But moving on, today is cooking!
So I have been making lots of banana bread lately - some of you have had to endure firsthand my need to get rid of old bananas. I never seem to eat them fast enough.
Anyway, I discovered that, as much as I hate to admit it, the recipe for lowfat banana bread (given in an earlier post) is not as good when you only use nonfat yogurt. You need some butter - as long as you use the minimal amount acquired by the recipe, I can't tell the difference. But maybe its the nuts too, that made it better - I always used to leave those out.
For a topping, I chopped up blackberries and tangerines and mixed them with whipped cream.
However, after we finished the second loaf, the first one a double recipe, my father has no interest in seeing another loaf of banana bread. What else do you do with overripe bananas?
I have trying to drink a lot of banana milk shakes. In the blender: two bananas, three tablespoons of sugar (I have a sweet tooth) and filling the container just under halfway with milk - also four ice cubes. I had to learn patience to let the blender run for a while - I always stop it too soon, and then the milk and banana separate, or sometimes I even end up with some banana chunks. I also like to add a dollop of fat free chocolate sauce.
On my father's birthday, I cleaned, and I got my Dad Ralph Nader's new novel, Only the Super-rich Can Save Us! I cannot recall what we did about dinner, but I made a lemon pudding cake for desert. It's really light and fluffy - I could probably eat a whole cake in one sitting. The bottom is supposed to be creamy/moist (at first I thought it was underdone).
Add the yolks to the butter mixture one by one
gradually add the lemon juice and lemon zest
The batter will look like lemon frosting at this point.
Slowly add the milk to make a thin batter. Set aside.
Gently fold the egg whites into the lemon mixture.
Melt chocolate chips over low heat in microwave or in a small nonstick saucepan. - I don't know why they suggest microwave here, because if you melt chocolate in a microwave it will burn. You have to melt it with indirect heat in a double boiler, or a bowl inside a larger saucepan full of water.
4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees - I used the time to clean the kitchen, and when I was done the dough was ready
Bake for 10 minutes, watching carefully. Once the cookies are cool, dust the tops with powdered sugar, if desired.
The reason I have all the photos, is because I ended up doing the presentation I had to do for German class on baking Mint Chocolate Snowballs.
On Easter also, I died eggs, for the first time in years. They say the brown ones have a richer hue. Can you tell the difference?
Current Book: Cultural History: History and Theory, Anna Green
Quote of the day: "We should look for someone to eat and drink with before looking for something to eat and drink." — Epicurus
- Current Location:Living Room
- Current Mood: determined
I know it has been a long time since I last posted. Mostly this is because I am taking French and German classes, but also because I am volunteering at the Museum of Performance & Design still, at the same time, while trying, of course, to find a job, celebrating birthdays and holidays, baking, seeing friends, cleaning etc, etc, etc - all those little things which make up a life (or would if I had one). So because I have a lot to cover, but I do not have the time to sit here and cover it all right now, and you do not have the patience to wade through my typically epic posts, I will cover it all in stages - a little bit at a time.
Today: the weather - as I am prevented from running today because of the rain. Has it been weird or just me? Way back in February I go out for a walk, and - I don't know what it was, the scent or the feel of the air - something just said it was Spring. It might have even been Groundhog Day. So we get some nice warm, sunny days with some nice, soft breezes. Not long after I am in the museum, and we are hearing thunder and the flash of lightning is noticeable even in our cubicles, so that the guy in the next cubicle, Eric, shouts out "It's the end of the world. David is talking about flood warnings for San Francisco, and the fact that he and his girlfriend bought special boots, since the water gets feet deep down this one street where he has to walk, and he ended up soaked up to his hips. Then its warm and sunny again. That is, its warm and sunny when I go into the museum - I come out, ready to bus over to the Foundation Center to do some research for one of my supervisors and its raining. I had to borrow an umbrella. It happened to me again to, only this time I was leaving the museum, and busing over to USF to do help Professor Olds with some research, so I couldn't borrow an umbrella. Then it happened to me yesterday, when I was walking to the post office - but by the time I go home again, the rain had vanished and the sky was blue again.
At least the reservoirs are filling up again.
