talk in old movies. Stoooked.

I've been drawing a TON now, which feels... really good. Mostly comics right now, though I am starting to miss just drawing things for myself. I'm sure once school starts though I'll have more incentive to practice.

Meh, another quick update. I just feel guilty that I haven't written much lately, but to be honest, it's because there's not much to say. When I say I've been doing nothing, I meant it.

PS. Found this on Facebook. It's a group called Grief Beyond Belief, which "Grief Beyond Belief is an online support network for people grieving the death of a child, parent, partner, or other loved one -- without belief in a higher power or any form of afterlife." While they're thankful that people were offering their condolences in the form of prayers, or saying things like "They're with God now", they're really just empty words to people who don't believe such things. I thought it was a really great idea, because that's how I feel too. I can appreciate the sentiment when people say those things, but it doesn't mean anything to me.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Days Off

I'm starting to think that maybe I spend too much time on my own. As much as I love it when it's needed, maybe I should start, oh, I don't know, calling people? I'm just starting to feel bored and depressed most of them time. Gee, ain't that fun?!

So I've been doodling more and more comics. Paul's given me some good ideas, and I'm thinking up some of my own. Now it's up to me to put them on paper. I want to make 10 solid comics before we continue with everything else (making a website, etc), and the going is... a little slow. It's mostly because I've just been so fucking bored today, I can't be bothered to focus. I have my room, my living room and my bathroom to clean as well, so I'm avoiding everything and playing Fallout, of course.

Max isn't back for another 12 whole days, and I'm so bummed out. Hopefully we can skype tonight, and oh my god I just grew the greatest picture.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

I Don't Know Where We Go From Here

Happy news! I'm making a webcomic with my friend Paul! Now, normally I'm not one for group projects, since I always want to take control and make everything my own way. But maybe that's just Old Lisa talking. New Lisa is a little bit more self-actualized, and much calmer. I am a writer as well as a doodler, but I'm content to just do the drawings while Paul does most of the writing. That being said, I'm definitely going to put my own ideas in there, but I'll mostly be trying to focus on drawing.

Eeee, I'm so excited! While it would be fun to have my very own, just me webcomic, it's definitely going to be easier with another person. Maybe if I've got someone nagging me to get shit done, shit will, in fact, get done. So he gave me a couple of short scripts to work with, and I'm going to scribble them out and see how things go.

In other less cool news, Max is gone for two and a half weeks on a trip with his friends to judge and play in a bunch of Magic competitions. While I'm happy that he's going off to have a fun time, I'm mega bummed that I'm not going to see him for so long. Work has scheduled me a lot, though, so that will fill my time, and we've both got Skype now so it'll be easier to keep in touch, and see his nice, handsome face.

This is just a short, silly update, since I've been too lazy to do a proper one. I started to write one the other night, about serious stuff, but bah, who wants to be serious? I will have a lot to talk about soon, since school is starting up in a couple of weeks, and... yeah, that's all there is to look forward to right now. But I'm super stoked! It'll be a nice change to be back in school again.

Also, I've been trying to play Bioshock again, but I-I just can't. It is the fucking scariest game. I have no problem walking into a metro tunnel and talking on 20 feral ghouls in Fallout, or running up to a Deathclaw and shooting it in the face, but Splicers are oh-my-god the most frightening things. Peter thinks I'm a pussy. He would be correct.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Laugh Out Loud

Ah, I'm listening to Radiolab again for the first time in a long time. It's really just the best thing to listen to. Today I'm listening to a show about Laughter, which as you can probably imagine, is a lot of fun to listen to. There's babies laughing, people laughing, and rats laughing. Yes, rats.

There's a segment in the episode where they talk to a scientist named Dr. Jaak Panksepp who was watching a bunch of rats playing soundlessly together, and he wondered how they could be making absolutely no sounds at all while they were obviously playing so hard. So he put a microphone into their little rat box, and he found that on a level too low for us to hear on our own, they were making sounds. These cute, rapid little chirping noises. Dr. Panksepp and his grad student couldn't figure out why they were making these noises, and then one day they decided that they were going to try and tickle some rats to see what happened. And as they ticked these rats, with the microphones there, they were making the same sounds. Really, it sounds very adorable. And Dr. Panksepp realized "My god, what if that's laughter?"

People have, for a long time, thought that laughter is an expression reserved only for humans. Aristotle believed that babies laughed for the first time on the 40th day of their lives, and that was a sign that they now had a soul. In reality, most babies don't laugh exactly on their 40th day of existing, but I understand what was meant by this. It was like a sign that you were a person if you could express mirth. I don't agree that laughter is for people only, though.

A lot of people were critical of the idea that rats could laugh. But why? You don't think that animals find things funny? My dog, Macey, can't physically laugh, but it's very obvious when you play with her that she's having fun. It's a shame that she isn't capable of laughing because that would be hilarious. But to anyone who has had a pet, you must all know what I'm talking about. They have fun, just the same as we do, and the only thing limiting them from laughing like we do is that they're just made differently. Indeed, monkeys can laugh. It's been recorded, and I dare you to listen to the part of it in the episode and not hear that as laughter.

Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not one of those people who claims that animals have souls. I don't even think that we have souls. I just think that if we can laugh, why can't animals? We are, after all, animals as well.

Ugh, I don't think I can type anymore. I haven't eaten anything yet, and the bright screen combined with hunger nausea is making me feel really sick. Until next time.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Finally

Photobucket

I was checking Post Secret today, and found this. It made me so happy that I almost cried, because I think I'm finally beginning what I was born to do too!

No real update today, just this. As I look out of this house's old windows and a cool breeze rolls in. I'm secretly happy though, because this is my favourite weather.

Just work work work for now, and Max tomorrow and Tuesday. Yessssss.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

For The Love of Food

I want to share something with you, my children. It's a lovely chapter in this book I have called Eating My Words: How Marilyn Monroe is like a grilled artichoke and other food observations, by Eve Johnson. Now, I don't like to call myself a "foodie" because of the arrogant associations that come with the word, but I love food beyond the mere eating of it. I know saying "I love food" is kind of stupid; everybody loves food. Everybody loves eating, especially when everything tastes good. The difference between people who love food and people who love food is all in the preparation.

I love cooking. The eating is nice, but the cooking is mostly my favourite. When I cook or bake things for people, the joy I get out of it is in the process of creating, and seeing the reactions of people. I don't always enjoy eating the things that I cook myself, because I am always too critical of my results. It's much nicer to see someone sighing over your Blueberry Vanilla Cream Pie than to taste it yourself and realize it's not as nice as you were hoping it would be (though that pie was one of the best things I ever made).

The chapter in this book always sends my mind reeling into my own imagination. It's written so perfectly, and... well, let me just type it out for you. I hope there are no legal issues with me typing out a chapter from a book, word for word, and posting it here. I don't really see why there would be. I'm not claiming it as my own, I just want to share it with people who might appreciate it. It's long, but please bear with me.

--

WOOD STOVE

One summer I spent a week on an island too sparsely populated to support a store, perfectly content cooking on a wood stove in a cabin with no electricity and no running water. I came back half convinced that our kitchen don't ask too much of us, but too little.

That doesn't mean that I want primitive fixtures in my city kitchen. (A tiger's love for her kittens pales beside my love for my dish washer.) But once in a while, I like to reconnect with fire. For if cooking is a matter of reading labels and pushing buttons, then how important can eating be? If cooking means evoking the fire god and courting him through the tempestuous drama of roasting a chicken, then what comes to the table is an offering, and thanksgivings are due if it isn't burnt.

