Sunday, September 30, 2012

Blog comment carnival: September 2012

Uh, how is it the last day of September already?!?!?!?! YO NO COMPRENDO, YOU GUYS. Anyway, the end of the month can only mean one thing - it's time to link up with Jessica for the blog comment carnival!!

On last month's blog comment carnival:
My favourite comment on my blog this week was from The Zadge something along the lines of "Is being a little bit Jewish like being a little bit pregnant"

Of course the answer to that is...Yes. And also like being "a little bit allergic to gluten"


I literally DLed this an hour ago to watch tonight. Coincidence? OR MINDMELD???
I love how so many times Movie Monday is what inspires my Netflix queue. I love this movie and NEED to see it again. And again. And again. On repeat like Pocket Full of Sunshine.

Geez ... Maybe they both skipped at 'checking time zone in Australia' master class.

I really really really hope you have all your flights booked with no problem. Specially for those ones when you have to change plane, I hope you have enough time to do it. On other note, awesomeness for your holidays.

Giant bitey mosquitoes!
Cut-off suit pants!
Self-inflicted groinage pain!
Steep temple stairs!
Pretty temples!


Love the Ancient History series, it kicketh ass.


A) This movie is HILAR and I find it funnier every time I watch it and

2. Normally when celebs die I'm all 'Oh, sad. Oh well.' but with MCD I am genuinely really rather sad. For more than five minutes. I may possibly have had an inappropriate crush. Just a tiny one. Why do I always find myself attracted to actors over forty? Is this something I need to investigate? Is it some kind of freudian thing that I should be worried about.

Nah, screw it. Older men be hot, yo.

I can't live alone because of the "Oh god someone's going to murder me feelings." There are a list of things that make me paranoid for no reason: Being alone at night. Showering at night. Showering in an empty house. (I've never seen Psycho, but I at least know the pretty girl gets murdered in the shower.) Also, standing in front of a mirror in the dark.

I also have a habit of reading/watching things I shouldn't before bed. Last night, I read an article about that new movie "The Possession" and how it's based on a true story. You're welcome for the nightmares.


    Also? When I'm alone in the house, I have to pee with the bathroom door open. Because if you shut the door to pee while you're alone in the house, that's when there'll be an axe murderer on the other side when you open the door again.

    A case of the crazies: I has one.
    I have a case of the crazies, too, as shown above. To add to my list of neuroses? I have to sleep with all the doors shut. Bedroom door, closet door, etc. I think it's the whole "the monsters are in the closet" thing from when you're a kid.
    Also, movies are about demon possession are not to be messed with. That shit is real.
    OH MY GOD, LEAH. We're the same person. I have the same deal with the doors having to be closed. But I also hate ANY of the cupboard doors in the house being left open. It gives me a wiggens like whoa.
This TOTALLY happened to me. I moved out at 25 and I was basically like, "Pffft. Parents. I don't need you." Then I realized I didn't know how to take care of myself and I was basically going to live in sloth forever unless I 1) hired a mid because I found an awesome, 6-figure paying job (far too lazy); B) became an escort and found a rich man to take care of me (not a bad idea, BTW. Still waiting on that) or MARMOSET) learned how to be an adult.

Now I love, love doing laundry and actually don't mind stuff like cleaning and cooking. Also, having my own place rules because I get to sleep in and don't have to ask my parents to have friends over. Not that I actually have friends. But you know.

I still run out of chocolate all the time though. It sucks.
Also, this: "When friends tell me they're getting married, my response is "I WILL SEND YOU LINKS TO *ALL* THE UGLY WEDDING DRESSES, BECAUSE LOL FOREVER"."

I cannot wait to get home and see what delights you have uncovered. Thanks ever so.
Awwww. Melting the plastic - that sounds like a kitchen mistake I would make. I'm proud.

I love manatees. So ungainly. Just like me!

I'm also a fan of pottery with monkeys on it.
A 45-min walk into the jungle?! HOLY CRAPIOLI. That sentence made my run blood cold, bahahah. You're right, that DOES sound like the start of a horror movie.

Love your exchange with the guide -- that totally would've been me, too.

Vomit Guy? Ewwwwwwwwwwwwwww!!!

Squealy Chair Jumping Dude? Bwahahahahah!

Oh God, that sunburn sounds horrendous. :-(((
So sorry you had to go through that...ugh. On the bright side, no malaria!