Of course, as a result of the rain, this past winter everybody learned about the existence of Pacifica. I don't why the media was so fascinated by our eroding cliffs - for weeks the evening news was giving updates on the latest developments. My first day of German, we are going around the room introducing ourselves in German - Mein Name ist Nicole. When it gets to the where do you live part - Ich wohne in Pacifica. I am the first and only person the teacher asks a question of - she asks me how's the weather? As if the weather was that different between San Mateo and Pacifica. Then she suggests houses falling into the ocean - as if one cliff eroding in one part of Pacifica translates to the entire city falling into the ocean. As it was neither of the endangered apartment buildings actually began sliding down the cliffs, as has happened to some houses in previous winters. Every winter there are landslides - especially in an El Nino winter.
Anyway, people do not realize, but lots of interesting things actually happen in "P-Town," which get no media attention at all. I will not go into all the sordid details, since I know some of my friends are already leery, and I do not want to scare them away from ever visiting me again. It is totally safe for anyone who does not deliberately involve themselves in nefarious activities - as far as I know, no innocent bystanders have been hurt. However, yesterday alone I saw cops taking statements in front of a house on my run, and then a cop car came blaring down the street when I was on previously mentioned walk home from the post office - only to stop at the chain-link fence blocking access to the river. As I passed by I saw that the cop was talking to some kid sitting on the embankment - he mentioned missing classes, though I think it had more to do with having climbed over the fence and entering a restricted area (perhaps he got himself stuck?) than with truancy. In any case, you may say this is an example of cops having nothing to do, but on the bright side it makes them super responsive. Whatever complaint you may have, they are there immediately, taking your statement, and being totally serious and respectful about it too. There was that time we got kicked off the beach, for starting a bonfire, having not heard the new "no fires" rules. Any given night, there is always a fire on the beach. But we got ratted by a guy with a bug up his butt, who got upset when my Dad unloaded our old Christmas tree, scattering dead pine needles everywhere. Anyway, the cop that responded was totally apologetic and nice about it.
Quote of the Day: "You are never given a wish without being given the power to make it true. You may have to work for it, however." - Richard Bach
Current Book: No time to read
- Current Location:Living Room
- Current Mood: accomplished
- Current Music:None
Singing in the Rain
Stranger Than Fiction
- Current Mood: discontent
It's been a crazy few days. Showed up late at Anna's mother's party - sorry Anna! It’s my fault. I woke up late, and while I was posting here Dad comes in and tells me we're supposed to be at your house now, thinking I would have been ready.
I had my first day volunteering with Development at MPD on Monday. I collected stuff for the grant application for the Angels in America Exhibit. I had to watch the DVD, to locate two minutes with the angel in it, since we have the wings used in the original Eureka Theater production, and they will be the centerpiece of our exhibit. The last scene of Millennium Approaches when the angel converses with the dying Prior Walters, was exactly two minutes. Then I went through the archive file we had on the subject, and pulled (marked with slips of paper) several useful images of several productions which the Development Director listed for me – besides Eureka, the Broadway and ACT productions, as well as the HBO televised version. I spent the rest of the afternoon scanning.
Yesterday, I started the day figuring out the Xerox machine copying a very fragile very old newspaper article, trying to make it as large as possible so it is legible while still fitting on a page. I was working with Legacy, the oral history project. I helped put together a preliminary copy of the oral history of a pianist whose health is pretty bad at the moment, so that she probably won't last until the transcript is published. She has degrees up the wazu, and has adjudicated (her word) many auditions, including that for the San Francisco Opera's Merola Opera Program, a training program - *sighs* what I wouldn't give to get into that!
I got an hour break for dinner, and I went to the California Pizza Kitchen for a pear and gorgonzola pizza - which I want to try to make myself, by the way. While I sat at the bar, I watched the news about the earthquake in Haiti - up to a million dead? The guy behind the counter was quick to reassure me it's on a different tectonic plate - I must have looked worried.
When I came back we were gathering the last pieces of the preliminary transcript together and proofreading. I ended up being late to report to Tony for volunteering at the celebration that night for the Erik Tomasson Photography exhibit. His photographs are beautiful, if anyone wants to stop by the museum (it is free, and Rock N Roll is still up as well). He has to be a good photographer, to earn respect as the SF Ballet's photographer, given that he is the director, Helgi Tomasson's, son. Helgi Tomasson was our primary speaker for the evening, in fact. Furthermore, the Ballet was paying so the food was a lot nicer, proseco in addition to two kinds of wine, water - no mineral water though, vitamin water, biscotti, vegetables with spinach dip and an absolutely monumental wheel of cheese, a huge chunk of which I ended up just tossing in the garbage. Mimi, who puts our exhibits together, told me they forgot to put out the crackers, so we had to go on a cracker hunt - though why she comes to me, I do not know.