For visitors, the island is a place of gently enforced inactivity. People swim in the lake, or row out on the battered rowboat to see the family of loons at the other end. Or they go for walks along the path by the water, or through the fields that a big, hard-working Swede homsteaded in the 1930s. He planted orchards and fruit and vegetables, and built rock retaining walls around parts of the lake, and canned and ate his horse Lindy after she accidently hung herself in one of the apple trees.

Six people bought the island in the early 1970s and built some cabins. In mid-July, the family that has claim to the old farmhouse was there, a couple with two children. So was the property's caretaker, who farms a little garlic and keeps a vegetable garden. He lives there year-round in a cabin close to the old homestead. His son, a four-year-old wild man with hair to mid-back, like his father's, and a grubby fist forever brushing it away from his face, was one reason I wanted to make cookies. The boy had a Popeye doll, and a beaten-up plush parrot. When I held the parrot on Popeye's shoulder and croaked "pieces of eight, pieces of eight" at him, he looked at the parrot with desperate regret, and said, "I don't have those." I wanted more access to the world of a four-year-old. He had a sweet tooth, and I am not above bribery.

Going to the island means going back to turn-of-the-century technology, to wood stoves and kerosene lanterns. Our friend Jerome, known to his partners as Mr. Crisp for his fastidious ways, has a propane fridge that miraculously makes ice cubes. Small quantities of ice cubes, to be sure, but enough to clink in a glass at the end of a hard day's basking on the rocks and cooling off in the lake.

I brought to the island olive oil, basil and thyme from my garden, the pasta shells I like for pasta salad, sun-dried tomatoes, artichokes, olives, sweet onions, Belgian chocolate, and, on an impulse, a little jug of real maple syrup. Blueberries, lots of lemons, oranges, apples, baking soda and powder. Smoked salmon. Sausage and cheese. A dozen beer, a bottle of Scotch. A roasting chicken, frozen solid, bought from the last big supermarket on the route. The dense, heavy sunflower-seed bread from the bakery down the street. And one litre of milk. If we hadn't had to carry the food on a trail that climbed from the ocean, then dipped into the lake, there would have been more milk.

As for the rationale behind the rest of the shopping list, I reasoned that we could always go to the next big island for staples. But we'd have to come right back to civilization before we found a store selling Belgian chocolate and sun-dried tomatoes.

I can swim and read and lie in the sun only for so long. I take a certain pleasure in hacking back salal so that a walk along the path after a rain doesn't soak the chins, but that's the sort of thing I want to for got only twenty minutes at a time, to clear my head. I had endless time for cooking. And because there was no store, I was blessed by limits. Except for the beans and beets, all coming ripe at once in the caretakers garden, the materials here were finite. What we had was what were were going to eat, so I was free to concentrate on the food at hand.

The first meals where simple, with a minimum of cooking: smoked salmon and cream cheese on slices of sunflower bread, with fresh thyme, a drop of lemon, a little black pepper and a slice of sweet onion. Then a green salad with olives and artichokes for heft, and sun-dried tomatoes for salty, concentrated flavour. Then fruit and chocolate for dessert.

Sometimes in the two years since Jerome had last stayed at the cabin, someone had borrowed the sugar. No one wanted sugar on the coffee or on cereal or fruit. But once we lit the wood stove, I wanted to bake. We had fresh flour. There was a copy of the aptly named Joy of Cooking on the shelf, and two flour-company cookbooks, the kind that are a monument to the marriage of commerce and cooking. My mother used to say: "They want to sell more flour, so everything in there is guaranteed to work," and she was right.

We first lit the oven to bake the chicken. And if the oven was on for chicken, then there was no reason, apart from the sugar shortage, not to bake cookies. I studied the Joy of Cooking, and with the help of the sugar substitution chart, made thin, crisp, elegantly coffee-coloured maple chocolate chip cookies, the chips cut from the clock of Belgian chocolate. They tasted magnificent. The chicken roasted to red-brown, crisp on the skin and juicy inside. I was in love.

I had never been in charge of a wood stove before. When I was a child, and saw them in my prairie aunts' kitchens, they frightened me. You would burn yourself if you brushed against one, which was not true of the electric stove at home. To me, wood stoves were just one more proof that the country is full of dangerous unknowns, and the city is safe. Later I stayed in cabins with wood stoves, but I was unsure of my skills. Besides, there was always someone there first, already weaving the dance of fire. Poke the fire, or add a stick or wood, and you would only throw them off their game.

My knowledge of fire is far from perfect. But I can light one, and keep it going, and modulate its temperature. As days went by, I studied the science of the damper, opening and closing it to feed air to my fire or starve it. I leapt to the pleasant challenge, at the end of baking time, of stirring up the coals just enough to keep the oven heat constant, without having to add more wood. I was playing with fire, a game made all the more because of the stove's defects. Rust had loosened the oven handle and opened a hole in the oven wall above the door, and another between the oven and the top of the firebox. When the fire was too hot, you could see orange flames rush over the oven roof. The required adjustments were minute but constant.

I never got around to learning to tell the temperature by the number of seconds that I could keep my hand in the hot oven. I'm told that's the sign of a wood-stove master. But I cooked, using a far bigger chunk of attention and skill than it ever takes to set a number on a dial. On the last afternoon, I made cinnamon buns. I had time to nurse the dough, and the classic place to let it rise: the shelf over the stove. When I lifted the bread bowl to put it in it's place, I felt centuries of cooks with bread bowls stretch into the past behind me.

I put the buns in to bake after dinner, while we did the dishes. We waited for them on the deck, drinking plum wine that Jerome had made seven summers before. Six rainy winters in the back of a kitchen cupboard can have good effects or ill. The wine was as clear and as rarefied and good slivovitz, the dry, slightly bitter, plum brandy.

The oven was warm and glowing. Too warm, I realized, when I saw through the hole over the handle of the oven door a stream of molten air, quick with sparks, flowing over the oven roof. I put a light pan lids in place to protect the buns, but it singed the top of some of them. By the time the dough was baked, the surfaces that weren't under the lids were charred.

From Jerome's deck, you can see lake through the trees, and hear loons on the lake. We drank plum wine and ate cinnamon buns brushed by fire and spread with the last of the butter. While we ate, the bats came out to trace the rapid kiss of their black shapes on the sky.

I have never since found myself with maple syrup, a need to make cookies, and no sugar, but I have made these cookies again. They're perfect cookies to make on a whim, a small batch that mixes up in the time it takes the oven to heat, and irresistible while they're still warm. I make them small, so they have plenty of room to spread on the cookie sheet.

Maple Syrup Chocolate Chip Cookies

1/2 cup very soft butter
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup coarsely chopped Belgian semi-sweet chocolate

Preheat the oven to 350°F

In a medium mixing bowl, beat the butter and syrup together with an electric mixer until smooth. Add the egg and vanilla and beat until well mixed. Add the flour, baking soda, salt, and chocolate.

Using a teaspoon, drop the dough onto a greased baking sheet. Bake for 12 minutes, or until the edges are browned.

Makes 2 1/2 dozen cookies.


(I know, I know, it doesn't mention salt anywhere in the ingredients, but then makes reference to it in the directions. You could probably leave it out and it would be just fine, but a pinch of salt for good measure won't hurt a thing.)