Basically - Zefron? Yes. I love him singing and dancing (especially in Hairspray), I love him as a 35 year old in a 17 year olds body, AND in the sappy movies. I haven't seen The Lucky One yet, but that other one about the kid ghost and stuff... yup. Loved him. And just... I love this move. You made my Monday (yet again). I love that I inspired you!!!!!! Oh! I also liked him in Me and Orsen Wells. I felt like that even though it wasn't a big hit, it was a good transitional role for him. And yay for being on Firefly. When I watched that episode I was all "OMG IS THAT WHO I THINK IT IS????" And let's not forget his boss poster in A Very Potter Musical.
I only watched this because a) Chandler is in it, 2) When he was on Conan he said that Zac Effron actually played Matthew Perry's character rather than his own and I found that intriguing, and 3) I was on a 14 hr flight to Japan. Less than 2 hrs later I was completely in love with him and the movie.

"Be aware that when jam has been in a 200 degree oven for 20 minutes, it has the approximate temperature of molten lava... I learnt the hard way. Don't be me."

That's why, when Mum & Dad did finally stop and get a bag of those hot jam donuts from one of those little caravans parked along the Princess Highway between Melbourne and Traralgon, they would always keep the bag in the front of the car and not to let us have any for at least 10 minutes.

Because when you're doing 100kmh down the Princess Highway the last thing you want is a 10 y/old kid in the back taking a huge bite out of molten lava-filled pastry. And as much as you don't want that to happen, you really, REALLY do not want to BE that kid. I learned that the hard way, too.

It's clearly a psychosomatic ailment on NP's part - driven, I've no doubt by resentment at your clear favouritism toward non-NP. NP knows the other is your favourite, so NP is determined to live down to your expectations, undoubtedly thinking the plant equivalent of "you'll be happy when I'm dead, I know that!"
All of my plants are needy plants. Oh wait, that's a lie. I'm just an awful plant mother. I'm only allowed cacti nowadays.
Dear god I have a needy plant. I don't even like plants but in expecting a child in 3 months I'm determined to make this bastard live in hopes that it will make me a good mother lol.

You are a queen -- that MS Paint image made my day. Brilliant, I tells ya!

Three hours on a bus in WET CLOTHES?! Holy shit. I'm glad you didn't get pneumonia, eeeeek!

The Mayan ruins in Tulum look beautiful, offset perfectly by that crazy-awesome turquoise sea...ahhhhhh! Tell me y'all swam!

Also, Attacking Karaoke Monkey should totally be a band name. (Or a name for SOMETHING...)

In other news, MISSED YOUUUUUU!

It's so gorgeous! The colour of the water is amazing. Plus, once you add ruins to any given situation, you automatically end up with exponential levels of awesomeness.

This sounds terrible but the day that Julie Andrews and Dame Maggie Smith leave the world, I will cry ugly tears and then eat my body weight in chocolate ice-cream. Julie Andrews is the epitome of perfection in every role she has ever been cast in. If Australia ever becomes a republic, I demand they make Julie Andrews the Queen of Australia (yes I realise the error in my statement, but lets face it, where there's a will, there's a way)

and yes, I love this movie. The more I watch that gif of her falling, the more I agree with you - they couldn't have possibly scripted it so well.
I just texted my mom to tell her to bring this movie when she comes to visit this weekend so we can watch it after I move into my new apartment. So there's that.


It's just so... so.... it's this movie! I love everything about it. AMAZEBALLS.

And that whole falling on the bleachers thing- not scripted. I can't remember where I heard that, but I remember seeing that or reading it somewhere.

And with debate as a class, it all depends on the school. Some schools have it as an elective, others you don't. Some school have it as a club too. We also had debate in our history and current events classes.



I believe the correct nerd-term for female hulk is "She-Hulk", yes, because that's how creative that decided to be...

"So Bob, what should we name Hulk's female counterpart?"
"Er, She-Hulk"

In other news, I want that screw driver. And the K9 I saw advertised on Ebay. And the 500 year diary.
I've never backed up a hard drive, ever, in over six years of having my own computers. RIDE INTO THE DANGER ZONE.

It should comfort you to know that Americans also frequently hulk out over the existence of pennies. Although, I do frequently feel bad for them. I mean, they're kind of the annoying member of the family that nobody really likes and probably feels really left out. If pennies were people, I would feel bad for them.

Wow. I actually just wrote that, didn't I?
Harry Potter world!! The only reason I really want to visit Florida lol. I propose a specified blog devoted to that visit. I may or be not be a crazy Harry Potter fan.
I'M SO EXCITED YOU'RE GOING TO BE IN THE COUNTRY!!!!!!!!!!!! Part of me feels like I need to pay Alice a visit for her birthday too... but we'll see how my money stuff works out.

Once again, I love you guys like whoa for all the awesomesauce comments you leave me. Don't forget to go and link up with Jessica if you write your own post!! 

