Archive for the 'life' Category

29
Jun
13

Wrongness

I think I’m lonely.
Humans are biologically wired to be social, and the capital punishment is not death, it’s exile. Admitting that you’re lonely means admitting there’s something fundamentally wrong with you, I think. You do something wrong, you are something wrong. That’s the song my insides have been singing to for as long as I can remember. I’m tired of feeling wrong.

30
Dec
12

Artery Artillery

So, I downloaded a new app (Noom) to try out this healthy lifestyle thing, and to possibly lose a bit of weight, like. I walked about for like three hours doing mostly grocery shopping, and I gained like a ga-zillion steps on the pedometer that comes with the app. And when I got home, I had a totally healthy salad for late lunch/early dinner today, which I couldn’t even finish. And I almost kind of enjoyed it. Sooooo I figured I was up for some gratification.

Coffee-chocolate cake and white chocolate-coffee muffins

My arteries aren’t going to know what hit them.

I barely survived making those, I’m not sure I can actually eat any of that. So… If you’re working tomorrow, and you’re working where I’m working, you’re in for a treat.

Chocolate. Sugar. Butter. Coffee.

I’m not quite sure what I did! With the cake, I was going roughly the same way as with the Sinfest cake from before, except I used gluten-free flour, and the topping is just melted chocolate, margarine and loads and loads of powdered sugar. By the time I was hanging out with the muffins, I was pretty much just throwing stuff in. Main ingredients were melted butter and coffee. I added white chocolate chips to the individual muffins, but they simply melted and turned the insides into delicious goo. Clearly, the recipe still needs some tweaking…

The topping is simply powdered sugar, water, red food colour and essence of lemon. Yum! I almost served the muffins raw, but it turns out the white chocolate chips were the reason the insides never hardened properly. Somehow, with added oven time, the whole muffins ended up tasting like lemon, and the topping also tasted like coffee. It was weird, but in a pleasant way. Lemon Surprise! Next time, possibly I’ll have a go without the white chocolate.

I think I’ll have that heart attack now.

Bonus! Check out the cake goodness from our housewarming party:

nyyttarit

I can only take credit from the bunny cake and the cat cake (the Significant Otter’s and my birthday cakes, respectively), Senja and Tommi made that beyond-awesome octopus cake with licorice boat victims.

06
Oct
12

Half-shelf-life and other furniture pimps

I finally got around to painting the rest of the kitchen furniture (I started with the dining table several months ago). I hate the birchwood coloured furniture that’s so Scandinavian, and the remaining three chairs continued to be an eyesore for me. Not to mention the shelf with paint stains and poorly finished sawing where I’d divided it in two! I don’t have a before-picture of the chairs, so you’ll just have to trust me when I say that there’s a definite improvement with a price of a can of shiny black furniture paint.

First up were the two chairs the Significant Otter brought in: they got a layer of paint and that’s it (for now). Next, my eye fell on the third seat… It served its purpose as an emergency chair for my studio, but now it was just completely out of place and out of style. I hated the steel legs for being completely out of sync with the homey feel of the rest of the kitchen, so after I spray painted the plywood to match everything else, I dug into my scrap fabric heap and came up with some cheap Indian cotton strips. I lathered the legs with glue, pasted the fabric on and completed the deed by wrapping some deep blue thread to make sure it stays put.

Classic Scandinavian birch into… something a little less classic.

A definite improvement, but perhaps something still needs to be done to the garbage heap in the corner.

 

The worst thing in the kitchen (and for once, the Significant Otter agreed) was the half shelf with paint stains that was just sitting in the corner and acting as a kind of a junk station. A lick of paint, some crafty times with a cardboard box, a knife, a piece of dumpster dived shelf-back panel spray painted black and cut to size; a little glue, a few screws and an extra Ikea shelf piece later… Well, it’s still not pretty, but at least it doesn’t actively try to attack my sensibilities!

The bottom part needs a back panel, and some storage box type of things still needed for the middle shelf, but at least the garbage is out of sight and the paint matches everything else!

 

The best thing is that, apart from the paints, the project cost next to nothing. I love getting my hands dirty, and there’s that special feeling that goes with DIY… a satisfactory redesign and/or repurposing is good both for my conscience and for my account balance – not to mention that sweet glow when someone compliments on your work*. And finally, what happened to the other half of my formerly-studio-shelf? It ended up in the bedroom with a simple dark wood stain treatment:

Needless to say, the photo albums on the shelf match the bedroom deco, too.

*Of course, I can always find room for improvement.

28
Aug
12

Here Be Serpents

“Wanna play Hide n’ Seek, mummy?”

Ayyyyy~! Let it be known that the Significant Otter left the terrarium door open after “having a chat” with my corn snake Fafnir — whom he refuses to touch (or to watch him eat!) — and the snake is now at large. We’ve turned the flat upside down trying to locate the slippery little sucker (I learned that wonderful phrase from Pretty Woman), but to no avail. Here’s to hoping he’s actually inside the flat somewhere and not — for instance — haunting the drainage in the apartment complex. I’ve left a note in the hallway to notify the neighbours, and I’m sure that will go down well!

