The Beginning...

The Beginning...

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

something minded

What I never understood

Religion can be a fairly hot topic. Socially (in North America and most of Europe at least) if you are new to a group it is fairly well established that you don’t talk about politics or religion. Too many views, too many emotions. It isn’t a topic for the work place, nor for any social gathering that is supposed to stay nicey-nice. But I am about to talk about religion so if you are easily offended better stop reading now. However if you are not easily offended I have a few questions I would like you to consider. And please let me know where you see a flaw in my logic. Point of clarification for those who do not know if they are atheist or agnostic:
a.       Atheist- one who believes there is no deity.
b.      Agnostic- one who is not committed to a belief that there is or is not a deity.  

My question requires some context. Often I hear a similar complaint/sentiment from those who are atheist or agnostic. Which is that: religious people force their children to believe a certain way and don’t allow them to search out other ideas or beliefs (be they different religions or the belief that there is no deity.) I completely agree with this statement. I think that many religiously minded people force their children to adhere to a certain set of beliefs- thus inevitably pushing them away from said belief.  Now I am not saying that all religious parents do this, I recognise that many religious parents introduce their own beliefs to their children and teach them about said religion hoping that the children will adopt the same beliefs. The question that I have comes from the response I get to the questions I pose next. I ask how they will raise their children. And usually it starts off in a vain that I agree with ‘I will teach my children about what I believe and what other people believe’ but then it usually ends with ‘and I’ll explain that if they want to chant to an imaginary being in the sky than that is their business.’ 

·         How is teaching your children that religion is ridiculous any different than teaching your children that religion is good? (Because people who have said this to me honestly feel that they are being open minded and possess a clearer intellect.)

Pushing your religion on a child or belittling an entire set of beliefs (and by extension, a people) seems wrong to me. And both seem close minded.  I want to raise my children with a full understanding of what I believe and why I believe it. Because my religion is important to me. And I want them to explore other religious views and atheist views. I will be biased because my own research has led me to my religion, BUT I feel it is important not to mock or belittle other beliefs and allow an open exchange of thoughts and ideas. Why is it that when people say they are Open Minded, what they are really saying is that they think you are Close Minded, and what they should be saying is that we are all just Differently Minded?
Atheists do it, religious people do it, agnostics do it, I do it too.  But why, why do we do it?

ps I really like thepianoguys. Go listen to them. Here i'll make it easy for you

Monday, December 3, 2012

My Countries Capital

School, work, and youth group aka life has been crazy as of late. It is hard for me to think or talk about anything else. And by hard I mean impossible. I have been trying to have thoughts unrelated to these three things for a number of weeks now but my brain is too stressed and focused to come up for air. This past week was reading week (for those who don’t know the term it refers to the week that students have off school to get a better handle on assignments- but for most students  it really means they go on vacation.) I did school work all week and Mr. Sollywood and I went to visit my best friend Doll Face and …hmmm he doesn’t have a nickname… I’ll call him Beatles for the weekend. You probably won’t recall, as I don’t think I posted about it but they were married in Jamaica last year. It was perfect. The picture of the four girls is at Doll Face's wedding, we are celebrating Movember and all those who fight cancer!

I have never been to see parliament or anything else for that matter in this great country of mine. And as a history major I must say                  1. I am embarrassed to admit that and         2. It was awesome!!!                 I cried at the war monument, strolled around parliament, sat for tea with Nelly McClung!! It was magical. And although it took all weekend by Sunday Doll Face and I were talking about things other than school, work and youth. It was exactly what I needed: a change of scene, good friends, and interesting conversation. I was able to regroup and come up for air! Think about other things, talk about other things. Bliss. Hahah Although I think that maybe she needs the same now because (I say busting with pride and excitement) Doll Face has her own little classroom for a bit!! I think it is a called an L.T. I should be a better friend and remember but seriously teachers and their jargon!  But she is sleeping, eating and breathing that world. So I extend the invitation to come over to my place and breath a little!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Biggest Dork Alive or King of the Dorks