Sigh. I feel like I've just returned from a tiny island with a cabin and wood stove myself. If after reading this you don't feel this deep longing to eat chicken and cookies and cinnamon buns cooked in a wood stove while drinking plum wine and listening to the loons on the lake, then I am saddened to have to be the one to tell you that you don't have a soul. My condolences.

I could personally read that chapter over and over and over again and still want to go that island. The cool thing is that the author is from Vancouver, so she's probably talking about someplace on the Sunshine Coast! I wonder if I can email her and ask where? I would love to go. It sounds to me like it's one of the ones around Saltspring, Gabriola and Galiano Islands.

Well, it's late now, so I bid you adieu. I hope I've given you some lovely brain fodder to mull around in your pretty heads.

PS. Still obsessed with that song by La Roux. It makes me want to dance all the time.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Pictures, My Boy and La Roux
















These are a couple pictures from Amanda and Brendan's wedding! They were taken by our friend, Elmira, who brought a pretty nice camera with her. I didn't really take that many, because I am, in fact, a moron. But that's okay, because there are other people out there who aren't morons, and they can always be relied upon for nice wedding pictures. I don't think I look very good in any of these pictures, but Amanda looks great, and that's what really counts.

Yesterday I got to see Max for the first time in a week, and I know a week isn't really that long, but boy, it felt like a million years. We didn't do anything special yesterday. Just met up, had lunch at Whitespot, walked to his house, watched Community (which is my new favourite show) and then walked to Hastings so I could catch the bus home. But it doesn't need to be more exciting than that, because I can be pretty much anywhere and do pretty much anything with Max and have a good time.

Mostly we just talk, which is great for me because I love talking. I remember when we first started dating, he didn't really do much of the talking. This bothered me at first, because I come from a family of talkers, and when someone isn't talking that means that something is wrong. So I asked him about it one day, and he said "Oh, no, I'm just not a big talker. I like listening to you talk, though." I always hear about couples where the girl is greatly bothered by the boy's lack of communication, but hey, is Max says that he just isn't into talking as much as I am, that's good enough for me. I still do most of the talking, I think, but Max talks much more than he used to.

I think it's the mark of a great relationship that you never, ever run out of things to talk about. And hey, if you do, you don't feel the pressings of an awkward silence. You can sit, or walk, in silence with each other and that's okay.

I'm not very good at communicating my feelings to people, and I even struggle with it around Max sometimes. As sure as I come from a family of talkers, I also come from a family of emotionally uptight people. We're not huggers, we're not affectionate, but that's okay because I think we know each other well enough to know how we feel about each other without saying it. I hope my friends realize that I'm like this. I'm just more comfortable using the word "like" instead of "love", again, even around Max. But I know that he knows, so we don't need the words.

There are all these things I want to say, in regards to the way Max makes me feel, but I'm finding that I can't even say them here. I want to type them out, but saying things like this makes me feel stupid. Oh well, maybe one day I'll have the balls.

On a final note, I want you all the listen to La Roux. She is, to put it plainly, amazing. My current favourite of hers is called I'm Not Your Toy, and if you haven't already heard music by her, I encourage you to click on that link. I find that I'm not defined by genre the way most people seem to be. There are people out there who are refusing to even give good music a listen because it's not what they normally listen to. Me, I'll listen to anything that's good, genre be damned, and I hope that everyone else can do that too.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Of Weddings

Now, before I start talking about the wedding and how nice it was, let me tell you something that's equally, if not more, important. I have found the perfect shade of lipstick. I know. You're jealous. Who wouldn't be? But the good news is that this perfection is available to you! The colour is called Siren, and it's made by Revlon. It's just a crème one. None of those fancy pearl styles ones for me. I like 'em plain. To be honest, I would have preferred something matte, but you can't win them all.

So, this is the point in the blog where it autosaved, and then I fucked up and navigated away from the other two prefect paragraphs that I had written, and proceeded screaming curse words at my computer screen. Fuck. Shit. Tits. Et cetera. Oh well, I guess I'll just have to recreate them.

Okay. The wedding.

This was possibly the nicest wedding that I have ever been too, and I know a few other people, my mother included, said the same thing. It was just so simple, and included all the elements that every good wedding should have: the glowing fathers, the teary mothers,one nervous groom and one bride with trembling lips. I couldn't keep my giant smile from creeping onto my face, and hadto blink away happy tears more than once. Actually, I'm quite proud that I didn't cry all over myself like I thought I would.

I hear a lot about the drama that comes along with all weddings, but I am pleased to say that we had none of that going on at this wedding. We left Amanda's house at about 8:30 am, and arrived at the salon for her hair appointment at 9:00. Exactly one hour later she was finished, and by 10:30 we were at her grandmother's house. Her dress laced up perfectly, and I wrestled into my own dress with considerably ease. The makeup went on, and we left the house around noon, and got to the chapel at noonish. At this point there had been only one teensy hitch. Amanda's mum, Candy, had left Amanda's dad's, Jason, boutonnière at their house, and he had to drive back real quick to get it. After that though, it was smooth sailing.

We (Amanda, Candy, Jason, me, Kevin (Brendan's brother and best man) and Fern (Brendan's mother) all waited in the brides room at the chapel, and promptly at 1:00 pm, Hugo the pastor came to tell us that we were going to get things started. Brendan's aunt played beautifully on the piano as Candy and Fern walked in with lit candles to place at the table where the marriage certificate would be signed. Kevin and I followed, grinning ear to ear. Brendan was standing up on the church stage, nervously clasping his hands and smiling. The Vancouver crew (Elmira, Carla, Alma, Cerina and Dru) were sitting in a pew together, smiling. We took our positions, and then Amanda and Jason came in together.

I'm going to admit, it was kind of weird seeing Amanda all dressed up as a bride. Earlier that day, as I was doing our makeup, I said to her "I'm confused. Aren't we still 17 and having lunch in D-Wing?" (That was our old highschool haunt.) We laughed, but it was still strange to think that we were growing up to the point where we and our friends were going to start getting married and living our adult lives. I still feel like a little kid most of the time, so while things like this are definitely fun, they get mixed with this sense of melancholy.

So, as Amanda was walking down the aisle, I could see her lip starting to quiver and her eyes tearing up. It was so, so, SO cute. I looked and Brendan, and he was blinking away tears too. The icing on the cake, my friends. After this, the rest of the ceremony went along faster than I thought it would. Hugo told a couple of jokes, and then before we knew it, their vows were being sealed with a kiss. I got to sign some official looking paperwork, and then everything was over.

There were a couple of reception parties to go to after the ceremony, which were all very nice, but I was just so wiped out by the point that I was daydreaming about naps. As fun as the whole day had been, and the months leading up to it, I was drained. My maid of honour duties were over, and I was more than a little relieved. I ate some at the parties, met some nice people (and dogs! At Josh's house, a friend of the newlyweds, he had a dog that's part wolf! He was so big, and his name was Koda!), and finally left for home at 9:30 pm in Dru's car. We made it home from Chilliwack in an hour, no joke, mostly thanks to Dru's speed of 160 kmph on the highway. I have never gone that fast in a car before in my life, and to be honest, I don't think I ever want to again. I came home, and passed out.

Alright, now that I've finally written that all down, I've got to go out the door now. I'm sure I'll add more details in a later post, but I need to go and be reunited with my Max, who I haven't seen for a little while, and I'm starting to get this pang right where my heart should be.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Wedding Cake, Why?