And double don't forget that you've still got time to ask me questions, and I'll vlog the responses in my 500th post in a week or so!

K xx

Friday, September 28, 2012

Plan ALL the plans!

So. My computer seems to be better, the vast majority of my data is still here (with the exception of an assignment in which I have to build a database from scratch, which is due in two weeks, and which is worth 50% of my grade for that class. ARGH.), and I'm eternally grateful to the good folks at JB Hifi.

ANYWAY. Let's get back to regularly scheduled programming!

Before I was so rudely interrupted by the Great Computer Debacle of 2012, I was going to tell you about all the buckets of awesome that I have planned for my trip to the US in January!

Things I Have Planned For My Trip To The US In January:
1. Ice hockey in Washington, DC (provided I can convince someone to go with me).
2. A behind the scenes tour of the Library of Congress. AAAAAAAAAAAAH!!!!
3. Snow! Okay, I'm going to admit, I'm pretty freaking terrified of this part. Because I'm not a huge fan of the cold. But it'll still be awesome.
4. Meeting and hanging out with Sarah.
5. The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. And, you know, the rest of Universal Studios. But mostly Harry Potter.
6. Meeting and hanging out with Alice. Most exciting of all, I'll be there for her birthday!
7. LOR. We will have all the fun, including vlogging an episode of Buffy for Snark Squad. Because that's how we roll.
8. Meeting Gina, and planning ALL the plans.
    a) Mexipalooza - in which we eat ALL the Mexican food.
    b) Moviepalooza - in which we (hopefully) go and see Les Miserables and/or The Hobbit at the movies.  
        Failing that, we will watch Paperback Hero together. BECAUSE OF REASONS.
    c) Balloonapalooza - in which we will go hot air ballooning, and it will be awesome.
9. Buying Kat a suitcaseful of Pretzels M&Ms as a wedding present.
10. SARA!!! In case you've forgotten, Sara's my BFF/partner-in-crime from such adventures as Guatemala, Belize, and Mexico; Canberra, Tasmania, Sydney, and Central Australia; and last year's trip to New York. And she lives in England, which is faaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaar, so I never get to see her.
11. Apparently there's an Applebee's next door to our motel in Washington. I plan to eat my body weight in mozzarella sticks.

Aaaaaaaand then there's the second list...

Things That I Inevitably End Up Doing In America:
1. Hulking out over the existence of pennies.
2. Watching the news and yelling at the television.
3. Eating too many mozzarella sticks.
4. Attempting to get into the driver's seat of a car because EVERYTHING IS BACKWARDS.
5. Taking hours to pay for anything because all the money looks the same.
6. Buying a crapton of books because ZOMG SO CHEAP!!!

So there you have it. Those are the exciting things I have planned so far. And yes, I will pretty much always turn a trip to the US into an opportunity to meet blog friends. Because bloggers are made of awesome, you guys.

K xx

PS. Don't forget to ask me questions for my 500th post!!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012


So I was planning on writing today about all the awesome things that I have planned for my trip to the US in January. But then I came downstairs this morning, and somewhere between turning it off at 12.30am and turning it on at 8.30am, my computer shat itself. And yes, this IS the computer that I only got about three months ago because my OLD computer died a miserable death.

So after I turned into the Incredible Hulk (Hulkess? Hulkina??), and smashed ALL the things in frustration, I rang the place where I bought it. The guy on the other end was like "Yeah, it sounds like your hard drive is dead." AWESOME. On the plus side, the fact that it happened now means that the computer is still well and truly within its warranty period. On the downside, I have two assignments on the hard drive that I will now have to write from scratch. Because, you know, what you really want to do after putting in hours and hours of work is TO DO IT ALL AGAIN.

Anyway, my laptop is currently off with the good people at JB Hifi, who are attempting to recover the data and restore the factory settings to see if that fixes it before they jump through all the required hoops to send it off to Acer. Please keep your fingers crossed that the whole factory setting thing does the trick, because if not, it'll be a MINIMUM for 4-6 weeks before I get my laptop back, and that would suck.

What did I do to cheer myself up after dropping my computer at JB Hifi, you ask? Well, I hung out with the puppies at the pet shop for a while and wished I could take them all home, and then I went and bought this:

Because who DOESN'T need the Tenth Doctor's Sonic Screwdriver??

Off to reconstruct my academic future and sob quietly at regular intervals,
K xx

PS. The moral of today's story? Don't buy an Acer...
PPS. The second moral of today's story? BACK YO SHIT UP. Don't be me and back up your hard drive three times a year. Because being me ends in tears...

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Ask me anything

I'm going to go ahead and apologise in advance for what happens in the second half of this video.........

