Monday, February 27, 2012

This is not a food blog

But I really wish it was! Oh how I wish I could just wake up one day all, "I do believe I would truly enjoy a nice cheddar souffle this morning. Perhaps with a chutney glaze? Quite, quite."

In that reality I'm British. Evidently.

But I am 100% incapable of imagining up recipe ideas and I'm INCREDIBLY average at cooking. I am the equator of cooking. Likewise baking. But not today, dammit! Today I will cook something from my pinterest page and it will be delicious. What is it going to be, you ask? Uh... I have no idea. Hold on while I go find something really simple but looks really difficult.





Except it's not from Pinterest. It's from my friend's food blog. GO CHECK HER OUT RIGHT NOW. 

She is a wonderful chef. She has these qualities called "patience" and "resourcefulness" that I seem to lack.

Here's what I will be making! It's called "Orange Olive Oil Cake and Orange Curd"

Oh! Oh okay. Okay okay okay.

Baking comes easier to me than cooking, so that's what we're going with people. For those of you who think I'm chickening out because I'm not making a stuffed hen or something... you are correct. Don't worry. Baking will still cause plenty of hilarity, I'm sure. 

If you want the recipe, go to the link above the photo (hint hint... you'll need oranges). It's not my recipe so I don't really want to take credit for it on my blog. Cuz I'm COOL LIKE DAT. 

aaaand now I have to go shower off the shame that comes from uttering the phrase "cool like dat."

LETTUCE BEGIN! (get used to the food puns people, I've been STOREing them up.) (that last one was a stretch.)

Step one was basically me figuring out how to zest an orange. As it turns out, I had to zest 4 oranges & 2 lemons. It was not enjoyable. I don't know how to zest so I kept messing up and giving myself little cuts. Then the lemon juice would get in the cuts and my hand would slip from the pain & I would cut my hand again. The vicious cycle of lemon zesting, if you will.

That thumb is no longer cut-free

But I did it! And then I mixed it up with a ton of sugar and it looked awesome:

I wanted to eat it but I contained myself when I remembered that it is equal parts sugar and orange peel.
By the way the entire time I was cooking my roommates were behind me studying for some sort of science class. I believe it was... biochem? That sounds like science.

The sound of science-y words filled my ears as I rubbed my fingers raw on a grater. For the name of our interior designer, please inquire in the comments. 

Next, the recipe said I had to "supreme an orange."And my first thought was, "sweet mother of god that sounds difficult." And it was.

Essentially, supremeing an orange means that you cut off the top and bottom, shave off all the peel, and then remove the transparent skin so that you're left with the membrane. By the way, there is no grosser recipe instruction than "remove membrane and place in bowl."

So that took me about an hour. But actually.

I put the loaf in the oven, and started on the curd. Which is the second most disgusting word in this recipe.

Here is where I'm the worst. I don't do "simmering." Recipes always say to simmer and I'm just kind of like, "MEH. LETS CRANK IT UP. It'll cook faster then, right?" So I tried really hard this time to keep it simmering.

Let me interrupt my thrilling curd story to tell you that our apartment does not have the best appliances. They don't always "heat" or "blend" or "work."Which brings me to our oven(s). The upstairs oven is a glorified easy-bake-oven. You look inside, only to discover that your cookies are being baked by a lightbulb. And the magic is gone. It's also roughly the same size as an easy-bake-oven. The downstairs oven is very touchy. You never know what you're going to get.

And today I got a loaf that was burned on top and liquid in the middle. So you know... the usual. I tried rotating it around the oven like I have any idea what I'm doing, but it got a little crispy on top. And it's STILL liquidy in the very center. I don't want to talk about it.  But here it is!

By the way I couldn't go anywhere because I had to keep checking on the touchy oven, so to pass the time while cooking this I looked up photos of Meryl Streep from the 80s.

You look troubled, Meryl. Tell me what's wrong.

You're welcome.

After 20 minutes of Meryl-searching, it was time to put the bread on the cooling rack. And of course I was too impatient to do it the right way so I turned it upside down and shook it as hard as I could. This happened:

So I glued the piece back on with some curd. No one knew the difference. Except they totally did because, as it turns out, curd does not make a good adhesive.