Do you ever have those moments when say to yourself “Wow I really am the biggest dork. I really didn't think that I was, but today has just proved it”? No, just me? Lucky me I guess. We've all had those moments when we make a mistake and shake our heads at how absent minded we are or how illogical our actions were. 
           Today though, ah today takes the cake.
I am a key holder where I work and tonight was my night to close. I get to work, the shift goes well and then I realise right at the very end that I have locked my keys in my car which
 A. means I can’t get home and
 B. means I can’t lock the building. 
That was the ‘oh crap I’m a dork’ moment. So I send all the staff home and call the manager, no answer. Great. So I call another key holder who (bless her darling, wonderful, sweet soul) gets out of bed, puts on regular clothes, picks up my husband so that I can get into my car and then drives back (as in she was already there today) to work to help me out of this pickle that I am in. Did I mention she is lovely? So she and Mr. Sollywood show up and as I am leaving the building Mr. Sollywood goes ‘hey where is your coat?’ And that is when I realised that I am indeed the biggest dork alive because I had completely forgotten that I had a coat and in it were of course my freaking keys. If you are going to mess up, and inconvenience everyone in your life, you should of course do it for no reason at all. Because that my friend is how you earn the title of Biggest Dork Alive. Or as someone on Web 2.0 calls us: King Dork. All Hail King of the Dorks. 

Sunday, November 4, 2012

The Real Solly

Grandpa Solly

   The last couple of days have been tender and bitter sweet moments for our family. Our Grandfather has been in the hospital in palliative care, surrounded by family, trying to make his last moments with us sweet and gentle with some laughter. Just like he has tried to make our lives- just like he is really. We write this together so it might get confusing

 (Mrs) I have only known Gramps for 5 years and yet he has made me feel just as if I've always been his granddaughter, his sweetie (the wink is implied.) I have never known him as the giant 6'3ish man that he was. One of my favourite things about older gentlemen is the hunch they get. I always feel like they shrink up a bit so that they can look at you at your level and wink at you more effectively. (I seriously haven't encountered Gramps without getting a wink.) Even the nurses still find him charming. Every time he's been in the hospital the nurses have loved him. What a flirt.... do old men really flirt? I can't think of a better word though.

The thing that really gets me is that if he sees even a little of Gram in you he thinks you are the best, and tells you over and over that your husband is lucky to have a gal like you. Even though Mr. is his grandson. It never ceases to amaze me how much he really truly adores Gram. He is always mentioning how much he loves her, and doesn't deserve her. How much their lives together mean to him. Tonight there was a moment when he looked for her and when they locked eyes they each got teary, sensing the separation that is coming. And just looked love. It seems trite to put it into words. But Gramps and Gram are love birds still, only now they know what it really takes, they know how to make it last. A quote I have always loved I feel sums up their love perfectly

 "Love at first sight is easy to understand, it's when two people have been looking at each other for a life time that it becomes a miracle".

(Mr.) He always told his grandsons to find a girl like Grandma.
Gramps has lived a good, full life and during these last moments is able to have most of his large family be there with him. 3 children, 13 grandchild and 18 great-grand children. That's a lot of people. There is an ancient Greek philosopher (Plato I think... maybe Socrates...) spoke of a good death being one where you lay in bed surrounded by family during your final moments. Gramps has been able to have this. But more importantly, Gramps has had a good life. He will always be an example of being a good father, a good husband and a good person. I doubt that there's a person alive who doesn't like him! I constantly get people saying to me "I know your grandfather Sol, how's he doing? I remember when we....". Once I moved here, to his home town, the name Solomon connected me right to him (those from his generation at least.)

Gramps also let me watch rated R movies as a kid - American Ninja! Campy 80's awesomeness that probably wouldn't get higher than a PG rating by today's standards but still. Which one of us didn't look forward to watching American Ninja when visiting...

...I'm the only one who looked forward to that? Really??

Oh and by the way, Mrs. Sollywood and I have inherited the title of Solly. We were given permission a few years ago by Gramps himself. It is a title we love and will try to live up to in all its awesome glory.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

The thing about spiders

The thing about spiders.

    We live on the sixth floor of an apartment building in the downtown core of a large city. Which (wonderously) means there are very few bugs. In a word: Fantastic. Except when there are bugs because, seriously they are so creepy. Like the time there was a praying mantis on our refrigerator? What? And then the spiders. But first some back ground. Mr. Sollywood goes to school full time and works a couple of nights a week as a chef. When he is here (in our apartment) there is never a bug. But he leaves and I am by myself for the evening and spiders come out of the wood work. There actually isn't woodwork, our apartment isn't that cool. But for the last three weeks in a row I have been all ready for bed, sitting reading and I look up to see a spider spinning down from the ceiling directly over our bed.

