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So done with American Psycho. I wanted to be scared by Patrick Bateman, not so irritated by him. I got to yet another chapter where he and his shitty friends were discussing "rules" of clothing, and I wanted to throw my Kindle.
Back to A Song Of Ice And Fire for me. I never quite gave it a proper chance the first time I tried to read it, and I'm appreciating it much more the second time around. Granted, I'm only ~150 pages into the first book, but it's so refreshing after reading a bunch of genuinely mediocre fiction (lookin' at you, Neil Gaiman).
I did knit a couple of baby hats a few weeks ago for my coworkers who are having a baby in October, but that's been the only real FO I've felt like I needed to finish, and baby hats are not much of a time commitment. Every year I think I'm not going to procrastinate any Christmas knitting but I always do. This year I don't plan on doing any, and if any gets done then that's just a bonus.
I definitely understand the therapeutic aspect of keeping the hands busy. I've kind of been in a weird funk lately and need to -make- something. With the cross-stitching I get to fulfill that need to create.
I've been really enjoying seeing peoples' pictures of the eclipse, so I'm looking forward to seeing yours too! In 2024 Keifer and I are going someplace where we don't have to travel the day of to see totality. Possibly somewhere in Texas, but the path is so open to possibilities that we have some time to plan.
So. My first Pubski. Let's do this already.
I've been reading American Psycho. I finally watched the movie after it being on my "To Watch" list for approximately oh 17 years, but I saw and enjoyed it, and decided to read the book. To say I'm enjoying it so far is a little so-so. I'm almost halfway through, and I understand why he's so obsessed with what people are wearing and how much they paid for it, but the word "hardbody" makes me roll my eyes every single time I see it, and it's in there A LOT. This may be one of the rare occasions where I actually enjoy the movie more than the book.
Next on my list - reread A Song of Ice and Fire. The show is ridiculously good, and I never gave the books much of a chance. keifermiller says that the books are better in this case, so I'll give it a genuine shot this time.
I've wanted to brew some beer, but I've been a little meh about my homebrew. It all has the same weird off flavor to it, and it's not particularly cost effective. Fun and enjoyable to watch, but an expensive hobby.
Knitting has been uninspired, as summer tends to do. There's nothing I want to do less than knit warm things when it's hot out, so that's on hold.
I did decide to cross-stitch a piece for my sister-in-law and her fiance for their upcoming marriage. This is by far the biggest thing I've ever done, and my tendency with these sorts of things is to bite off more than I can chew (this project is ~8000 stitches), but since it's only two colors, I think I can manage this. It's been so long since I've done any cross-stitching and it's refreshing.
Floated down Missouri's Niangua River with my sisters and our friend this past weekend. The last time we went was a pretty shit time. I had to babysit drunk people and the river was low and there was just a whole mess of unpleasantness. This time was SO MUCH MORE FUN. We got storms on Friday night, and that was exciting in tents, but it got the river level up enough on Saturday that we weren't dragging our canoe much of the trip. Everyone had fun but did so responsibly, and I got some ghost pepper beef jerky from Osceola Cheese. My sisters and I have been out there several times now, and this was by far the best.
The eclipse was yesterday, and the initial plan for keifermiller and I was to head north of town 90 or so minutes to see totality. Woke up, checked the weather, clouds and rain and general shit weather. I wasn't prepared to drive that far for such disappointment, so we decided to stay in town and see the 99.7% or so eclipse.
Clouds. We had clouds from the start of the eclipse (I did see the first few minutes through my potentially dangerous glasses) til it was over. I was pretty bummed about the whole thing, but it wasn't a total loss. At peak eclipse it got so much darker than I imagined it would, and it was still so eerie to see at 1pm. I'm not messing around in 2024.
From the KC area, I can attest to the fact that traffic here is the easiest I've ever experienced anywhere. When I visited friends in Chicago I was floored when I learned that the 20-ish mile drive from downtown to the suburb we were headed to could take at least three hours. Going from La Guardia Airport to a different part of Lawn Guyland was a nightmare, and that was midday.
Things like this make me appreciate that my daily 35 mile, ~40 minute commute one way is not anywhere as bad as it could be.
I worked at a smoothie shop for a few years, and by far my favorite was a mango green tea smoothie. I don't recall the exact ratio of ingredients, but it included thawed frozen mango, matcha powder, water, some of your sweetener of choice to your level of preference (mine is typically very low), ice if your blender can handle it, milk or yogurt if it can't.
We did also make a coffee-style smoothie, but the owners insisted on using instant coffee powder. Same thing pretty much, a little water or milk or both, sweetener if you like it, coffee (the stronger the better), and ice. A lot of folks ordered it with chocolate syrup as a mocha style.
These days I like to toss in some chia seeds or protein powder for thickener. You can even use silken tofu for some filling protein, if you're using it as a meal replacement.
The Art of the Deal.
Do what I've said for the past two years, or I'll look bad. If you don't agree, I resort to begging til you agree.
"But you cannot say that to the press. The press is going to go with that and I cannot live with that." - Donald "Fucking Tool" Trump
Today I spent a better part of my morning doing some experimenting.
First project: vegan apple banana muffins (plus bonus mini loaf because I ran out of muffin space)!
(mini loaf not pictured, it was a dumpy ugly little thing)
This went okay. I did alter the recipe somewhat. Since I didn't have soy milk handy, I substituted water and added another tsp of oil or so for the lost fats, as well as adding ~1 tbsp light corn syrup for a touch more sweetness. I also added in 3 tsp of chia seeds, which don't really add flavor but a bit extra texture and some nutrition. I didn't totally love the end result, but I didn't throw them out, either. I don't suspect I'll be making this one again.
Second today: regular old fashioned banana nut bread!
(my photography skills are not as honed as keifermiller's)
This is the very recipe I posted in the last baker's thread, except this time I made it exactly to the recipe and ho-lee shit this is the best banana bread I've ever made. I know I said last time I said I didn't miss the butter flavor in the end result, and that was true, it was still good, but this is miles ahead better than the last loaf. This will absolutely be going in my "holiday baking" cache of recipes.
It's been YEARS since I've done legitimate karaoke and not just drunkenly serenading the dog, but I always thought that Elton John's "Crocodile Rock" was a good karaoke song. It's upbeat, not very long, most people know it. and enjoy singing along during the "lalalalala"s.
This week - vegan(-ish) banana bread!
This was the recipe I started with and tweaked. Instead of butter I used vegetable shortening, and instead of an egg I used flax meal (1 tbsp meal, 2.5 tbsp water). I'd never used flax in anything before. I call it vegan-ish because of the white sugar, but I have no idea if the brand of sugar in our cabinet was refined with bone char or not.
I also added in some sliced almonds (maybe 1/2 cup or so) and a couple of handfuls of sunflower seeds for a little extra texture.
I was very happy with how this turned out. I thought for sure I would have missed the butter flavor, but not at all. The almonds and seeds give it a nice varying texture. The flax egg held the loaf together better than I expected, and I'm feeling very positive about future quick breads of this vein using that instead of eggs.