Our finest china

Voila! The finished result!
Oh yes, you're seeing REAL chunks of orange membrane, my friends. My opinion? The loaf was delicious, the curd was too sweet for me. Keep in mind that I don't like frosting either, so I feel like my opinion shouldn't count. My roommates loved it!

In the end, I ate half the loaf while watching Meryl Streep be adorable at the Oscars.

My final unrelated thoughts: Meryl wore the exact same gold color at her win for Sophie's Choice 30 years ago. And she gets better with age!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

So I learned how to make my own GIFs

And how do I feel about it??

Oh yes. I made that. Prepare yourselves for a better world. A world in which I express every emotion through stop-motion TV/Movie Clips. Can't wait. 

But this post isn't about my incredible GIF talents (By the way, is the "G" in GIF pronounced like the 'g' sound in "gun" or the 'g' sound "jelly?" You know what I mean? Like a hard "G" or a soft "G?" If anyone gets what I'm talking about, lemme know.)

This post is about how much I despise that Capital One Commercial starring Alec Baldwin. Or should I say: Alec Baldwin & his creepy twin/doppleganger/clone. You can see the whole commercial here.


I love Alec Baldwin. I really do. That's what makes this so difficult. I don't want to tear down a commercial that he's starring in... but that commercial sucks so hard that I have to. 

To begin: Why are there two Alec Baldwins in the first place? Are they twins? Are they just two guys that happen to look like each other? Are they just discovering each other's existence? Why is no one more confused by this? The customers just see the two of them and are like "oh yeah. Two identical Alec Baldwins. Obvi. 

I get that they are promoting the "double miles" card so he's like a "double Alec" but you can't just... make things up. The audience needs to be able to follow the story line or they'll disengage. 

"shhh... I'm rehearsing for a role"

WHAT? Who is? You are? Okay so the Alec on the right is the real Alec Baldwin and the waiter is just some guy... who looks exactly like Alec Baldwin for some reason. And the real Alec Baldwin chose to follow him around to rehearse a role as a waiter. Because being a waiter is so far beyond the grasp of Alec's imagination. 

Oh by the way, waiter Alec is really good at chalk drawing for no reason. THREE ALECS, LOLZ. 

This is the only redeeming quality about the commercial. That's Sue Holloway, the woman who plays Sue on 30 Rock. I like seeing them together in this terrible commercial. 

So then non-Alec (or is he the real Alec?) rips a menu in half for no reason and the real Alec (?) looks over at him all "Oh, YOU! I can't go anywhere with this guy, amiright?" Except... WHAT!? So okay do you know each other then? Are you the same person? You act like you two spend lots of time together by the way you treat each other. So... yes?

Waiter Alec: "Cover for me, I have an audition."
So he's also an actor, presumably. And now he needs his twin, the other Alec Baldwin, to cover for him. What does this have to do with ANYTHING? Is it funny? No. Does it add to the storyline? No. WHY. IS. IT. HERE.

And finally, we have Alec looking into the camera like, "THAT guy. What are we gonna do with that guy? He's so crazy."
Except that he's you! You are him! Assuming that you are somehow doubles of each other. Or twins. Or clones. Are you two friends? No one knows.

This commercial is both unfunny and illogical. So obviously it gets played during every commercial break. If one more episode of Parks and Rec gets interrupted by the two Alecs I'm going to put my foot through my computer screen.

And that's all I have to say about that.
(two Tom Hanks references in one blog post = an excellent blog post)

To leave this on an awesome note:

It only gets better from here, people

Thursday, February 16, 2012

90s trends that I miss... and some that I don't.

Once, in high school, a teacher was telling my class some background information on himself. At one point, he told us that he graduated from college in 1990. All at once, every single person in my class piped up:
All my teacher said was, "It has begun...."

So, yeah. I was born in the 90s. And that seems to blow a lot of people's minds. What's most frustrating to me is that all these high-and-mighty grad students (some of whom were born in 1989 and 1988 lets remember) insist that I know nothing about the 90s because I was too young.


I've forgotten more about the macarena than you'll ever know. Why? Because I lived it, man. I didn't just read about how crazy kids were about Beanie Babies... I WAS THAT CHILD (shout out to my homies Seaweed the otter and Velvet the panther)

Pour some out for one's fallen brethren

 I still vividly remember that my sister had a light brown monkey that was her favorite beanie baby, and my brother had a shark. I believe his name was... Chompers?