I was in charge of bussing tables, especially the tiny drop tables at both doors of the gallery, where food is not allowed. I walked back and forth gathering glasses all evening, getting more exercise in one night that I have gotten since I got out of school – my feet were killing me by the end of the evening, as I did not sit down once. It was damn near impossible to get through the crowds, given that anywhere between two and three hundred RSVPd, especially with my arms full of glasses. Some of the glasses still had stuff in them, but thankfully I only spilled wine on myself once. You should have seen the dirty looks I got when I went around telling people the program would be starting soon, perhaps because my arms were full of dirty glasses, because I never felt more like "the help." Definitely a different crowd from the hippies who came to the opening of the Rock N Roll exhibit. When I ended up behind the bar, I had already poured a glass of red, and the guy says never mind, I want it in this glass. I hesitate - I had already dirtied a plastic cup, plus it is not polite to pour from one glass to another. He goes "Watch this," takes it from me, and pours it from his glass to his cup, as if I was an idiot. I did learn a lot - how to open a wine bottle, and that you are not supposed to chill red wine, for example. This time I did not get access to the program - last time I could hear the music in the hall.
Today, I had my interview to work for the Institute of Reading Development. I have all these great ideas, if I actually get my own class, but I am afraid this didn't come out really well. I am a terrible interview. I was so awkward, hemming and hawing.
Also, a spot opened up in that beginning jazz dance class I was on the wait list for, and I had till midnight tonight to register once and for all, but websmart was not letting me. A woman very kindly helped me fix the problem.
- Current Location:Bedroom
- Current Mood: blah
I was all gung ho to go the musicology route, to become a musician for real, specifically to become an opera singer, and maybe later write operas or musicals, but now I am back to the anthropology route. Except if I ever want to be on stage I have to do that now, before my voice is gone. Opera singers never last long. So maybe I can put the anthropology thing off till later – when stage career is over.
In the meantime, of course, I have loans to pay off, and I am going nowhere, education-wise, until I have the money to do so. I applied for the public programs assistant position at the new Walt Disney Museum – an unpaid internship, unfortunately. I heard back and they have filled that position, but they like my resume and think I would be an asset, and so want to send me the other available positions for review. I heard back from the Institute of Reading Development, which pays $6000 to teach summer classes. They liked my resume, and chose me for an interview, this coming Wednesday. I have a whole bunch of material to review before then to prepare, so here’s hoping.
I start volunteering at the Museum of Performance and Design tomorrow. I have also applied for French, Jazz Dance and German classes at the College of San Mateo, but they were all full, so I am on the wait list. I will show up the first day and see what happens.
O, and yesterday I tried to get DRM Converter software yesterday – beware. I was directed from one page on how to burn movies from iTunes to a DVD that you can play in your DVD player to the necessary software, but it was for windows. I followed the link for Mac, except that was different software, only for music, so that I just spent forty dollars on nothing. It was an immediate download, so there is nothing to return. I emailed their support to see if there is some way I can make it work for movies, and since I purchased with PayPal, I filed a claim with the Resolution Center, and we’ll see if I can’t get a refund, or a program that will in fact do what I want. But I kept looking on the Internet, and I tried some free demos, and in general it looks like these software are not to be trusted, at least for Macs.
Otherwise, friends and I went to downtown San Mateo Thursday. B Street Books re-opened in a place cattycorner to Pete’s Coffee. I found two treasures, A Song of Love and Death: The Meaning of Opera and the Bloom’s Shakespeare Through the Ages volume of criticism for Julius Caesar, my favorite Shakespeare play, for only ten dollars. We also went to see Nine. In spite of what the critics said, I enjoyed it. It was complicated, with an open-ended ending – not an easy movie by any means. But the music, the dancing, the sets and the costumes were all awesome. Daniel Day Lewis is a genius, who played a very sympathetic Guido – I did get the sense that he was a confused little boy in a grown man’s body. For all his crimes against his wife, there was a sense of innocence around his character, like he was trying so hard to be good, and he couldn’t understand where he went wrong – something we can all relate to I think. I was a little said, however, that some songs were left out, namely one of my favorites The Bells of Saint Sebastian. I guess such is necessary turning a musical into a movie, but then they added some songs too, written just for the movie, so I do not understand how that works. Thought it is true that I like the new song Cinema Italiano. Plus I was upset that Nicole Kidman sang Unusual Way, my favorite song from that show, octaves lower that it was supposed to be sung – it’s a soprano song, not an alto song. It sucks, also, that Unusual Way is now out as an audition song, given that it was my favorite audition piece. Once it’s in a movie it cannot be done anymore, because everyone is going to be doing it, at least for a while, and it will get overdone. You always want to go into an audition with rare, or at least rarer, songs.