So yeah. Ask me pretty much anything!! And send me your questions by noon Australian Eastern Standard Time on Tuesday, October 2nd. That's 3am October 2nd Greenwich Mean Time, or 10pm Eastern time on October 1st for the US. (Sorry if you live in a state that does Central, Mountain or Pacific time - that's too many time zones for my brain to calculate right now!!)

Please help me make my 500th post vaguely interesting. Pretty please????????????

K xx

PS. Thanks to the gang over at 20SB for suggesting a bunch of different ideas when I had absolutely no clue what to do for my 500th post. I'm sorry to disappoint you all by the fact that I won't be creating a Doctor Who episode in which I play all the characters...

Monday, September 24, 2012

Movie Monday: The Princess Diaries

So I was originally planning on doing a completely different movie for today's post. And then yesterday I saw a post on Tumblr that said "Everyone knows all the words to at least two national anthems - their own and Genovia's." At first, I was all "Pffffff" (partly because that should be amended to say "Unless you live outside America, in which case you also know theirs because you can't escape it"), but then my brain was all "Genovia, Genooooooooviaaaaaaa, forever will your banner waaaaave!". And that was it - the Genovian national anthem was firmly lodged in my brain for the rest of the day, leaving only one option for Movie Monday.

There are insufficient words for how much I love this movie. It's pretty much everything that every awkward teenage girl wants to happen in life and then some.

Reasons why The Princess Diaries is awesome:
1. Anne Hathaway. This was her first movie role, and she apparently got hired because she accidentally fell off her chair in the audition. Regardless of how she got the job, she's pretty fantastic in this.
2. The big makeover scene.
3. Julie Andrews. Who else could play the Queen of a small European country like her? NO ONE, that's who. And who wouldn't want Julie Andrews to be their granny?
4. The Prime Minister and his wife.
5. Hector Elizondo. He's awesome.
6. The scene where Mia breaks a finger off a statue at the Genovian consulate.
7. The scene where Michael turns up and Mia has a pore strip on her nose.
8. Mia's house. Who wouldn't want to have their own tower, as well as being able to slide down a pole to breakfast every morning?!
9. Larry Miller as Paolo. He's probably better known for playing Kat and Bianca's dad in 10 Things I Hate About You, but he's completely and utterly hilarious in this.
10. Mia's dancing.
11. Sandra Oh as the school vice principal. If you know me at all, you'll know that Cristina Yang is always and forever my favourite character on Grey's Anatomy, so it's not really a surprise that I think Sandra Oh is brilliant here too.
12. Mia trying to cross her legs at the ankle in the royalty approved fashion and falling off her chair.
13. Mia's mum. She's pretty great as far as fictional parents go (okay, except for that whole lying to her daughter for 15 years thing...).
14. Lilly. Quite possibly the angriest best friend of ever, but she's always there when it counts.
15. Fat Louie, Mia's cat.
16. Waving lessons.
17. Throwing darts at paint filled water balloons, and having it count as art. WIN.
18. Mia's attempts at throwing and catching in PE class. Yeah, that's pretty much me a lot of the time...
19. Jeremiah. He's adorkable.
20. The entire state dinner, from accidentally setting someone on fire, to flinging food all over the room, to breaking the crystal ware. Hilarious.
21. The totally bonkers next door neighbour. Although I always laugh when Mia says "Good morning, Mr. Robutusen", because Robitussen is a brand of cough syrup...
22. Mia falling over on the bleachers. Part of me suspects that wasn't scripted...
23. Knighting people using an emergency brake.
24. The overdedicated photographer at the beach who's wearing desert fatigues and has fake grass attached to his camera, like he's hunting lions.
25. The PE teacher. She's great.
26. Mia's dress for the ball.
27. Hitting Douchey Josh in the gut with a baseball in PE.
28. One of the producers was Whitney Houston.
29. Mandy Moore as the bitchy cheerleader, Lana.
30. Okay, this one is more of a question than a thing that's awesome. American teen stuff always seems to feature debating as a class. Is that something that actually happens???? Because we always did debating as part of English...