The last two weeks I have killed them. Some of you are going tell me that killing insects is wrong. But here is my justification for doing so. The first time I met a ceiling spider I told him (i'd say or her but the spider being female creeps me out more for some reason.) I told him 'alright you can live outside, or you can live in the living room but you can't freaking live over my bed and try to get onto my bed you freaking spider. Also tell all of your spawn'. (I wanted to cover all future spider occurrences-  apparently I jinxed myself.) He continued to dangle near my head so I killed him. Next week same situation- killed him too. This week I am feeling bad, thinking maybe the first spider didn't have time to warn his evil spawn about being above my bed. So I grab the webb way above the spider and try to get him away from the bed. But he disappears!! onto my BED. And now I can never sleep again. Here is why: too many people have told me that you eat spiders in your sleep. Clearly if he is on your bed than you will eat him. A+B=C. I choose not to eat spiders knowingly. Also the picture below is, I feel, an accurate portrayal of my feelings of what spiders are really like.

** warning the picture below may be terrifying to all viewers.

This picture is from here For more information on the terrifying nature of spiders please refer to this blog.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Pod Revolution!

Pod Revolution!

On the first day of school I arbitrarily sat down at a table. The classroom is set up so that each table seats four people and there are eight tables.  I thought to myself that I could change seats the next day, or any day if I wanted to. You know, meet new classmates (colleagues if you will), develop relationships, network or hey, see the Professor and my computer at the same. No. Not so. The seats at these random tables became the property of whoever sat in them on that first fateful day. No switchies, no take backs. The idea of sitting in one place every week has always baffled me. Why be so regimented? Why are humans such creatures of habit? Why do we cling to things so strongly that were chosen so arbitrarily. It isn’t like Sheldon’s spot or anything, I am pretty sure everyone just randomly sat down.  

On the first day of class these tables for some reason unbeknownst to me began to be called ‘pods.’ Strange, I thought.  They are just tables, what is a pod anyway? Here I came to understand was the reason for the name change. A pod is a small enclosed object that is used to protect whatever is inside. Therefore it is both inclusive and exclusive. A table is a place that people sit at and can move freely to and from, a pod is forever. No switchies, no take backs.

For many days I toyed with the idea of ‘stealing’ someone else’s seat (even though I disagree with the idea that the seats belong to anyone I still felt compelled to use such language- stealing. I’m brain washed too.) Pod Revolution! I cried. (Literally I was trying to sell this idea with my catchy…catch phrase to everyone around me) I tried to talk others into switching seats. ‘No’ came the response, horrified at my idea. I tried to talk entire pods into switching (perhaps, I thought, we could meet new people in groups). That idea was laughed at. How could I suggest such a ridiculous scheme? Blasphemy. One day I actually did ‘steal’ another person’s seat. For which my pod mate felt compelled to apologise on my behalf. Why did she feel the need to apologise for something I had done?

But today I rescind my cry for pod revolution and humbly and happily bow down to pod life. I tried to partner with someone outside of my pod (horrors) and found our working styles too difficult to overcome.  I work hard and fast, I am decisive, this person works more slowly and likes to weigh all options. Although I enjoyed the experience I find I work more effectively with my randomly selected pod mates. I have come to laugh with them and build relationships. Sure I would love to make more than three relationships, possibly future contacts in my course of study, but perhaps as a pod we can try to interact with other pods. Slowly and with caution. After all only on the first day of class can a random act like where we sit truly work out, everything else must be approached with the greatest degree of caution.  Ah the magic of that first day class. 

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Three Months Working in Forensic Mental Health

Alright, so maybe the picture of Arkham Asylum is a bit distasteful but but I like the taste of a lot of things. It's also a media portrayal of the "criminally insane" which, at least in Canada, is not even a correct term. Forensic mental health is something that is not well understood by most people. I would like this blog to give a little more understanding for people who find themselves slapped with this unfortunate forensic stigma. (And if you don't know what the Arkham Asylum reference is for... shame on you. Go read up on your Batman!) 