- Current Location:Living Room
- Current Mood: pensive
- Current Music:Be Italian
Sorry it has been so long. I finished my last to projects for school a week late, only on December 21st, after two nights without sleep, so I have been doing as little as possible, and sleeping as much as possible.
This one seemed more in keeping with tradition: www.youtube.com/watch
- Current Location:Living Room
- Current Mood: apathetic
- Current Music:Look What Happened to Mabel
Here are the latest funny teacher quotes, all from my fiction professor:
"I get text envy"
On collecting face book friends: "you're creating the audience to your funeral"
"there's that drunk man showing up in everyone's stories - I think its the result of living in San Francisco."
- Current Mood: blank
- Current Music:none
Anyway, I show up at 8 am this morning. I had gone to the DMV for my appointment to get my ID renewed yesterday, knowing I would need to produce a valid photo ID (they don't take anything else) and mine had been suspended for some time. But of course, I wasn't thinking - of course it will take time for my new ID to get to me. So all I had was my receipt proving it had been renewed. I figured it would be something like you get when you get your permit - a pamphlet with photo and all - put know, it just details the nature of the transaction, essentially, with the cost and the statement declaring NOT A VALID ID printed across the top. Well, I showed up anyway, and produced both expired ID card and the receipt proving it had been renewed, along with birth certificate and social security card, and my student ID, and they still did not let me take the test - after all the work I had done, two weeks of my life wasted and $150 down the drain. The man was so rude! He didn't even try to work with me! Given the situation, that I was trying to take a test, for Christ's sake, not take out a loan, and the fact that I obviously was who I said I was, you would have thought he would have cut me some slack - damn, stupid bureaucracy.
Now the issue is that they do not let you take the test again in the same month, and if I cannot take the test before the semester starts I am going to have to take it without studying (because I won't have time) in the midst of my very crazy next semester, since grad school applications will be due December 15th (in the middle of finals) and we are required to submit GRE scores with our applications. I am going to try to fight it. I am also worried that a zero may show up on my record, since I didn't take the test I was scheduled to take - I need to make sure that no scores are submitted and the test as a whole is withdrawn. That may raise eyebrows *sighs*
If you hadn't noticed, I have hit panic mode as regards grad school. I met with one of my professors to see if he could help me, but the fact is I just cannot figure out what time period of history I want to specialize in - apparently that is more important than where, specifically, since I know i definitely want to do Europe. There was really nothing my professor could do to help me with that - he lent me some books to start with, but the ultimate decision is mine. I was just kind of hoping he could give me advice on a set of criteria or a process I could use to help. No go. So I guess I just have a lot of reading ahead of me - so TIRED. But both the professors who I have talked to about it in depth say that the entrance essay is a big part of getting into a grad program, and that in it one needs to be very specific about what one wants to pursue and why one thinks that is the place where one can best pursue it - a specific person one wants to work with, for instance.
And in the midst of all this we lost almost all our TV channels. The other day Dad was trying to upgrade our service and to include internet in that service. Then it turned out we were receiving more channels than we were supposed to be receiving - unbeknownst to us, I assure you. And then, about a week later, all of the sudden our channels were reduced to about thirty. We were pissed off enough, that we decided to do without them altogether. Done away with our credit cards, done away with our cable - slowly yet surely declaring our independence from corporate America! YAY!
Quote of the Day: "Here is a test to find out whether your mission in life is complete. If you're alive, it isn't." Richard Bach
- Current Location:Living Room
- Current Mood: pissed off
- Current Music:Apology to a Cow - Bat Boy
Knowing so many of us are aspiring writers, this is a really interesting discussion about the publishing industry, and explains a lot about why I as a fangirl have had to struggle in pursuing my obsession and had to see it derided by the larger reading public - damn marketing!
Notes from the Labyrinth - publishing, series, fantasy, an announcement of a personal nature, and a big helping of wtf