Plus, the following quotes:
- "Well, as always, this is as good as it's gonna get."
- "Somebody sat on me again." (I think this one is why I love this movie as much as I do. Because this happens to me ALL THE FREAKING TIME.)
- "Please don't crush my soy nuts."
- "The elegant European woman didn't stay for tea. But the promise of tomorrow hung in the air."
- "Goodbye, trolley people!"
- "I've never put on pantihose, but it sounds dangerous."
- "If Brooke Shields married Groucho Marx, their child would have your eyebrows."
- "Me? A - a princess? SHUT UP!!"
- "You know you look like Shaft?"
- "This dance is between a waltz and a tango, you see?" "It's a wango??"
- "Some day, we will own Genovia again. And your face will be on a postage stamp."
- "My expectation in life is to be invisible, and I'm good at it."
- "Good morning, Ms Gupta!" "Morning Lilly! .......Lilly's friend..."
- "You wouldn't be running away, would you?" "What, dressed like this? [jeans and a hoodie] No, I'm going to a ball!"
- "Just in case I'm not enough of a freak already, LET'S ADD A TIARA!"
- "Don't forget the shoes. Strange town, San Francisco. When I purchased the pumps, they asked if I wanted them wrapped or if I wanted to wear them."
- "Cute, Jeremiah, but the way to a girl's heart is not by treating her like a vending machine."
- "Wait up, wait for me! Not you, I don't even know you."
- "Well, do you have any change?" "No! It's not appropriate for royalty to jingle."
- "Okay, I look like an asparagus."
- "Why me?" "Because you saw me when I was invisible."
- "It's Saturday night and welcome to my cable show, Shut Up and Listen."
- "Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgement that something is more important than fear. The brave may not live forever, but the cautious do not live at all."

Happy Monday, y'all. I hope a long lost relative turns up out of the blue and gives you a tiara.

K xx

Friday, September 21, 2012

Ancient History, Volume XXIX

Previously, there was a Mayan skeleton in a cave in Belize and it was awesome. Also, I saw a manatee while snorkelling.

The day after the Snorkelling of Sunburn-y-ness (which is not, as it would appear, a place in Wales), we caught a boat from Caye Caulker back to Belize City. That was a completely miserable experience, because it was INCREDIBLY windy, and every time the boat hit a wave, the spray would fly into the boat and hit us all. By the time we arrived in Belize City, I was a) cranky, b) sitting in a puddle, and c) drenched, in addition to looking like I'd wet my pants.

Of course, what you want to do when you're soaking wet and look like you've peed your pants is spend three hours on a bus heading for the Mexican border. Interestingly, you clear Belizean emigration about a 20 minute drive from the actual border. Which seemed weird to me. BUT I DIGRESS. We once again walked across the border, except that it was more like a dog leg into Mexico:

Please marvel once again at my wicked MS Paint skills...

The trip through the immigration building was...interesting, because Arizona Boy (our tour leader, in case you've forgotten) managed to piss off one of the border guards who then decided that Arizona Boy was dodgy. So it took an extra long time to get across the border. Eventually though, we were back on a bus and heading for Bacalar. Upon arrival, we were greeted with the tackiest hotel room of EVER. Our reactions went a little like this:

The bedside lights were conch shells, the bedspreads had ENORMOUS tigers printed on them, and the bathroom fixtures were made of shells and dead seahorses in resin. And the bathroom had a giant sign on the sink warning you not to put hot things on the resin because "YT MELTS". I was sure I had a photo of that sign, but apparently not. And I'm too lazy to search through all of Sara's photos on Facebook to see if she took one!!

Still, the view of the lake was totally worth it:

And we spent the afternoon sitting in the pool with guacamole and cocktails. Which would have been a slightly more pleasant experience if the pool hadn't been right next to where they were sanding down a couple of benches, meaning that there was a film of paint flakes on the surface of the water..........

The following day, we were bound for Cancun. But we were given the option of detouring via Tulum, a Mayan site right on the beach, so obviously most of us chose to break up the bus trip. The site itself wasn't particularly exciting from an archaeological perspective, but RUINS! ON THE BEACH!!

After several hours there, it was back on a bus and into Cancun. We were staying in the old part of town, rather than in the really touristy hotel sector, so it wasn't quite what any of us expected. That night, we went out for a farewell dinner (most of the group were leaving us in Cancun, and we were getting some new additions the next day). And after dinner, Arizona Boy decided to take us to this cool little bar he knew. Except that he couldn't remember exactly where it was, so we spent 20 minute wandering around the backstreets of Cancun, only to find that the bar had closed down several months earlier.

And so it came to pass that we ended up at the karaoke bar opposite our hotel. Did you know that Mexico takes its karaoke very seriously?? Neither did I. And there seemed to be some kind of obsession with slow, tacky ballads. So it didn't go down very well when one of our group decided to sing AC/DC later in the night... On the plus side, we got to cackle hysterically at the video clips, which were all batshit crazy. In one, a giant monkey was running around attacking people. Because, you know, that's totally what the song lyrics of the sappy ballad being sung were about...

Next up, Sara and I spent FAR too much money in Cancun's hotel zone, and then leave town for Chichen Itza!