So here is a list of my favorite and least favorite 90s phenomena, from a girl who was the perfect age to enjoy them.

90s fads I miss

Guys, Tamagotchi was the greatest thing to me. We didn't have video games, so the Tamagotchi was the closest thing I had. As I recall, we got our Tamagotchis from a family friend who was tired of theirs. I don't imagine that my parents would have actually paid for Tamagotchis, and I don't blame them. They were the stupidest things... and I loved them. The fact that it could poop and eat made it the greatest toy ever. Also the fact that if you didn't clean up after it, the Tamagotchi would die in its own feces. That is... disturbing on several levels.

I appreciate the stink lines

That's him dead because you didn't clean his poop. Presumably that is a halo. Although he also looks a bit like a ghost. So... who knows.

2) NOT!
I miss the expression "not!" more than I am comfortable admitting. In fact, I still use it whenever possible and I would like to one day be credited with bringing it back. Sometimes I fantasize about hilarious ways to use "not!"

  1. On my deathbed. "Hey grandkids see you at your next birthday! NOT!" *dies*
  2. On my gravestone. Hannah was generous millionaire who everyone loved. NOT! She was a billionaire.
  3. George Clooney deserves all the hype. NOT! He deserves to have his eyebrows plucked out.
3) Lucky rabbit's feet
*disclaimer: I have never owned a rabbit's foot that was actually a rabbit's foot. I have only owned the ones made of cotton, plastic and faux fur*

Of all my tacky gift store purchases, lucky rabbit's feet were my most common. But somehow, I never built up a collection. I assume that I lost every rabbit's foot almost immediately after getting it. Somewhere, someone has a vast collection of rabbit's feet collected solely from children dropping them in the first 5 steps out of the gift store.

I can't think of a more disgusting souvenir than rabbit's feet. Whether or not the rabbit's foot is real, the idea is nauseating. You're keeping the foot of an animal on a key chain. For luck. But somehow, I find myself wishing that lucky rabbit's feet would make a comeback. Then again, I'm not really a rabbit fan.


One day, bunny, your foot will be dyed neon green and I shall attach it to my car keys. Between my souvenir bottle opener and the mini flashlight I use to find my dog's poop when I take her for night walks. So you know... it'll be treated with dignity.

4) Recess (T.V. Show)
My siblings and I did not have the good fortune of Cartoon Network or the Disney Channel (Yet somehow, I made it  through) so I only got to watch non-Arthur cartoons once a week. Saturday morning. And it was glorious. Rather than list every single T.V. show that I miss (because that woud be every single T.V. show in the 90s) I'm just going to describe my big favorite: Recess.

One guess as to who I most related to.

Gretchen Grundler, what what!

Nope, not Gretchen. Good guess though. She and I did share several physical characteristics. 

Spinelli! She was so badass. Plus I was a bit of a tomboy. One year I was invited to four birthday parties where I was the only girl there. 

Who remembers when it turned out Spinelli's name was actually Ashley so she had to go join the Ashleys in their tire tower clubhouse?! I was heartbroken. 

Side note: Randall, the little sniveling boy who tattled to Ms. Finster, reminds me of Moe Syzlak from The Simpsons. 

90s fads I don't miss

1) Furbys
I have almost zero first hand experience with Furbys. I don't remember if I asked for one, but I doubt it. I'm fairly certain that they terrified me. Someone brought their Furby to church once and I got to look at it, but that was about it. I hear that it could learn its own name... not sure if that was true.

I was once told by a friend that their Furby woke up in the middle of the night, and she could hear it saying her name from the closet. WHAT. No. That ain't happening. They must never make a comeback. Do you know what they look like without their cute fur?


2) Crazy Bones
I was under the impression that Crazy Bones were a fad everywhere, but apparently I was wrong. They were HUGE at my grade school. They were small plastic teeth with faces. And you collected them. It's possible that there was a game that had to do with them... but I don't really think so.

Hors d'oeuvre? Champagne? Crazy Bone?