Quick history on Asylums - Individuals with mental illness have been perceived differently depending on the era they live. Once they were considered possessed by evil spirits. Once they were considered wise men or shamans in some cultures. Some people believed it was the influence of the moon and thus the term lunatic was created. (Root word luna, the latin for moon) Western culture let these "idiots" - the proper term at the time - wander the streets. In the early 1800's (this is Ontario Canada history now) the first institutions were built to get these people off the streets. They were called Asylums. There were some doctors who had the idea that there was something medically wrong, not spiritually wrong, with these people and they would benefit from treatment like any other disease. The problem was they had no idea how to treat it. All sorts of weird treatments arose like spinning in a 360 degree chair to reset the brain to the infamous lobotomy where a piece of the frontal lobe was removed. Some just thought hard work would cure them. But who was mentally ill was also an issue. Well I read some report from 1888 from doctors explaining why some people were admitted to the asylum. You could be admitted for being old, being considered dull to converse with, for masturbation, or just unwanted by your family. It became a dumping ground for all unwanted people. There was often abuse, cover ups and despite well meaning doctors just terrible treatment in general. It was also a popular Sunday afternoon outing to go visit the asylum and poke fun at the people there. Animals they were. They had the appearance of humans but they had no soul so it was okay to mock them and provoke them. Get them into a psychotic rage behind their bars for your entertainment. Imagine you go to a treatment facility because you are depressed and then people come in to laugh at you. Few people would want treatment and would rather hide and avoid these places in possible. There was and still is a very negative stigma for mental health.

However, several decades ago a de-institutionalization policy began which attempted to have people treated from home. The asylum began to fade away. In their place now exists hospitals which focus on mental health.  But lets talk about forensic mental health or the criminally insane as you may know them by. The technical term actually is Not Criminally Responsible or NCR. This occurs when someone with a mental illness commits a crime while in a psychotic state due to the mental illness. They are not considered responsible for their actions and receive treatment rather than punishment. This is a system which is greatly misunderstood by many people.

First of all, there are people of all walks of life who are considered NCR. Some of them career criminals while others very friendly and seemingly ordinary people. What matters is that when the accused crime was committed, the individual was psychotic - meaning their perception of reality was altered. They were unable to understand and appreciate the situation and actions. This is hard for some people to swallow. Let's use the example of Vince Li - the Greyhound killer from a few years ago. Here is a man who reportedly believed he was killing an alien who was a threat to the earth. In reality he beheaded a young man and ate his flesh on the bus in front of everyone. While not psychotic he showed great remorse. I've heard people say "but his delusion doesn't make sense to his actions. If he really believed he was killing an invading alien why would he disfigure and consume the flesh?" Here's the thing - LOGIC HAS NO PLACE WITH PSYCHOSIS. Imagine something you believe to be true 100%. Now imagine someone telling you that not only is it false but you are insane for believing it. I've seen a woman with Fragoli syndrome (believing 2 people are one in the same) see the two people she believes are one in the same in the same room together and still deny it. One is an actor and its a conspiracy is how it was reasoned. My point is that when these crimes are committed the person is NCR because they truly do not understand the situation or the consequences as they are in the reality the rest of us seem to share. So they are not treated like criminals who are fully aware of their actions. Still they are clearly dangerous so something must be done but to treat them like criminals would not be fair or just. 

Remember the movie "One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest"? Jack Nicholson pleaded insanity to avoid going to prison even though he was just an ordinary criminal. Some people think this is preferable to prison. Sure, forensic hospitals are more comfortable but once you are in the forensic system you can be stick there for decades for even minor crimes. You can not leave until a team of mental health professionals and a Review Board think you are no longer a threat. 

This is how it works: There are secure and general units. No longer are they called maximum, medium and minimum secure. There are privileges that patients (not inmates) can earn. They range from going outside with 2 or more supervisors for a half hour to going out for weekends unsupervised in the community and being able to work a full time job during the week. Privileges are given in increments at the discretion of the mental health team. Good behaviour and insight to mental illness help get more privileges. Once privileges are maximized then the next step is moving into a supervised group home in the community. Once there they must still report back on a regular basis and get regular urine tests for alcohol and drugs which are prohibited. Any breach of rules then they are brought right back into the hospital. It takes a very long time to receive an absolute discharge. So... three months in prison for assault or 10-15 years in the forensic mental health system for pleading "insanity". There are still many issues to work out with the system. 

I had one patient say to me "even though I'm NCR, people still treat me like a criminal". Not only does he have schizophrenia to deal with but people think he's now some criminal low life. It's incredibly difficult for these people to find jobs even if they are capable. No one wants to hire the friggin Joker. Even finding a place to live is difficult. No one wants to rent a room to a violent lunatic. People freaked out when Vince Li was given 30 minutes with supervision off the unit he is kept on. They thought he was suddenly stalking the streets again for children to eat. People are calling for his head as a proper retribution for his actions and that he's faking his mental illness to evade the law! That man will never have much of a life again as a result of his illness, NOT a result of his concious actions. Do we really need to call for his blood and ridicule him on top of that? Even if he receives an absolute discharge and completely manages his symptoms he will always have the stigma.