K xx

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Just stop already

Avast mateys! Did ye know it be International Talk Like a Pirate Day? We're devils, we're black sheep, we're really bad eggs, drink up me hearteys, yo ho!! Be ye talkin' like a pirate??

Okay, I'm done now. I can't keep up the pirate voice like I used to. MOVING ON...

You guys, I want you to meet the most infuriating member of my household. This?

Is Needy Plant, quite possibly the saddest looking house plant on the planet. And Needy Plant is also the bane of my existence.

Yeah, yeah, I know. First world problems and all that. But you guys? Needy Plant is SO FREAKING NEEDY. I watered him LESS THAN 48 HOURS before I took that photo. He's a bleeding Spathiphyllum!! They usually only need watering once a week at most. But Needy Plant? Nope. Every day and a half, his leaves start to droop and within 48 hours of watering, Needy Plant looks like he's on his last legs.

Yes, I anthropomorphised a houseplant. Deal with it.

In contrast, here's Needy Plant's next door neighbour.

Also a Spathiphyllum. Watered at the exact same time. Needy Plant has had TWO subsequent waterings, and this guy is still sitting there all "Water? Nope, I'm fine. Don't mind me, I'll just sit here converting carbon dioxide into oxygen. It's all good!!"

Incidentally, the only way to get Needy Plant to NOT require attention every 48 hours is to put him in the shower, and effectively make it rain for 20 minutes. At which point Needy Plant will go for about 72 HOURS before starting to get needy again. BUT the shower drain becomes clogged with dirt and plant matter, so it's not really a win overall.

And Needy Plant lives on the stairs, which means that I walk past Needy Plant about ten times a day, but never when I have a water carrying device with me. So I live in a constant state of "Uuuuugh, I should go downstairs and get the watering can to deal with Needy Plant. BUT I JUST GOT UP HERE. I'll use this empty drink bottle/bowl/Tupperware container instead." Turns out? It's kind of hard to carry a bowl of water half way down a flight of (carpeted) stairs and then tip it into a plant without spilling any.

The morals of this story?
1. Needy Plant is needy, yo.
2. I'm REALLY lazy.
3. I probably shouldn't write entire blog posts about anthropomorphised house plants...

Does your house have a Needy Plant? If so, I feel like there should be a support group or something. Alternatively, are you a plant whisperer and can you offer advice on how to deal with the whole Needy Plant situation??

K xx

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Challenge recipe 21: Cream cheese and cherry danishes

Now that my parents are overseas and I don't have to make sure everything is gluten free so that my mum doesn't feel left out, I thought it was about time to cross something else off the cookbook challenge list! This is quite possibly the easiest recipe I've made so far - it literally took about 5 minutes to make and 20 minutes to cook.

Here's the book:

And here's what you'll need:
Pretty simple, huh? Technically, the recipe calls for cherry jam. But the best my crappy supermarket could deliver was plum, raspberry and cherry. Same same but different, I guess?!

Start by cutting a piece of puff pastry into four. The recipe just said puff pastry, but I used butter puff pastry because a) puff pastry only came in packs of ten, and I didn't want ten sheets of puff pastry, and b) it made more sense in my head, seeing as it was a dessert recipe.

Place a tablespoon of cream cheese in the middle of each piece of pastry.

Add a tablespoon of jam to the top of the cream cheese. Obviously, this worked brilliantly and the jam didn't at all fall off the cream cheese and ooze across the pastry...

Pull the four corners of the pastry together, and twist. The one on the left at the front (which is conveniently out of focus) is probably the best example to try and copy.

Bake at 200 degrees C for about 20 minutes.

Dust with icing sugar, and serve hot (or, according to the recipe, cold with coffee. But I don't drink coffee, so I didn't test that out).

Be aware that when jam has been in a 200 degree oven for 20 minutes, it has the approximate temperature as molten lava... I learnt the hard way. Don't be me.

The verdict? They're pretty freaking good. Especially for something that takes a whopping five minutes to prepare. But it did end up that one half was cream cheese and the other half was jam, so I think the next time I make them, I'll mix 4 tablespoons of jam with 4 tablespoons of cream cheese, and then put two tablespoons of mixture onto each piece of pastry. I might also try it with different types of jam to see which I like best. The plum, raspberry and cherry combo was nice, but tooth-achingly sweet.

So there you have it. Insanely easy, kind of impressive if you have a friend coming over for coffee ("Would you like a danish? I made them myself!"), and pretty damned tasty.