Well, it's finally upon us. The wedding is tomorrow. The cake is made, the rehearsal was mastered, and my fake nails are freshly glued on. They're actually kind of uncomfortable, and I'm not in love with them as I thought I was. That's okay though, after tomorrow I can take them off... with great difficulty...

There is nothing sadder than seeing a grown woman reduced to near tears by a failed cake. That was me earlier today. Well, the cake itself was perfect. It was exactly the way it was supposed to be. Light, fluffy and delicious. It was the stupid buttercream that failed me.

I don't understand what I did wrong. I made it exactly the same as the first time, albeit the doubled recipe. It was too runny and the colour was wrong, and it made the cake all soggy. So I threw out the soggy bit and walked to the grocery store to buy more eggs, trying to walk off my rage at the same time. So, I got the eggs and made the cake again. It was nowhere near the perfection that was the first cake, but I was beyond caring at that point, so I iced it up and stuck it full of raspberries, et voila. One wedding cake for tomorrow.

I'm actually going to go to sleep right now. Or rather, try to. I'm going to get up at 7 o'clock tomorrow morning and begin my maid of honour duties. Let's all hope that tomorrow happens without a hitch. Well, there will be one hitch. Haha, wedding puns.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

You Only Live Once

At work the other day, I was talking to my friend, Zaffy, and she mentioned that she wanted a tattoo in memory of her grandmother who passed away recently. I waited until all the customers at my till were gone, and then I asked her "So... how are you doing with that?" I used to really shy away from talking about this sort of stuff with people, because it was bound to make all parties involved overly emotional, but ever since Yasaman died, I feel more comfortable talking about this sort of thing. Anyway, she sighed, and said "Yeah, it's getting better. It's still hard, but..." She said she couldn't talk to her sister, Shaarah, about it because they would both just start crying. We both agreed that since these people we knew had died (her grandmother and Yasaman), time has started to feel really weird. I don't know how to properly explain it, since it's such a bizarre phenomenon, but it's like things that happened just before Yasaman died and just after... Augh, see, it's hard to explain.

For example, I went to the Waldorf Hotel with Chiara about a week and a half after the funeral. But it feels like it happened months before Yasaman even died, even though I know it didn't because while we were there, I talked about Yasaman and she talked about a friend of her's who had committed suicide a couple months prior. And on February 2nd, I went to Langara for an info session about the Fine Arts program I would later be accepted to, a month before the accident. But now it feels like it happened last year or something. I don't know why, but everything's been thrown out of wack. Zaffy agreed, saying that she had been feeling the same thing.

Hahaha, another silly thing. We'd both already seen the final Harry Potter, and there's this one part in it towards the end where Harry is talking to the ghosts of the people he's cared most about (Lily, James, Sirius and Lupin), and he asks them if it hurts to die, and Sirius replies "Dying? Not at all. Quicker and easier than falling asleep." Now, I'm not going to lie, as soon as I heard this I really had to blink away the cascade of tears that was about to fall. When I told Zaffy about this, who'd also seen the movie, she said that she immediately thought about her grandmother too. We then agreed that while it was nice to be able to talk about these sorts of things to people, we'd better stop because we were both getting misty-eyed.

Ah, life is sad sometimes, but there are such good things in it too. Amanda's wedding is in 5 days, and I'm shipping out to Chilliwack in 2 hours. Expect an earful on the subject when I come back, folks.


Saturday, July 16, 2011

Framboisier and Alison Sudol

EDIT: I don't know why this post looks retarded. No matter what I do, the font stays small and the spaces are too big. Like I say in here, Internet Explorer is awful.



I tried to reply to the 2 comments that were left on my last entry, but Blogspot seems determined not to let me. So, thanks you guys. You're the best :)


My darling laptop has been out of commission for the last two days, because it's power cable started to not work, and beep like it was a bomb everytime I plug it in. Yes, it beeps. I looked it up, and apparently that's just a thing that happens to those specific ones. Also, the battery on my laptop is so craptacular that it won't last for an hour without dying. Don't you just love being surrounded by useless junk? So I'm stuck using our old computer, and it won't let me use Firefox, so I'm being forced to use... ugh... Internet Explorer. I kind of feel sorry for ol' Internet Explorer. It's like the ugly girl at the dance that no one wants to dance with. But that's only because it's just so terrible.



So, one more week until the wedding. I'm not even the one getting married and I'm super excited! I'm going out to Chilliwack for a couple days prior to the wedding, just to help get everything in order. Also, I'm going to be making the wedding cake! And oh, what a cake it's going to be. I'm going to be making what's called a Framboisier. It looks a little something like this:






Glorious, isn't it? It's basically a white chocolate buttercream raspberry cake, and the batter is predominantly eggs so it's incredibly fluffy. That pink layer on the top is rolled out almond paste, dyed pink with food colouring. Would you like the recipe? Of course you would. It's a little fiddley to prepare, but so, so worth it.




For the Genoise (that's the batter)
2/3 cup sugar
4 eggs, at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
3 tbsp unsalted butter, melted and partially cooled



For the White Chocolate Buttercream
2 eggs
1/2 cupsugar
3 tbsp water
2 tbsp honey
1 cup unsalted butter, cut into pieces and softened
4 oz white chocolate, melted and partially cooled




For the Almond Paste
200 grams almond paste
Red food colouring



For Assembly
2 1/2 cups fresh raspberries





Directions:


For the Genoise
1. With the rack in the middle position, preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F). Butter a 20-cm (8-inch) square Pyrex cake pan. Line with parchment paper, letting the paper hang over 2 opposite sides.
2. In a bowl, beat the eggs, the sugar and the vanilla with an electric mixer until the mixture turns pale and triples in volume, about 8 minutes.
3. Gently fold in the flour with a spatula. Gently stir in the butter.
4. Pour the batter into the cake pan. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean, about 25 minutes.
5. Let cool for 10 minutes. Run the tip of a thin-bladed knife around the inside of the dish. 6. Unmould onto a cooling rack. Let cool completely.



For the White Chocolate Buttercream
1. Break the eggs into a large bowl. Set aside.
2. In a saucepan, bring the sugar,water and honey to a boil. Simmer until a candy thermometer reads 117°C (242°F), about 5 minutes.
3. With an electric mixer running at medium speed, beat the eggs until frothy. While beating, add the hot syrup in a thin stream, being careful not to pour it on the beaters.
4.Beat until the mixture has completely cooled, about 10 minutes.
5. Add the butter, 1 or 2 pieces at a time, beating until the buttercream is very thick. Add the tempered chocolate, beating until combined.




For the Almond Paste
1. Mix the almond paste and a few drops of food colouring by hand until the paste is uniformly pink. If desired, wear disposable latex gloves.
2. On a clean countertop dusted with icing sugar, roll the almond paste into a 20-cm (8-inch) square.




For Assembly
1. Slice the cake horizontally into 2 layers. Place the bottom half on a cake stand. Ice with 1/3 of the buttercream. Cover with raspberries. Ice with 1/3 of the buttercream. Place on the raspberries, icing side down. Ice with the remaining buttercream and top with the almond paste.
2. Refrigerate for 2 hours. Trim the sides of the cake so they are straight and even.