Back in May this year a murder occurred at the hospital. While outside on hospital grounds one patient viciously beat the other to death. The trial has not happened yet but the murderer was not psychotic at the time. It is likely that the charge will be criminally responsible. Like I said , some people are career criminals and others are not. He happened to be a psychopath. (Anti-social Personality Disorder but the difference is a topic of another blog) I've done quite a bit of research on that. As much as the media would like to portray all forensic patients like that man it is simply not true. He was an exception. 

So Arkham Asylum needs a modern update. The Arkham Center for Integrated Healthcare would be a better name. (If anyone knows what I'm referencing then good for you! You win the big no prize!)  

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Third Year

Mr Sollywood and I recently celebrated out Third Year of Marriage. Crazy town. This year has been full of new things. This year we moved to the downtown core of a new city so that Mr. Sollywood could go to school. He started a program which will soon lead to a Masters so he can work in a field he loves (and I may be bias here, but will be awesome at!) We struggled to make ends meet, but they always did with a lovely ‘how do you do’.  I worked to support my loven’ hunk of a husband, while he got smarter and slightly opinionated. (That part was weird- Mr Sollywood is neither vocal nor decisive publically about…anything.)  We started to make Christmas more meaningful - a tradition we plan to expand on every year. We made great food, found a local sushi place we love, learned that our cooking skills sometimes beat out restaurant food. Had romantic dinners by candle light, dinners in bed watching Big Band Theory, ate at our dining room table, on our couch, on the floor. Had dinners on the run; together and apart. Hahah we like great food. I started, but due to time constraints, had to stop violin lessons. We tried to keep in contact with my side of the family more (his side has a matriarch who is the bomb at keeping us together.) We celebrated a new nephew, witnessed and were part of the marriage of an amazing couple and friends, lost a beloved Grandmother, and marvelled at how much joy and sorrow a heart can hold at once. We saw less of each other than ever before but, somehow, fell more in love.  I personally came to admire a man who would go to school full time, work part time and run a youth program all while looking so handsome/still be fairly stress-free. And helped to keep our little home clean. Although I also learned about the stressed side of him I’d never seen before. I am trying to learn the art of ‘decompression’ for him at the end of hard days. Any tips? It has been a great year, I am excited to see what year four will bring to the Sollywoods. 

Monday, April 30, 2012

The Days Are Just Packed

The days are just packed. 
Spring semester started today and my placement at the forensic unit starts tomorrow. This is why the days are just packed. Mondays I go to class from 9-4 and then go to work from 4:30 to midnight. Then I get up at 7 from Tuesday to Friday and go to the Hospital from 9-5. Wednesday nights I have youth activities, Saturday nights working 430 to 1am and early morning meetings before church on Sunday. In between I have to do my homework for the heavy work load they decided to give. And my professor, who is a grandmother - reads comics/graphic novels and loves the Walking Dead and we talked about Animal Man during class.

On top of it all I still have like 3 seasons of Dexter to get through plus the regular shows - which are almost over for the summer. I had hoped to re-watch Lost at some point but not at this rate. Side note - Fringe was given one more final season! So that's pretty awesome because everyone and their cat should be watching it. It's sci-fi awesomeness from the guys who did Lost and Once Upon a Time. There's also a show that we found that only plays on youtube every Tuesday called The Guild. It a hilarious show about a group socially inept people who are addicted to online gaming. There's 4 full seasons and a few episodes of a 5th and each episode is only like 10 minutes. Entire seasons are the same as watching a movie. And in seasons 3... Will Weaton plays the bad guy. And Howard Wallowitz even makes an appearance... but not in character, just the actor. Sad face. 

So while I am looking forward to working with doctors, psychiatrists, psychologists and nurses on the multidisciplinary team I'll be on (no reason to be intimidated) and the awesome and crazy stories I'll hear from the inmates... patients... clients... I don't know what to call them yet and I'm at the forefront of the discipline that defines political correctness...

...The days are just packed. 

Thursday, April 19, 2012

The Wing Master

This is the Wing Master. This is where you will find the greatest wings you will ever have. This is also me promoting him because he (Tre) has been known to give me free wings which I very much appreciate. We recently convinced him to put his amazing apple thai wings back on the menu because it was a sin to remove them. Today I also had jalapeno ranch and hail caesar bacon wings. So good!

You don't go here for junk like mild or medium. That's just boring. You go here for the biggest, craziest wings. Beware of the Blackenstien wings or the trick or treat. They are maliciously not graded for heat and you might as well suck on pepper spray. Not that there's anything wrong with that. (Seinfeld reference... anyone?)