Oh man there were so many knock offs of Crazy Bones, but there could only be one original. I couldn't find any good photos of the plastic originals, but this is them in drawing form:

Some were rarer than others. I remember I had a glow in the dark "Eggy" (third from left on top row) and it was super rare. Whatever that meant. I don't know what happened to mine. Presumably, my mom threw them away because they were the dumbest toy ever. 

3) The Cha Cha slide

If the cha cha slide plays at my wedding I will leave. In general, I don't like songs where the singer tells me what to do. It makes me feel like DJ Casper (inventor of the cha cha slide) gathered every single race except white people around him, then he said, "Look what I can make white people do as long and I give them explicit instructions!"

And it works! People (and I'm referring particularly to teenage girls here) will stand at the edges of a party being all, "I can't dance" until the cha cha slide comes on and suddenly they must be on the dance floor and they must be there RIGHT NOW.

To my memory, this is exactly how every single cha-cha slide looks:

Okay now you really enthusiastic nerdy girls... to the front! Cooler girls who don't want to seem too eager and whose bodies have already developed... hang back! Boys, clump together in the middle so you can look at girl's butts but so you don't really have to dance. Other boys, hang off to the side and pretend you don't hear the music or see the dancing. But stay in the back so you can still look at butts.

4) Plastic covers on tags of beanie babies
The worst kinds of friends were the ones who wouldn't let you play with their beanie baby because it was "rare" or "special" or some crap like that.


I had this horse beanie baby that had a white circle on its nose which meant it was "rare" so I didn't play with it. POINTLESS. Because how much is that white-nosed horse worth now? Exactly what I paid for it 8 years ago.

And the worst were the friends that said, "oh you can play with the squirrel because I already accidentally ripped off its tag" but then they would play with the awesome cat beanie baby because it had a manufacturing defect where it had 5 whiskers instead of 6. So it would be worth 500 million dollars one day. NOT!

(bringing it back!)

5) Fruit stripes gum

Taste that lasts for seconds!

Hi. Terrible. That's all I have to say.

And finally... trends that I never experienced but I'm sure were awesome

1) Easy Bake Oven
2) Any video game
3) Any cable T.V. show before 2005.
4) Limited Too

So what did I miss? I feel like there are some serious holes in this list

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Why you need to start watching Downton Abbey

I've received requests from my fans (aka my friend Grace and her mom if her mom knew I had a blog) to write a post about the mini series called Downton Abbey. If you watched the Emmys or the Golden Globes you probably saw Downton Abbey win a few awards but maybe you weren't paying attention because no one really watches for the mini-series award.

Except me. I freaking love mini-series, especially historical mini-series. The Kennedys? I was all over that. Band of Brothers? Obviously. Biographies, documentaries, historical fiction, it's all right up my alley.

(side note: my friend Hannah thought that the series was called "Down to Nabby." As in, "lets all go down to Nabby!" And that is never not funny to me)

So Downton Abbey is set around 1920, think Titanic era. It has a very Pride and Prejudice  feel to it, except that this family is ridiculously rich, and has about 100 servants following them around. It's told just as much from the perspective of the servants as it is from the perspective of the family. I don't think Downton Abbey is geared towards women the way that Pride and Prejudice was. It's less about romance, and more about intrigue and secrets between servants and the family. But there's still plenty of romance.

You can't just start anywhere in the series, the episodes all build on each other. So it's pointless for me to tell you which episodes are best. Instead, I had an internal conversation with myself about how I can best present Downton Abbey. Here is how it went

Hannah #1: The best way is to select my favorite characters and give some information about them.
Hannah #2: (in a pompous, old-age British voice)  Pick my favorite characters from Downton Abbey? I could no sooner select my favorite child, nor the most beautiful star in the sky! (god...)

Except YES I CAN and her name is Maggie Smith.

1) Maggie Smith: The Dowager Countess
I love Maggie Smith. At one point the only piece of information about myself on my Facebook info page was that Maggie Smith is "Someone I look up to." And I swear I never posted that. She just flew into my Facebook page one day, and I never took it down because it so perfectly described my feelings towards her.

She also acts a lot like my Aunt Karen. Which speaks to my Aunt's personality that I compared her to a woman from the 1920s. Who is 80 years old. And too stuffy even for the 1920s.

