Daily Archives: May 2, 2008


Brief review of the new R.E.M. album:

Very worth listening to at loud volumes. Especially when one is cranky.

Or, alternately:

If you like R.E.M., especially their older stuff, you will very likely enjoy this. I certainly am.

Beltane Bake Day AKA Beltane Bakefest 2008!

For Beltane Bake Day 2008, I chose to bake challah.

It felt slightly heretical making whole wheat challah, but making bread with only white flour feels wrong now.

1/2 cup milk
2 eggs
1 egg yolk
3 tablespoons butter
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup white flour
1/4 cup honey
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons active dry yeast

1 egg white
1 tablespoon milk

I put the first set of ingredients in the bread machine on the dough cycle (the mixing, kneading, and first rise) then removed it when the cycle was over. I divided it into three, rolled each section into a rope, and braided it. I put it on the baking sheet, covered it, let it rise for half an hour, brushed it with the egg white/milk mixture, and baked it for 30 minutes at 350 degrees F. When it came out I brushed it with butter too. (Obviously you could do this traditionally as well, proofing the yeast and mixing everything by hand.) I might use a bit more yeast next time.

This was dinner for me. Two huge slabs of it, dripping with butter. It was also breakfast, and will probably be lunch. A thick slice heats up nicely in the microwave at nineish seconds.

I’ve really been enjoying everyone’s pictures and posts about their baking! Haven’t baked yet? You have till Saturday at midnight. No idea what I’m talking about? Check out the original post!

Friday Photos and The State Of The Me

I have had a really horrendously bad past couple of days. There have been good parts, but my patience has been fraying. Much of it has to do with people being oblivious to others around them, or downright stupid. Much of it happens in the car: people don’t understand how to turn into the proper lane at an intersection, what yield means, how to take turns merging, that parking a vehicle in the middle of a street blocks traffic, or what a full stop means. (I had to deal with three separate incidents today alone of people coasting through stop signs and yelling at me when I pulled away from my stop sign. I’m sorry, I was expecting you to, you know, stop.) Phone calls to wrong numbers, and people ringing my doorbell (for me or the wrong address) when I’m trying to get myself into a better headspace or to get things done. All the idiocy on top of the miserableness I’ve been feeling is wearing me down, so things like going to the store today to pick up a DVD to send out as a gift and finding it out of stock garners a much more emotional response than it ought to. The plans to burn mix CDs for people today has also obviously been shot. So what I’m fighting moves closer and closer to rage, which is really not what I want to be feeling, thanks.

As if things aren’t bad enough, it looks like my desktop computer is now officially dead. And of course today was the day I had scheduled backing up the new files I’d added in the past three weeks. Can I afford the new computer right now? No. I’m using the laptop out of necessity and I feel cramped. At least having ninety percent of my music on the external hard drive means I can plug it into the laptop and listen. If I get tired of the tinny sound I can plug the speakers into it as well.

I did have a fabulous rehearsal on Wednesday night. I tried a new bow hold (thank you Christopher Bunting) and it automatically forced me to hold the right arm in that more balletic curve I’d been trying for to affect how I draw the bow. We got the new music for the My Fair Lady and Sound of Music medleys, and after really working the overture and playing through the delightful (and not really Mozart’s) Symphony no. 3, we did most of the SoM and had a blast. I’ve been reading through Position Pieces for Cello by Rick Mooney as well, and the geography quizzes are brilliant. If your second finger is on D on the A string, what note would your fourth finger play? The first? What would the fourth finger play on the D string if you crossed to it? It may be obvious, but it’s just what I need to help positions sink in. I should have bought both volumes.

Liam and I went out to Greene Avenue in Westmount to shop for a birthday gift for a friend of his yesterday and had a lovely time, except for the bits where he wanted to be carried and I couldn’t do it which resulted in whining or crying, but we got past it all. We had custody of the baby squirrels yesterday as well, to allow Scarlet the opportunity to finish her paper (and yay to Scarlet for finishing it!), and he was a tremendous help, holding the white one on his lap after I’d fed her so that I could feed the grey one, then letting both of them curl up in his lap to doze while I refilled their hot water bottle and cleaned out the cage. Both HRH and I feel this is a wonderful experience for him, teaching him about the delicacy of baby animals as well as responsibility and cause and effect. It’s also a valuable opportunity to teach him the difference between wild animals and domestic ones.

It is Friday, so here are your photos. There are others up on the Flickr photostream.