Seriously though. Go to Brantford Ontario, find the Wing master, order apple thai, hawaiian punch, sweet lava, raspberry jalapeno, bacon blue cheese, gummy bear, french toast or some of the other hundreds of flavours he has.

Screw Wild Wing. Seriously. Waste of my money and yours. I'm embarrassed for all who eat there.

... wings up is still pretty good but only is you can't make it Brantford. Tre didn't even put me up to this. I just had his wings and thought I would start raving online about the awesomeness.

Oh and there is suicide poutine. Blasted hot gravy sauce with cheese on fries. My blood is thickening with deliciousness just thinking about it. And why is spellcheck trying to tell me poutine is not a real word???? Come to Canada freakin blogger!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Super Mario a capella.

So I'm done with university for 2 weeks now. I have no assignments or readings to do so procrastinating is much more enjoyable. Think of your most pleasant dream, multiply that feeling tenfold, all main-lining through your Cortex in a few seconds. It's really quite something. I've been sitting here for several hours listening to music. It's wonderful the things you can find on youtube. It's like a good detective movie. Check this out. A Cappella Super Mario Brothers

I was also thinking about putting up another Blog of Stuff I Make but all I did today was give tuna with chillis to Bev. She goes from sleep to insane the second the can opens. I was also thinking about a new recipe but have not yet tried it. That's the thing about scientific inquiry -- not every experiment is a success. But I hold high hopes for the parmesan ice cream.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

you know those sleepy eyes that burn?

Mr. Sollywood often works til one or two in the morning and I try very hard to stay up for him, but never make it. (read- am a big wuss and fall asleep around 10:30-11:00.) Usually when he comes in he gives me a kiss and I give him one back (he claims, I never have a recollection of this in the morning.) This morning I remembered feeling so disoriented when he gave me a kiss. I remember trying hard to understand why a strange face was in front of what I assumed was my face, but I was too tired to make any sense of who I was never mind what was going on around me. I felt panicked and was trying to understand. So I was all impressed with myself this morning that I remembered all of this and was bragging to Mr. Sollywood about how I was awake enough to feel disoriented. Where upon he started to laugh and asked if I remembered what I had said. Apparently it went like this;

Mr. Sollywood leans in for a kiss
I pull back and blink rapidly
and say (in a panicked voice) "I can't see through my eyes"
promptly fall back asleep

Guess I shouldn't be so braggy in the morning, when I am so ridiculous at night.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Stuff I make - Yogurt

Here's what you need to make your own yogurt... YOGURT. Seriously, I'm going to tell you how to make yogurt from yogurt. I'm amazing.

- yogurt with active bacteria cultures. Plain and flavourless
- milk
- double boiler set up
- sterile spoon
- thermometer

- Sterilize your spoons you filthy person. You don't want strange new bacteria introduced to yogurt enzymes
- Double boiler - one pot with water in it, boiling, and another pot on top with nothing in it. But you knew that right? Otherwise get out of the kitchen.
- Put as much milk as you want in the pot. The empty one. I shouldn't have to spell it out for you but I'm spelling everything else out so whatever
- Heat the milk up to 185 degrees. This will screw with the lactose in the milk and make it vulnerable to invasion by the active cultures in the yogurt
- Cool milk down to 110 degrees. If you don't want to wait long you can put it in an ice bath. Leave it in the pot though, stupid!
- at 110 degrees put 2-3 table spoons of yogurt and give it a good stir with the sterile spoon.
- Put it off heat, maybe on a heating pad or whatever so residual heat doesn't burn anything but I don't care, it's your kitchen.
- Cover it with a dish towel, bath towel, doesn't matter, just cover it for 7 HOURS. That's right. You gotta plan your day around a pot of freaking yogurt!
- In 7 hours give it a good stir. There will be chunks, maybe even a greenish goo. That's okay. Stir that crap smooth and put it in the back of your fridge overnight.
- Eat your stupid yogurt now. It's good for you, no artificle additives but it might be a little thinner than you're use to. Store bought yogurt uses junk like pectin to thicken it.
- Add berries and granola. Its yummy

 Don't use a wooden spoon like in this picture. I know better than the internet.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

In August we went for a week long visit to a cottage of epic size (20 people slept there- that is mammoth.) And it was awesome!! The thing about the cottage is that bad bed plus not being what you'd call 'fit' people our necks and arms and backs were mighty sore after one day of tubing and two nights of sleeping. Thus naturally this insued:

Lots of pushing at knots.