Emily? Katie? John? Mom? Dad? Come on, Shelly. 

Maggie Smith's character in Downton Abbey is the most marvelous human specimen. She is a symbol of the "old age" (we're talking 1890s here) that her children and grandchildren are letting slip through their fingers. She's also the comedic relief and I love it. She's hilariously disconnected from the problems of the average person.  At one point a potential heir to Downton suggests that he work at home during the week and take care of Downton Abbey on the weekends, and Maggie pipes up all, "Whats a week-end?" And she is genuinely unaware.She's sassy and scary but also funny and secretly kind.

At one point she nearly falls out of a swivel chair, which she calls a "modern invention" even though it was invented by Thomas Jefferson. 

The other day when I started following Downton Abbey on Twitter (yeah, wanna fight about it?) I was immediately followed by The Dowager Countess or @TheLadyGrantham which is Maggie Smith's character and I would like to share some of her tweets.

**UPDATE** The Dowager Countess started following lil' ol me on Twitter and this glorious thing happened:

All my dreams...

I, like Batman, must keep my true identity a secret. For the good of Gotham and its people. Anyway, to summarize: Maggie Smith is fantastic as the out-of-touch yet super comical granny. I've said it before and I'll say it again: I never met a Maggie I didn't like. 

2) Cousin Matthew; potential heir, permanent love interest. 
I love Matthew Crawley because he's one of those people where you're first introduced to his character and you're all "Meh. Who cares? He is so dreadfully down in the mouth, and he seems hardly more civilized than the footman who follows his every step."

exhibit A

But then they develop his character and you're all "ZOMG Matthew Crawley? He's so kind, I would love for him to accompany me on a hunt, even if I had to bring my governess!"

May I suggest a brisk walk about the hydrangeas?

PLUS he's been making weak chins sexy since 1910. And I (as well as the entirety of my family) would like to thank you, kind sir.

3) Lord Robert Crawley : Hugh Bonneville
Hugh Bonneville is so adorable. He looks like a slightly pudgier Colin Firth.

No? Yes? Just me? Anyway. I would love to have a nice English breakfast with these two men. The conversations we'd have! I bet they'd be really good at trivial pursuit. They just... look knowledgeable. 

Or perhaps you know Hugh best as.... COUSIN BERNIE FROM NOTTING HILL?! The one who had no idea that Julia Robert's character was famous.

"I fancy you. At least I did until you got so fat"

He's not quite so adorable as Lord Crawley. Mostly because he's aged 15 years. Robert Crawley is the Earl of Grantham, so he's the patriarch of the family. He has no other job besides maintaining Downton Abbey and marrying off his daughters. He's willing to bend the rules sometimes, but is mainly very strict about being proper and whatnot. 

Mostly he's just really endearing and it's pretty hard not to like him. 

My final thought: It was really late when I finished this post and I stumbled upon this GIF

... and it was the funniest thing I've ever seen. UNTIL I SAW THIS.

I laughed for a thousand years. And it's not even that funny. Then I showed it to a girl in lecture and I laughed and she didn't laugh so I started laughing harder and she scooted away. (Oh, me)

Sunday, February 5, 2012


It has been a WEEK. And by that I mean I have been fluctuating between extreme giddiness and passionate bitterness. I'm giddy because it's my last semester and I am about to start off my real life, and soon I'll be well-dressed and in a nice apartment and I'll be diving into pools of gold coins Scrooge McDuck style after my 11am to 3pm job. (let a girl dream, people.)

Until then, however, my free time is spent creating and re-creating my resume to send out to about a million internships and jobs and I'm about to rip out all of my hair. And may I say something? I'm awesome at cover letters. I make cover letters my biotch. That being said, cover letters are the worst thing ever invented in the history of ever. I maintain that nobody is actually reading this crap. One professor told me that sometimes when you send in your resume and cover letter online, some employers just do a word search for the key words they're looking for and then they throw out the resumes that don't have that word. 

So... I've been nervous pooing for about 2 weeks. (again with the poop and fart jokes...)

In a matter of minutes I can go from happy Colin... bitter at the world, you guys all suck Colin:

It's exhausting, and I still have at least 3 months of it left. So I'm just going to crank up the bagpipe music on pandora (yeah.) and keep on keeping on.