I know, it looks a little daunting. But after it's all said and done, you will have this delicate looking, delicious little cake to share with friends, or hell, eat by yourself. Now, since Amanda's wedding colours are blue and gold, I'm going to be dying the almond paste blue, and getting little gold balls to decorate the top. I think they're called carnivalettes? Not too sure, but it's going to look great. I'm also double the recipe, which might be a little hard since I'm not even sure I have a bowl big enough to mix the genoise in. See, when you beat those 4 eggs with the sugar, the end up quadrupling in size. I'm going to be doubling the recipe so the cake will be for more people, so I'm going to be using 8 eggs, you can see what my problem is going to be. No matter though, I'm sure everything will just be fine and dandy. I'm going to pack all my cake making supplies in a my big suitcase and tow it out to Chilliwack with me.



I've started drawing a lot more, and it feels good. Instead of sitting and playing Fallout for hours on end, I put on some music and just draw my little heart out. Of course, I still find time to play Fallout for hours on end, but the important thing is that I'm drawing more. I'll tell you what my big project is. There's this woman named Alison Sudol, who is the singer for one of my favourite bands, A Fine Frenzy. She's also really, really pretty. I was bored the other day, so I was looking for an image of a person that I'd like to draw. I looked Sudol up, and then I found that she'd been in some kind of adorable photoshoot. All portraits, and they each feautre a different hairstyle and come kind of headband. So, I decided that I'm going to draw all of them.






Yeah, I can't make them any bigger than that. But if you really have this burning desire to get a closer look, you can find them by googling "Alison Sudol". You've to go back a couple pages, though. Anyway, I'm excited to do this. I've already completed two, and it's going to take a looong time to finish the other ones. But that's okay, I've got plenty of time.



Well, talk about making up for missed blog posts. I think this is plenty for now. I'vegot to go get ready for hanging out with my friend, Rum, today. We're going to Saffron's and then going to see Harry Potter at the little movie theatre near my house. It's pouring rain, but you know what, I like the rain.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

I'll Be Back

I know, I know, I'm a blogging failure. But I've just been busy and such, and I do miss writing blogs. It jut got disheartening after awhile, with no readers and no comments, I started to think "Why am I doing this?" Sure, I'm doing it partly because I enjoy writing, but I was also doing it because I wanted to hear back from people.

Give me a little while longer, until after Amanda's wedding, and then I'll be back.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

The Dog Days Are Over

I keep putting off my updates, because I tell myself that I have nothing to talk about. But there are always things to talk about.

For one thing, I've fallen in love with Florence + The Machine. The link is to one of her songs, Rabbit Heart, which I've been listening to over and over again for the past half hour now. Her voice is just so full and in your face. I read about her in my most favourite of magazines, Nylon, and she sounds like a really cool person. However, I mostly think that because from her interview it sounds like her room is as crowded with treasures as mine is. I know that Max criticizes me for having way too much stuff, but I just can't help it. My things make me happy. I like to think that collectors like me are just people who are capable of seeing the inherent value in everything. As a kid, I had really strong ties with my belongings, and inanimate objects in general. I always gave them personalities and feelings, thanks too a very overactive imagination, so throwing away things was hard because I would just imagine how sad they must be. I know, it sounds totally crazy. I was kind of a crazy kid.

So, the secret's out. I was planning a surprise bridal shower for Miss Amanda, but it was just becoming to stressful to keep a secret from her, so I spilled the beans. I know, it would have been fun if it had been a surprise, but I was thinking about it, and Amanda's not really the type of person to put much stock in such things. She's a very practical person. After I told her, I just felt so relieved. It's just going to be so much easier to plan now that she knows about it. And I can double check with her which foods she does and doesn't like, so that she can enjoy everything that I'll be serving. Speaking of which, would you like to hear what the menu is looking like so far? Of course you would.

-my mum's patented mini quiche
-mini sandwiches. Three different types (cucumber, ham and dijon, smoked salmon and cream cheese)
-melon ball salad
-mini bundt cakes
-sangria, punch, teas and coffee

It's going to be in the early afternoon, so I wanted to have cute little finger foods for everybody. Now that I've got all that stress out of the way, I can get properly excited about this. I love proper parties like this! You can all keep your drunken, Saturday night house parties. Give me afternoon tea on a clear summer Sunday. I was supposed to go to a bbq party that Chiara and her boyfriend, Dan, were hosting today, but I'm honestly not comfortable at parties. Chiara and her friends are all great people, but I'm just not so good at talking to people. Everyone was going to be drunk except for me, and it was going to be really far away from my house, and I would have to go there and back alone. And, okay, I'll tell you the honest reason I was not so keen on going. Since I'm missing a tooth, and my retainer is the only thing keeping up the illusion that I don't have a gap right in the front of my smile AND I have to take said retainer out when I eat, I was just too embarrassed. I know that nobody cares once I tell them, but I just hate hate hate it so much. It's so ugly, and yes, as nuts as this sounds, I do avoid going places with people that involves eating because taking my retainer out is ugly and it makes me feel ugly. One day, I'll have the money to fix it.

In happier news, I finally got around to trying on the dress I'm going to be wearing to Amanda's wedding. It's a dress that I already had, which is pretty swell since I won't have to spend money on a new one, and it's practically the perfect colour. I did have to squeeze myself into it, but there was only a little bit of squeezing involved. And once it's all zipped up, it looks pretty great. I am going to shorten it a bit, because it goes all the way down to my knees and honestly, what century is this? Dresses that are too long make me look all dowdy and blerg. Now I just have to get around to my shoes, jewelry and hairstyle and I'll be golden.

Also, Tanis is gone. I knew, even before she got here, that she wouldn't be here forever, but what can you do? I have decided, however, that I will go and visit her in December. I'm totally excited about this! The last time I went to Florida, I was 7 years old, and I can't remember much aside from a zoo, an old folk's home, lizards and mini golf, so it'll be nice to have some new memories of the place. I picked December because 1) school will be out by then, and 2) it won't be so hellishly hot. Actually, it'll probably still be too hot for me, haha. But I'm looking forward to meeting all the people and places that Tanis has told me about, and seeing Christina again. Also, I'm going to swim in the Atlantic Ocean! Tanis said the water is warm down there. Such a foreign thought. Everybody knows that oceans are supposed to be black and freezing cold! I'm thinking I'll go for like, a week and a half, maybe. Two weeks would be cool, but that seems like an awful long time to be away from home, and I don't want to impose on Tanis for two whole weeks. This trip is still in it's daydreaming stage, but I hope it happens!

I watched the clouds roll in over my fair city on this night, and sat with my eyes closed, listening to the late night rain and Florence Welch telling me that "the dog days are over."

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Ultimately Pointless Professions and Younger You

I'm struggling a little bit with my decision to become a graphic novelist. On one hand, I really feel like it's what I'm meant to be, and I'm sure it will make me happy. I've been drawing comics and cartoons since I was a little kid, and it perfectly combines me love if writing and storytelling with my love of doodling.

On the other hand, however, it bother's me that this job doesn't really contribute to society in anyway. Yes yes, I hear you, you art nerds, complaining about the importance of art. And while I agree with you, I'm just having a problem justifying my possible career. It doesn't really help in anyway. Don't worry, this isn't enough to sway me from making comics. It IS what I want to do. I just wish it wasn't so ultimately pointless.

So about two days ago, my Facebook status said "If your 10 year old self would think that your present self is cool, then you're doing alright." I wholly agree with this. If your 10 year old self (or any younger age) would look at the person you are now and think "Wow. She's cool." I believe that your life is going okay. Personally, 10 year old Lisa would totally think that 20 year old Lisa was cool for a number of reasons.