It was loads of fun- we went tubing, where in I was run over by the opposing tube. But don't worry I got them back via kicking them in the head later. We jumped on the water trampoline and bounced and pushed one another off. And what is cottaging with out eating a unreasonable amount of junk food which of course included smores with mint areo bars. so so good.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Hamsters = Monsters

We had hamsters growing up. Fuzzy little buggers became a bit of a freak show. Have you seen these guys? They start out all cute and innocent...
Then they multiply and go freakin nuts!

It began with George and Suzy. Nice enough couple. I guess you could call them newly weds in an arranged marriage. They got along just fine. They were spectacular climbers too. They would monkey bar all the way up the cage, hold on with hand and use the other to lift the latch on the cage with almost super-hamster strength and climb right out of there. But searching for escaped hamsters isn't all fun and games. You know how sometimes when you are dreaming, real life stimulus can affect your dream? So I'm asleep, I don't know, 10 years old maybe, and in my dream this giant spider jumps on me and crawls up my leg. I'm frozen. Sickest thing. Then I wake up.

Oh man, so glad it was only a dream... wait a minute... somethings on my leg.... it's moving... under the covers and making it's way towards my face.


exclamation mark implied.

It move up my chest and I'm just as frozen as I was in my dream and then...

Freakin' George pops his head out right in front of mine. Blasted hamster nearly scared me half to death!
Well then they had kids and all their kids cannibalized each other! It was gore-fest but no spiders were involved at least.

I forget what happened to George and Suzy but know they children and grand-children were psychopathic hamsters. There must have been 20 of them at one time in that cage. Suzy one time carnivaled up the cage and escaped with 6 of her kids. They were gone for 2 weeks. We found them living under the stairs in a self sustained community made out old clothing.Well,  after a few months only 2 remained. They fought to the death. I went to see them one morning and the winning stood over the corpse of his fallen brother. Victorious, we granted him his freedom. Off into the field to be with nature. His paradise awaits...

...I bet a hawk got him.    

Monday, February 27, 2012

Take a break from pop

I had write something about two awesome new musicians I have recently discovered on youtube. First, because everyone needs a break from mundane pop music that unfortunetly permiates too much of everything these days and second, because it's just freaking awesome. Bob Marley once said that music can cure the soul of racism and hate. He also said that a good thing about music is that when it hits you it doesn't hurt. This music isn't Bob Marley but I hope it can hit you and do something for your soul. This is how awesome, the cello, violin and piano can be

First; ThePianoGuys

Second: Lindsey Stirling

Friday, February 24, 2012

Cliff Burton, The Big Red and and White Fang

Remember in September 1986 when Metallica's tour bus overturned and Cliff Burton, their bass player, was killed? I was 4 and I totally remember. Master of Puppets was killing it and with good reason cause it's still their best album so it was a tragedy for metal fans everywhere. And his family and friends of course. But as Metallica was just hitting their prime they didn't want to call it quits just because they lost a great bass player. Enter Jason Newsted - the replacement. He played on several Metallica albums until 2001 including their most successful album - the Black album. However, he was always just standing in for Cliff and became the center of ridicule and pranks. His bass work was heavily criticized on his first album with the band ...And Justice for All. Go ahead and listen to any song. You can barely hear any bass. It was rumored the band did this on purpose as kind of a hazing thing. Anyway, let's get to my point - the Big Red finally died. It's on the way to the wrecker right now actually. This is my tribute to the Big Red. I called it that because when Saren, my sister, first saw the interior was completely red she said "your car is a big red". It stuck. I knew this would come but it's still sad. Seeing it without it's plates, emptied and alone outside the mechanics garage reminded me of that scene in White Fang (remember that movie or the book by Jack London when the guy pretty much falls in love with the half dog/half wolf? Good times) when the main character moves tot he city but can't take White Fang with him so he starts yelling at him and throwing stuff at him to get him to run away. The way White Fang looks at him all confused and sad was the way the Big Red looked at me, empty and plateless, when we left. Also, I think I know why The members of Metallica treated Jason Newsted the way they did. I sat in a Honda Civic that day and all I wanted to do was ridicule and pull pranks on it. A replacement is needed if we are to ever have our own Black album but Cliff Burton is still dead.

And to you, Big Red, we salute you. As an organ donor, may your organs help some less fortunate car in the future.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Stuff I make - Broiled Grapefruit

Remember that bitter, sour grapefruit someone - a creepy stranger maybe - made you eat as a kid? Well I'm about  to be that creepy stranger and make it awesome for you!