K xx

Monday, September 17, 2012

Movie Monday: 17 Again

Sometime last week, Emily mentioned on Twitter that she loved babysitting, because it gave her an excuse to watch High School Musical 3, and YAY ZEFRON!! Now, in my mind, there's only one movie that springs to mind when I think of Zefron: 17 Again. I love the CRAP out of this movie - sure, it's super cheesy and pretty predictable. But it's also hilarious, and it's almost a transitional movie for Zefron - a shift away from the singing and dancing he'd done in the past.

Fun fact of the day? Zefron's first film role was playing Mini Simon Tan in Firefly!! See??

ANYWAY... Back to the point.

Reasons why 17 Again is awesome:
1. Zefron as 17 year old Mike. He's absolutely hilarious in this, playing a 35 year old father of two trapped in the body of his teenage self.
2. The epic fight - complete with light sabres - that happens between Mike and his best friend, Ned, when Ned sees 17 year old Mike for the first time.

3. Matthew Perry as 35 year old Mike. He's obviously miserable with the way his life has gone, but you still get all those fantastic moments and facial expressions that you only get from Matthew Perry.
4. 1989 Mike dancing with the cheerleaders. HILARIOUS.
5. Thomas Lennon as Ned. Holy Hell, this guy steals the show every time he's on screen. He's brilliant.
6. The ridiculous Ed Hardy outfit.
7. Michelle Trachtenberg. No matter what she's in, I can't think of her as anything but Dawn Summers. Still, she does a great surly teenager in this.
8. Peacocking.
9. The scene where Mike's son Alex has been taped to the toilet by bullies.
10. Mike's douchey boss.
11. Drunk Scarlett poking 17 year old Mike's face.
12. A gift-wrapped school bus.
13. The brilliant scene in the cafeteria, complete with Zefron's obligatory basketball spinning.
14. Alex accidentally catching his pants on fire at the bowling alley.
15. Scarlett's awkward attempts at dancing in front of the mirror.
16. Ned testing the wine when he finally convinces the principal to go out with him.

17. The awkward sex ed class.
18. 17 year old Mike attempting to give his daughter's friends a pep talk about self respect.
19. The 'letter' Mike reads out in court. It's kind of adorable.
20. Conversations in Elvish.
21. Scarlett's bitchy best friend, Naomi.
22. Ned playing five different computer games on five different screens at the same time, all while blaring 'Danger Zone'.

Plus, the following quotes:
- "You look like a douche." "I do NOT look like a douche!" "What a douche..."
- "Well of COURSE I want to live in the past. It was better there..."
- "I think our hands just made a baby."
- "Are you now or have you ever been a Norse god, vampire, or time-travelling cyborg?"
- "Think of it as us saying 'You're just too valuable to promote'."
- "Come on, man! Don't you ever wanna go back and do high school again?" "No. I'm rich and no one stuck my head in a toilet today!"
- "Hi Mike." "Naomi." "NAI-omi." "I don't care."
- "I'd shake your hand, but it's taped to my ass."
- "What are you eating?!" "I don't even know. I just that I'm hungry. ALL the time."
- "Well, that was fun. I haven't been to Happy Hour in like...a week and a half."
- "Peacocking? Really? You think that's going to work??"
- "Do you dance with ALL your friends' moms??"
- "You can plunder my dungeon any time." "I'll bring my longbow."
- "Okay, that's not safe OR sanitary. That's your can now. We'll label it like that."
- "You! Are a weirdo little man child."
- "To the Ned Mobile!" "Ned. Wait... Pants."
- "Hey, Mom. This is Mark, Uncle Ned's bastard." "Wow............" "I know, someone had a kid with Uncle Ned..."
- "But Jane, how can you be seen with me when I'm wearing...a cloak of invisibility?"
- "Carnations? What a douche!" "Mark!" "That's okay, I'm a single dad. It's totally normal for sons to feel weird with their mom's date. Stepping into their dad's shoes, protecting their castle." "He's not my son." "Oh. Then that's weird."
- "Wow. This is some other dad's problem..."
- "We HAVE to go shopping. Your shirt is bedazzled." "Bedazzled with RHINESTONES!!"
- "Okay, you wait here. I'm going to go smell him." "No, no, no. Sweetie, you're not allowed to smell teenagers."
- "You're the man. Captain of the basketball team, dates the pretty girls, high school is your kingdom. But people, Stan is a bully! Why? It'd be WAY too easy to say Stan preys on the weak simply because he's a dick. No, no. Stan here is much more complex than that. See, according to leading psychiatrists, Stan is a bully for one of three reasons. One: underneath all that male bravado, there's an insecure little girl banging on the closet door trying to get out. Two: like a caveman, Stan's brain is underdeveloped. Therefore, Stan is unable to use self control. And so he acts out aggressively. And the third reason: Stan has a small wiener. Don't hurt yourself, big boy."