I did mention he’s not poisonous and doesn’t bite.

We have a little bit short of 70 square metres (and I don’t know how many cubic metres!) of double sided bookshelves, DVD storage, open cupboards and wardrobes, all manner of boxes, bags, piles of junk (this part being my studio) for a slithery thing to hide in, so we can pretty much just hope he turns up when he’s hungry. I found poo on the floor (which notified me of his escapade in the first place) so at least I know there’s an empty tummy out there somewhere!

UPDATE!

The Serpent Has Been Found! He was hiding in the only place we did not turn upside down: the plastic bag on one of the low shelves in the kitchen known as the “recycling station”. The Significant Otter thinks he was after the cream. I think he’s got a penchant for alcohol. Fafnir seemed totally content to hang around in the garbage bag — I had to empty the whole thing before I got him out.

“Five more minutes ma!!”

 

“Puny humans! Your silly cages of glass and steel won’t contain me forever!!1!”

18
Aug
12

Bed of Fails

So, we’ve been meaning to buy a new bed since the last catastrophe, or to build one. This week we finally got around to it: I was confident that I would have no problem whatsoever building a raised bed-like thing for our nice recycled-cotton mattress. So we rented a van, bought some timber and lo – this morning I build a bed. Thing. (We also went shopping for things like shelving, carpets and various home-related stuffs. I caved in and opted for shelves from IKEA. Yes, you may punch me in the eye now.)

The problem is, I overestimated the hardness of the mattress and what I ended up with instead is a bed with slalom jumps installed. OH THE FAILS!

The gaps between slats are too wide, and instead of a nice ergonomic bed we have a very special kind of a torture device.

Timber doesn’t cost all that much, and there’s a place not four kilometres away from us… But we have no car, and renting one just to get five pieces of wood is hardly cost effective. I feel like such an idiot. But live and learn… Now, to put together the new shelf for my studio.

22
Jul
12

Housework

Lately, the Significant Otter has been bringing up the fact that we’re paying too much rent, and after a year or so we should look for something cheaper. It’s usually dressed in the form of “don’t buy stuff”. Well! Instead of buying new shelves to house my DVDs (our combined shelves were only enough for both our books and his DVD collection), I’ve spent the last couple of days rearranging the living room furniture so all bookshelves (the Ikea Expedit kind) can be accessed on both sides…. Ergo, more storage space! I’ve successfully managed to arrange all books and all DVDs and all…most all comics on the existing shelving. Phew! Unfortunately, that still leaves my studio (the junk room) short of shelving… I’m looking at the possibility of building my own vs. buying shitty cheap stuff from Ikea. I may yet end up breaking my oath never to buy any furniture from them again!

Pay no heed to the crappy paintwork. I was feeling lazy. (I’ll probably fix it later.)

This weekend has seen a magazine rack for the bathroom (above), made of a piece of cot we found in the garbage (this is just 1/4 of it. one half i in use at the balcony as a drying frame, and the remaining 1/4 is probably going into my studio for more storage, if not as a towel rack for the bedroom door…). Last week, I took a sanding machine to my old kitchen table (it already had a long life as a kitchen table, drawing desk and a balcony table at my friend’s house before making it to my kitchen about seven years ago). I painted it with “semi-shiny” black furniture paint, using just one layer so the wood grain is still visible.

Next project: The chairs.

As for the colour-themed crisis I previously blogged about: the Significant Otter took the pics down, and we talked about it, and I apologised, and he still puts up with me, and I promised to cook a dinner for him for Saturday. I wanted to try this thing (source unknown) that’s been making rounds in Facebook lately:

Top: Inspiration from an unknown origin. Bottom: My version.

My theory is that the pan has to be really hot so when the egg hits the pan, it congeals immediately and doesn’t spread all over the pan. The peppers aren’t heavy enough to contain runny egg (as a lot of people trying this have learned)! I’m allergic to raw egg, so I cheated by making scrambled eggs first — with a bit of milk added to parsley-garlic-black pepper-salt-oregano eggs. When the scrambled egg seemed thick enough to stay still, I poured them in the paprika molds. I also used the oven grill on some thick slices of pork, and we had some nachos with cheese on the side. Kitchen Experimental result: dry. Some creme fraiche and salsa might have worked wonders.

19
Jul
12

Telepathic scolding

I forgot to mention in my bout of self-loathing the funny part of this morning’s peeve. I wrote a little note to the Significant Otter and left it at the kitchen table, explaining nicely (I hope) that I was cross with the pictures he’d put up. Before I left for work, he woke up and told me he had a dream where I’d told him to sit down at the kitchen table because we needed to talk about something and he didn’t know what he’d done wrong! Poor Otter.




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