1. Boyfriend
2. Multiple piercings, and a nose piercing to boot
3. Dyed my hair a bunch
4. Have a tattoo
5. Went to college
6. Seen Europe
7. Have a laptop, cellphone, Xbox
8. Have a dog and two cats (Give me a break, 10 year old Lisa was a simple gal)

I could go on, but it's highly likely that you'll just lose interest.

So, what about you? Would younger you be proud? How come? If you can meet the approval of younger you, then you've got a pretty darned good life.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Turn Up The Love



Today I asked myself what I want most in life.





I want to save somebody.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

New Books and Wainy Days

So I took the trouble to actually go to the library the other day and sign up for a library card. It's been years since I had one. In high school, before I had the money to go and buy books, I would frequently go to the library, take out 5 books and read them all in two and a half weeks. I have to say, those were good times. I was just constantly reading new things, and spending time in a peaceful, quiet environment. And then the debt started wracking up.

I was notoriously bad at returning library books. It's not that I was taking forever to read them. I was simply too lazy to walk to the library and stick them in the return slot, or too forgetful to put them in my bag. There was a point where I had a $30 fine attached to my name, and I just stopped going to the library. No way did I have $30 as a teenager to pay off library fines. There were other instances where the late fees would rack up and my mum would mercifully pay them off for me. But that can only happen so many times before a mum gets fed up. At the time of the $30 fine I was about 16 or 17, and had been lamenting the loss of my library privileges. Max took it into his kind little heart to pay them off for me. After which I accumulated about $40 in late fees. Needless to say, I haven't been to the library in a long time.

But now I have a chance to start over. I'm in a different city, where the name "Lisa Recchia" is yet unknown to the libraries of Burnaby. So I now have in my possession my first library card in 3 years. And what do I go out and do? Buy two brand new books from Chapters, duh.

Honestly, I just want to punch myself sometimes. I don't have very much money now, and two very important things to be saving up for (school, and Amanda's wedding). To be fair, though, they're two really interesting books. One of them I know is going to be good, because it's by one of my most favourite authors of all time, Christopher Moore. The other one is a book that I found in the Science section of the store, called The 'God' Part of the Brain: A Scientific Interpretation of Human Spirituality and God. How could I NOT buy this book, am I right? Pretty much a paperback copy of some of my thoughts. I'll let you know how it is.

Okay, I've got to tell you about one of the best webseries out there, because I just rediscovered it after stumbling upon it a few years ago. It's called Wainy Days, and it is wildly hilarious. Now, if you can't laugh at smut, then I recommend that you not click that link up there. But if you do have a perverse sense of humour, please, do yourself a favour. One of the funniest things about this show, other than everything, are the famous people who often guest star. The first time I started watching Wainy Days, I didn't notice this at all. But people like Elizabeth Banks, Paul Rudd and Jonah Hill have appeared in episodes. And that's all I've got to say about that.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Pick Up The Pieces And Go Home

I came to a sad realization yesterday. I go through life thinking that nobody likes me.

I'm not throwing out a sob story to make you all feel sorry for me. This just genuinely surprised me when I realized it. I was on the bus, looking out the window, trying to figure out what I was going to do with my free days that were coming up. Recently, I've been spending most of them alone, because I am literally too shy to ask my friends to hang out with me. It's not really that terrible, hanging out alone, but it does get boring. So I was thinking about this, and I wondered if I should ask some of my friends from work to hang out with me. We're all super friendly with each other, and a few of them have even said that we should hang out from time to time. And I thought about texting one of them and asking if she was free on Wednesday, when I stopped myself, because I thought "Oh, but I bet she'll say no. I don't think she really likes me anyway." And that's when it hit me. I think that everybody doesn't like me.

Isn't that fucked up? Here's the kicker: I've thought this about all of you. Every single person that I know, I have thought this about (with the exception of my mum, dad, brother and sister). Friends that I've known for years. My bosses. Yes, I have thought this about Max. I can hear you thinking "No, I bet she never thought that about me." I'm sorry, but you're wrong. The slightest thing can set it off. Maybe I said hi, and you didn't say back. Maybe you're only giving me one word answers. Don't worry. I don't harbour any ill-feelings towards anyone. Now, mind you, it's not every day. I don't spend every waking moment walking around, assuming that everyone I know doesn't like me. From time to time, though, it happens. And it sucks, to be honest. Point is, I need to get some kind of self confidence. Maybe call my friends and ask them to go out and... do... something? I don't know. But this will be my challenge for the summer. Stop being a loser.

Hey, that was depressing! Here's a cool picture!



... I need a hobby.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Philosophy and Bibian Blue

I feel better today, thank you. It comes and goes in waves.

I've been kind of inspired to take a philosophy class. I don't know when this will actually happen, but now I'd really like to. People have told me over and over again that I should be in philosophy classes, since I do enjoy rousing discussions about everything from life and death, love, faith and etc. I've stubbornly avoided taking them though, because as much as I love listening to intelligent conversations and being part of them, I extremely detest listening to idiots talk, and I would bet my life that more than a few idiots take philosophy classes for easy credits. I would have to kill these morons, unfortunately. Also, another reason I avoided classes in philosophy is that, while I have lots of good ideas I'd love to discuss, I tend to freeze-up when pressed to explain my views. I don't know why this happens. I lose my grip on words and just babble for awhile before the collective stares of others shuts me up.

So those are my silly reasons for not taking part in a class that I'm pretty sure I would enjoy. A little childish, yes, but there's always time to correct childish errors. What brought this train of thought on, actually, was a note that I wrote almost 2 months ago, about how we've defeated true death. I know I've blogged about this before as well, but here is my more recent endeavor into the thought. What made me happiest about this were the comments I received. The very best thing, though, is that I inspired someone else to continue writing. "No, thank you for inspiring me to write again. There's something I've been meaning to put to words for quite some time now, but I was never able to get it done. Now, I think I have a new project. Thanks."

That right there is the reason I keep writing at all. It's the reason I put up post after post. I keep hoping that someone out there will read my ideas, and in turn be inspired to write down their ideas, and so on and so forth.

Tonight I have to share an awesome discovery with you. I w
as bored and on Cracked, so then I googled Michael Swaim, which lead me to an interview he did for a magazine called Auxiliary (which was a great discovery on it's own). With nothing but time to kill, I began browsing their website, quickly becoming impressed. I was looking through the fashion section when I stumbled upon a true gem.

Bibian Blue is an amazing fashion line created by a woman named Bibiana. I am just so blown away by how amazing all her creations are, and by god, do I want some. Not to sound like one of those snooty fashion school kids, but her stuff is really crossing the line between fashion and art. It's like something a macabre Victorian goddess would wear. Certainly these aren't outfits for every day. These are the treasures you hang in your closet, and pull out for those special evenings where the air feels charged and the shadows are comfortable. Some of these outfits are suited to be worn to parties in ancient castles, where the muted light glances off the dust motes, while others should only be donned midnight summer rendezvous in English forests. Revelers would lounge at the bases of centuries old trees, with lanterns hanging from twisted limbs and everyone would feast on ripe plums and cool spring water.

Clearly, I'm enchanted. Her website shows off a lot of pictures, but you can find some more by just googling 'bibian blue'. I'll end this blog with my favourite one. Have a good night, all.


Thursday, May 5, 2011

We're Newborn Baby Birds But We Have Big Dreams



I'm miserable all the time, and I don't know why.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Craftiness and Craziness

I have a growing list of crafty things that I need to accomplish. It's good in a way, because this way I'll have something to keep me occupied on my free days, but it's also bad because deep in my heart I know I'll never get everything done.