So. Thoughts? Also, do you prefer singing and dancing Zefron? Or serious mopey chick flick Zefron?? Because I have yet to see him in any of the latter, and I don't know if I can bring myself to do so...

K xx

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Ancient History, Volume XXVIII

Previously, I visited the Mayan city of Tikal and was generally in archaeology nerd heaven. Also, there were really enormous mosquitoes. Also, I walked across the border into Belize, because apparently that's TOTALLY normal.

The day after arriving in Belize, we boarded a minibus and drove an hour and a half along crappy dirt roads to the start of a walking track in the middle of nowhere. From there, it was a 45 minute walk into the jungle. If you're thinking that this sounds like the start of a horror movie, you'd be right. Except that we were paying for the privilege!

Eventually, we arrived at our destination:

The Actun Tunichil Muknal cave system. To enter the caves, you clamber down a bunch of rocks, wade into the middle of a river, down a slope, and then swim across that pond to the entrance before clambering up the other side and into the cave system. Once in the cave, the water level varied DRAMATICALLY. A lot of the time, it was ankle or knee deep. But on occasions, it would suddenly be chest deep with very little warning. After about an hour or so (which included stops to look at interesting formations and hear about the Mayan history of the cave), we reached a big pinnacle in the middle of the river.

Guide: Okay, you're going to climb up this.
Me: WTF? That thing's like 4 metres high!
Guide: It's not that hard. Just put your foot here to start.
Me: But...there's no ropes or anything! What if I fall?? The water's only ankle deep....... O.o
Guide: Just get up the damned thing, will you?

Oh, and once at the top of the pinnacle thing? You had to step across empty space to get into the dry part of the caves. Sure, it was only like 30cms, but STILL. But it was totally worth it once we got there. Because LOOK:

Mayan pottery. And a guide's hand... That pot at the front is one of only four
of its kind ever found. It has a monkey on it. 

Eventually, we reached a ladder that disappeared up into the darkness. Climbing that was an...interesting...experience, because the rockface it was leaning against wasn't straight, so every step you took made ominous noises.

And at the top? The Crystal Princess.

Over the centuries, her bones have basically been turned into a cave formation, and so they sparkle in the light.

I'd also like to point out that we did this entire exercise with helmets and head lamps and ladders and those enormous million candle strength torches that Mulder and Scully carry in the early seasons of The X-Files. The Mayans got up there with nothing but fire on a stick. Can you imagine how terrifying it would be knowing that if you dropped your bit of fire on a stick, it would be instantly pitch black and you'd be totally screwed???? O.o

The next day, we were up bright and early to catch chicken buses to Belize City. Chicken buses are...not even remotely an enjoyable experience. They're retired American school buses, and as such are NOT designed for people over five feet tall. Four years later, my knees STILL haven't recovered... The highlight of the chicken bus to Belize City was a man who vomited all over the floor, tried to cover the evidence by smearing it around with his foot, and then got off the bus at the next stop. And because he did so almost silently, the only people who noticed were me and the man next to him.

We had a whopping half hour to kill in Belize City before getting on a boat to Caye Caulker. The boat ride was dull and Caye Caulker was...disgustingly hot. Many ice creams and cold drinks were consumed, and we had the pleasure(?) of discovering that one of the guys on our trip was terrified of crabs when a rather large one wandered into the bar we were in, and he squealed like a girl and jumped up on his chair, refusing to come down again until the crab was gone.
Okay, fine. The Macra are pretty creepy. But crabs aren't Macra sized! Source

The next day, we headed out on a yacht for a day of snorkelling. The first stop was the Coral Gardens, where I discovered that we were expected to jump off the boat into the water. This was oddly terrifying and it took me a million attempts to get into the water. Shortly after I eventually DID jump off the boat, the captain yelled out that there was a manatee next to the boat.

What I expected:

What I saw:
Please marvel at my wicked MS Paint skills

So yeah. The manatee was a millionty miles away, and was just a fuzzy grey blob. The second snorkelling spot was Shark and Ray Alley, which pretty much lived up to its name. And finally, we finished up with a trip to Hol Chan Cut, which was a little freaky because the water we had to jump off the boat into was only about six feet deep... O.o But we got to swim with sea turtles - AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!!!!! So. Much. Awesome.

Sadly, as a result of my anti-malarial tablets, I had the misfortune to come out of the day of snorkelling with a case of sunburn on my back so epic that I still had tan lines six months later. This resulted in much pain and the need to sleep on my stomach for about four days... O.o

Up next, more ruins, and CANCUN!!

K xx
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