- Get yourself a grapefruit. Pink, white, whatever
- Get some butter, sugar (white or brown) and cinnamon
- Cut the grape fruit in half and slice up the individual slices so you can scoop them out with a spoon when you eat it. But don't eat it cause it's still just as bitter and sour as it was before.
- Make sure your oven is set to broil. Or if you're poor use a toaster. I don't know if it'll work but if you don't have an oven you probably aren't reading this
- In any order, I don't care, put on the sugar, butter and cinnamon. Load that crap on.
- Put it in the oven obviously. I don't know, 10 minutes or something. Get it hot.
- When it's done that crap will melt in your mouth and you will thank me for your new found self actualization

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Stuff I Make - pseudo-asian thingy

Welcome to another episode of Stuff I Make. Today we are making pseudo-asian thingy. It's pretty freakin awesome. I don't have a picture though...

Get yourself some: chow mein noodles.
                             oyster sauce
                             peppers and onions
                             sesame oil and real oil. The good stuff. Or the vegetable. I don't care.
                             chicken - its optional but seriously get yourself some chicken
                             peanut sauce - only if you're taking the chicken route and you totally should
                             sesame seeds and pineapple - also optional. You don't really have to do any of this. It's all optional

-Cut those pepper and onions up any way you like'em. I like julianne strips (long, thin, 45 degree bias) even though I bet I spelt it wrong.
-Fry'em up in a little bit of sesame oil. Add some chilli's if you want a bit of spice. You can do that with anything though
-Boil the noodles. These noodles seriously take like one minute. Easy
-Start frying up those cooked noodles. Use regular oil. You have enough sesame flavour in the peppers. It helps to have a wok for this but I don't so it doesn't matter. Mix in oyster sauce as they're cooking. Keep'em moving so they don't burn to then pan. Coat evenly.
-Add your peppers and onions and you're done. Enjoy!


What about the rest of the ingredients? You can stop there if you're cheap cause it's a very cost effective meal without chicken. But peanut chicken is just too good to leave out.
-Cook the chicken any way you want. baked, fried, whatever. Just cook it. Once its cooked put it in a pot with the peanut sauce. I like the PC brand but if you wanna make it from scratch go look it up yourself
-leave the chicken in the pot on low for over an hour. You don't have to but it carmelizes the sauce and it's better than way. Or you can always just sauce and serve. Whatever.
-You put that chicken on the noodles and eat up. You just doubled the cost of the meal now
-Feeling adventurous still?
-Cut up the pineapple into pretty thin slices. Get out your grill and cook up those suckers! Use a hot grill so you get nice black grill marks. It's not beef so don't worry about the HCA's (heterocyclic acids) causing problems with your prostate
-Grilling pineapple carmelizes the sugars. Now add more sugar. and a touch of salt. Seriously. Its good stuff. If you're a drunk add some rum too but I put white grape juice on it. Let it sit several hours to mix all the wonderful sugars you just added.
-put your pineapple on the side of the dish giving it some nice yellow colour, sprinkle on some sesame seeds cause you care about presentation

It's good stuff

Monday, January 9, 2012

Festivus, marijuana and Nightwish

It has been some time, hasn't it? I have no excuse. I can complain about being busy. But I always find time to sit here at the computer on a regular basis. I'm usually watching Fringe though. Its basically awesome so go watch it. Think X-Files on crack.

So I worked alot during the Christmas break. I`ve been contemplating about blogging about how disgusting it is in a kitchen and scaring everyone away from eating out but instead that`s all I`ll say and you can use your imagination. I worked Christmas eve, Boxing Day and New Years Eve. The story goes like this. I volunteer to work Christmas eve with the promise of getting News years eve off. Didn`t happen. They also never get back to me when I request a raise. So I spoke to my manager about these disappointments. The conversation began like this: "Are you familiar with the holiday Festivus?"
-It's an alternative holiday to Christmas this time of year. It involves a metal pole, feats of strength and airing of grievances. It's for the rest of us".
Well I have some grievances to air with you...

Unfortunetly he didn't get it my reference. Oh well. Here's a link in case you don't get it either.

Our elevator always reeks of marijuana and B.O. or maybe the B.O. is part of the skunky weed. Can't be sure without further particulate analysis.

And finally a new Nightwish album has come out. Its been like 6 years. Very awesome. Check it out. Here's a sample