1. Folding Screen Project

My dad found an old folding screen, which looks pretty much like this, but black. It's very cool, but the only problem is that it's missing the fabric part of it. So my plan is to head on downtown to Dressew and find myself some nifty fabric to stretch across it and make it beautiful. I was thinking something silky with a lot of embroidery on it, but with a vintage feel to it, since that's the look that I'm going for with my room.

2. Picture Frames

I found a neat picture of a wall that had at least 10 photographs in mismatched frames on it, and I thought it looked really cool. I just so happen to have a number of really cool pictures that deserve to be up on a wall laying around, and pictures frames are cheap at places like Value Village and Salvation Army stores. Really, though, this is just an easy way for me to build up that charmingly cluttered look that I'm so in love with.

3. Paint My Shoes

By an incredible stroke of luck, I have the dress that I'm going to wear to Amanda's wedding. It's a dress that I already own which was purchased at least two years ago, and it's the perfect colour to boot. Now all I need to do is get a great pair of shoes to go with it. I know though, that I'll never be able to find anything close to what I want, mostly because I have huge feet, but also because I'm going for a particular style. So I've decided to buy a pair of plain flats and paint them myself! I'm going to spray paint them gold, and then paint paisley designs on them in the same blue. They're going to be so freaking rad, man.

You know, there were more things that I was supposed to post about being crafty, but I just plain can't remember anymore. I've had a really weird day today. I think it may be because the weather was soooo awful, but I really felt kind of blah and miserable all day. I'm feeling it even more as it gets later. It's this restless, gloomy feeling. I don't know what to do with myself. No one is online to talk to, all my webcomics have been read, and all that lies ahead is possibly cleaning my room, or sleep. I need to start getting out of my house more, because being cooped up in here all the time is making me go crazy. Is this what loneliness feels like? Am I lonely?

I think I just need to do something fun. Go out on a nice date with Max. Hang out with my friends. Chiara has a party coming up that I'm going to go to. I think I really need the socialization. Maybe I'll invite Max out to a movie with me soon. The Dolphin Theatre up the street is so freaking cheap, it would be a crime if we didn't go there. A movie, and a walk maybe. And dinner.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Deep Thoughts

Time is moving very slowly tonight. I keep glancing at the clock in the corner of my screen, expecting it to tell me that's it's some ungodly hour or other, but lo and behold, it's only 1:49 as I write this.

As I sit up in my living room in the top floor of my old house, listening to the rain hushing and a fabulous episode of Radiolab called Words, my brain is letting itself uncoil and relax. This is my own form mediation, sitting cross-legged with my laptop in front of me, voices droning, fingers twitching across the keyboard. Sometimes I'll just stop and stare at something, like the patterns of the cushions I have propped up around me, or the rug on the floor, and become lost in thoughts. Thoughts such as...

Where did I leave my chocolate egg and that bag of cashews?

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Art Program Woes

I keep getting so nervous about school in the fall. Half of the time I actually forget that I will be going back to school. I haven't been in school for a very long time. The last time I attended any kind of classes, it was for Fall Semester 2009. I'm just so used to not being in school now, going back is going to be a big change.

Mostly, whenever I think about being in this program, my first thought is always "Lisa, why are you doing this. You're just going to be a big fuck up, suck at everything, and be miserable all the time. Maybe this was a mistake." You see, children, I have this terrible fear of being mediocre. I want to be the best at everything, because most of the time, I am good at things without having to try. When I come across something that actually requires effort for me to be good at it, I invariably give up, because if I'm not good at it right away, that clearly means I never will be good at it and I'm better off quitting while I'm ahead. I've been told that this is unhealthy, for some reason.

Don't get me wrong though. I really am looking forward to being in this class. I'm going to actually learn all these crazy new things. Yesterday, Tanis and I were walking around Michael's in a giddy daze, and we came upon an aisle full of canvases, many bigger than we were. I asked her "Hey... Will I, like, paint on stuff like this in my classes?" She said "Yup" and all I could manage was "...Wow." Little ol' retard Lisa, painting on canvases taller than she is.

Again though, everytime I imagine it, I just picture myself getting angry because I'm not any good. I'm also nervous about meeting new people, but that's an entirely different story for another time.

Max and everyone else assures me that I'll be fine. Mostly, I believe them.

And now, it's off to work in a rather jaunty outfit that I've put together. Blue shirt buttoned all the way up, velvet paisley vest from Value Village, white jeans with the cuffs rolled up, the cutest little lace up shoes you ever did see, a velvet men's Eaton coat, and my new tweed and brown leather bag. Dear god, does this make me a hipster?

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Names

I've always been really interested in the meanings of names, ever since I was a little kid. I would look up the names of my friends and family, and then see how closely the meanings of their names matched up to their personalities. Yeah, I was a bit of a strange kid.

But I found some interesting things. For one, my family all has rather biblical names, which I find strange since none of are religious at all. For example, my brother's name is Peter, which is obviously biblical (Saint Peter, "On this rock I will build my church", etc). My sister's name is Rachel, which typically means 'ewe', but Rachel was also in the Old Testament and is a Hebrew name. My mother's name is Maureen, which is the Irish version of Mary (no explanation needed here), and also means 'great'. My father's name is Giuseppe, which is the Italian version of Joseph, and also needs no explanation.

My own name? Lisa. And of all things, it means "consecrated to God." In case you don't know, consecrated pretty much means sacred, so it all comes down to my name meaning "sacred to God" which is... pretty much the most ironic thing ever. When I was first searching for the meaning of my name, I was really, really hoping that it would be something cool to counter the plainness of my name. I mean, being sacred to God is kind of cool, I suppose, but less cool when you're an atheist.

...Okay, I'm not going to lie, it does make me feel kind of special. But it's still a little dumb.

The biggest pet peeve I have about my name, though, is when people shorten it to Lis. Like, literally why. You're shaving off one letter just to save yourself a syllable? Lisa only has two syllables anyway, you lazy asses. I don't mind so much when it's people that I'm friends with, or family, but when you're some schmuck who thinks it's a bright idea to call me Lis, you're going to be slightly boned because this will actually effect my judgment of you. Don't look at me like I'm crazy. I know lot's of people don't like it when people shorten their names. This is a legitimate thing to be crazy about.

Meanwhile, I've got some heard different things about my middle name. I've read things that say Maria means "sea of bitterness" which is awesome, but then I've found more entries that tell me Maria means "the perfect one" which is still interesting, but less so than "sea of bitterness". On the other hand, my last name, Recchia, means big ears or something in Italian. Hoo-fuckin-ray.

Others around me are more blessed with their names. Max means "great one", Tanis is an ancient Egyptian city (but I've also found another entry saying that it is the "Spanish abbreviation of the Slavic Estanislao 'make famous' from the name borne by several Slavic kings and three saints."), Amanda means "beloved", Carolina means "joy" and "song of happiness", Amina means "Peace and security", Alma means "soul", Travis means "from the crossroads", Chiara means "famous, light"... Yes. Yes, I have far too much free time.

I've always tried to figure out what I would change my name to if I could choose something new. Lately I've been becoming fond of the idea of just being called 'Lee'. The ambiguity of it appeals to me, unisex and open-ended. I've always liked girls with boy names, because it makes them sound tougher. Whenever I try it on in my head, I imagine myself grinning and shaking hands with someone in introduction. "I'm Lee" is short and to the point. I don't like the way people would assume it was spelled, as in Leah, because you just know everyone would pronounce it as "Lee-AH" and that's basically just Lisa without and S.

Tell me, what does your names mean? Do you like it? Does it fit you? And if you could change your name, what would you change it to? Something simpler, or more extravagant? Talk to me, people, let me know that you're still alive out there.

PS. You know you're in trouble when you're typing and typing away, and suddenly you look up and notice that it's dawn and day is breaking. Well, fook.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Big Kid Stuff

Being a big kid sucks. I messed up with paying my taxes for the first time (I did my 2009 taxes in November 2010) and man, has it ever fucked me over.

It mostly messed me up with my health insurance. See, health insurance in Canada is pretty much free... if you make under a certain amount. If you make under $22,000 a year, you get 100% premium assistance, meaning you have to pay $0. But if you make over $30,000 you have to pay $60.50, $109 for a family of two, or $121 for a family of three or more monthly. Thankfully I make waaay under $22,000 a year, so I get off scott free. Unless you don't file your taxes on time, in which case they just assume that you make over $30,000 a year and start charging you their monthly rates. So the health insurance people, assuming I'm rich, have been charging me and charging me, and now I owe them a balance of over $600.

This isn't a huge problem, it just makes things a little sticky. There have been a lot of phone calls, bills received, forms filled out and letters mailed in the past few months, which isn't an awful hassle but it is irritating. A nice man just phoned me though and helped me sort everything out. I could tell he thought I was a bit of an idiot, but then again, I am a bit of an idiot. But I think things will go back to normal once I've mailed this final letter in, which contains my 2009 notice of assessment. Also, I'm never filing my taxes late again.

WOW! Taxes, Lisa? You really know how to keep an audience entertained!

I had a really uncomfortable dream last night, about being on a ferry that people kept falling out of. It had all these hotel rooms for us to stay in, but one wall of the room wasn't so much a wall as it was a shutter. Meaning it would just open up and whatever hit it would fall into the water. The end of the room had this steep slope that would just make anything that rolled down it smash into the shutter, which would fly open. I spent a long time trying to lower myself near it and tie it shut, so I wouldn't have to worry about rolling out of my bed and drowning in the middle of the night. I have a lot of dreams about falling into water, and they're really unpleasant. I almost did fall in during the dream, but managed to pull myself out, which has never happened before. Interesting.

Well, I'm off to another day in the salt mines, and then I have two glorious days off, which will involve sleepovers and... I don't really know what else yet.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Ghosts and Pies

Here's a secret.

I've been sending Yasaman messages on Facebook for the past month now. I know, it's screwed up. She's not reading them. But it makes me feel better. Whenever I get caught up with remembering her, I just send her a message of my musings, and I don't know, it kind of makes it all a little easier. Here's the one I wrote tonight:

Is it weird that I pretend that you read these? I know you're not, but it makes me feel so much better to even pretend that you're sitting in front of a computer somewhere, checking your messages. I also still like to think of you as a ghost. I know it's just a fucked up self defense against sadness mechanism, and it completely goes against everything I believe in, but I like it. You're just off somewhere checking out new things, making new ghost friends, meeting the ghosts of all these famous people and whatever. It's a nice thought, and it doesn't make me sad. I feel this kind of happiness, or peace, at the thought of you still hanging around.

I know it's just a trick. I know, I know that you're in that little cemetery in Port Coquitlam, in that tiny coffin under the cold, hard ground. I know your body is decaying and falling apart, and those great big eyes of yours are closed forever, but let's pretend for awhile that somewhere out there, you're still laughing.
So I've pretty much been imagining her as a ghost for awhile. Yes, I know this is totally contradictory to what I believe, and I'm not changing those beliefs in any way at all just because of this tragedy. That wouldn't be right. But it really is nice to think of her wandering the world, and seeing things she could never have seen when she was alive. I was toying with the idea of drawing a comic about it, but I don't know. The Yasaman I remember is from 7 years ago, and I'm sure she changed in that time. I don't want to draw anything that would be inaccurate as to the way she was, and offend her friends and family or anything. I was thinking of doing something sans dialogue. I've seen a few comics that have no words in them at all, and I think they're really interesting, because then the reader has to interpret facial expressions and body language to figure out that they're saying, and you can also put your own little twist on things. It would be something short, maybe just a page or two and bittersweet. Hm. Short and bittersweet. Pretty much just described Yasaman there, haha.

Ah, life goes on. Went to a fabulous family potluck tonight. There was pasta salad, handmade tofu sushi, mini quiche, drummettes, deviled eggs, coleslaw and barbecued salmon. For dessert, we all enjoyed chocolate mousse, and a blueberry cream pie made by yours truly. Now, call my conceited, but I'm going to go ahead and say I made the best thing there. Really, I'm master the art of these vanilla cream pies. First it was coconut cream, then banana, and now blueberry? What could possibly be next? Actually, these pies are pretty simple to make.

INGREDIENTS
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 2/3 cups sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 1/2 cups milk
  • 5 large egg yolks
  • 2-3 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 tap vanilla
  1. Mix together cornstarch, sugar and salt in a large saucepan. Gradually whisk in milk, and whisk in the egg yolks until no yellow streaks remain.
  2. Bring to a sputtering simmer over low heat, constantly stirring. Remove from heat and whisk mixture until smooth.
  3. Return to heat and let mixture reach a sputtering simmer once more, and let cook for 1 minute, constantly stirring.
  4. Remove from heat and add in unsalted butter and vanilla, whisking thoroughly until everything is evenly mixed in and mixture is smooth. Spoon directly into prepared pie shell. To set, chill for 2-3 hours.
The key to this pie is whisking. In the original recipe, it says to stir the mixture with a heatproof rubber spatula, but I had to skip that part since my spatula is not heatproof and started to melt an itty bit (don't worry, folks, it didn't melt into the cream mixture). So I whisked it the entire time, and it turned out much, much smoother than the other times I tried this. Also, the great thing about this pie is that it's incredibly accommodating. For example, if you want to make a coconut cream pie, just dumb in a load of shredded coconut before pouring the mix into the pie shell. For my banana cream pie, I did one layer of cream, on layer of sliced bananas, and then another layer of cream and a final layer of bananas on top, and then covered the entire thing in homemade, sweetened whipped cream. For this blueberry one, I poured the cream into the pie shell, and then dotted the entire top with whole blueberries, and had a bowl of sweetened whipped cream on the side for people to use as they pleased. Originally it was supposed to be raspberries, but for some reason Safeway doesn't sell raspberries. But the blueberries were a much better idea. Sometimes the sweetness of raspberries can be a little too sharp, and often borders on bitter. The blueberries were a much more subdued sweetness that went better with what I wanted the pie to taste like. And since you've been good enough to read this far, I'll even give you the whipped cream recipe.

INGREDIENTS
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tsp sugar, icing sugar or honey
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • a dash of cream of tartar
  1. Combine all ingredients in a large, chilled metal bowl and blend with electric mixer on high speed until at ideal consistency.
The cream of tartar was a last minute addition by myself, so if you don't have any lying around you don't have to go buy some just for this recipe. I wanted a thicker whipped cream, and I knew that cream of tartar was a binding agent, so I thought it would help. Honestly, I'm not sure if it did help at all, but it was the thickest whipped cream I've ever tasted, and it didn't melt or become watery at all, so I'm going to stick with my new plan.

Unfortunately, I have to wake up at a respectable hour and cart myself off to work, so goodnight. Dream of bittersweet ghosts and blueberry cream pies.