31.1.12

Ger-gles (not my best hybrid but there you go)


My father-in-law is awesome. So is my mother-in-law but today, it's all about Ger.


He's amazing. So amazing, in fact that he did an unbelievably amazing thing for us.


An UNBELIEVABLY AMAZING THING.


And when you do an UNBELIEVABLY AMAZING THING for us, I like to send edible thank-you presents. Sure, cards are nice but who doesn't love a tasty home-made treat?  


So, after some deliberation (asking The Remix) I decided on bagels. Since my F-I-L's name is Ger, they've been dubbed Ger-gles. Again I'm aware it's not the best hybrid.


I've done some bagel posts before, so click here for the ingredient list and first few steps. After the dough's rested for 10 minutes, come back here for the rest.


 So this is where you should be. The dough's rested for 10 minutes and you've rolled it out to a big log. Oh, and make sure that your cutting board's upside down. That's the real trick (not really). 



 I decided to make 10 this time. They're a little bigger and therefore, representative of my level of gratitude. Mark off how ever many you choose to make and then cut.




 First up, chocolate chip Ger-gles. I used the teeny tiny chips because they're easier to incorporate into the dough. Roll out the cut up piece from the log and then flatten it. Press the chips into the dough with your knuckles.




Pinch the tops closed and then roll between your hands until smooth.




Roll into a "G" because, after all, these are Ger-gles.




Same goes here for the cinnamon strudel. Sprinkle flattened dough with cinnamon and sugar, pinch the ends and roll into a "G."




The cinnamon made it a little tricky so I used just a bit of water on my finger to seal the letter.




Back to the usual. Boil each side of the Ger-gels in honey water for 45 seconds. 




Let them dry on a kitchen towel and then put them on a lined baking sheet. 




20 minutes later at 400 (with one turn) later....delicious Ger-gels.




With extra gratitude.





30.1.12

Stood Up but Still Standing (albeit slightly hatefully)





For the first time in my ENTIRE life, I got stood up. Strange, you may think, mostly because I'm married but I'm not talking about getting stood up on a date.


A few weeks ago, Heather and Katie decided to host a book swap. Being an avid reader, I was psyched! I just adore linking up for Book Club Fridays so I signed up.



Things were going well at first. My partner and I exchanged a few emails. Granted, I might have come off a bit strong with my EXTREME LEVEL OF EXCITEMENT but she didn't seem to mind. Our exchanges were brief but informative. 


But then she wrote:


"I'm going to be really busy these next few weeks."


Hmm....


Now, we'd decided to exchange ebooks so I didn't quite understand how that would contradict her busy schedule but I let it ride. I mean, how long does it take to gift someone a book? Surely she could carve out the three minutes at some point. Little did I know the level of foreshadowing in her small statement.


Moving on.


She said that she read a lot so I suggested that we make a list of potential titles for each other because it would suck if we gave each other a book we'd already read. A good idea, too, considering she'd already read my first suggestion. In fact, she even complimented me on "nailing" her tastes. 


She said that she'd think about options for me over the weekend and then write back.


A week went by and nothing happened.


The "reminder email" was sent out...and still nothing.


So, I sent another email and....


you guessed it...


nothing. 


And now it's the day that we're supposed to share what our partners gave us and I have nothing to share!



*cries*



*flails*


So even though my partner totally flaked out on me, I decided to share the book that I'd settled on getting her. That way, if there's a linkup again maybe someone will actually want to swap books with me. 


I pick good books, people. I really do!


Just look!


*points*


Getting Dumped


Description from Amazon (you know, because I haven't read it)

Getting Dumped is an "Active Fiction" title, a new type of e-book from Coliloquy. In this Active Fiction series, your input influences future books from this author. Specifically, in Getting Dumped, your choices influence what happens to JJ Shultz. Losing a cushy marketing job only to end up driving heavy equipment at the landfill would be a tough blow for most women, but JJ Schultz isn't most women. JJ gamely swaps office politics for a chance to crush garbage. The drama kicks into high gear when JJ and her sister, Lori, uncover a counterfeit handbag ring. JJ soon finds herself unraveling a sinister plot in the company of a tie-tugging accountant, a straight-to-video action hero/secretary, a suspicious but sneaky-hot engineer, and a host of other characters with questionable hygiene and morals. The author still isn't sure who JJ should end up with, so she's eager to see who her readers prefer. She sees the aggregate statistics on who gets picked the most, so the more you read, the more you influence what she writes. Please note: Getting Dumped contains content that may be inappropriate for children.



So, I ask you - how good of a partner would I have been?! This is cutting edge women's fiction, people. CUTTING EDGE! Plus, there's adult content, which means it's steamy! STEAMY CUTTING EDGE FICTION! Not only is Tawna Fenske freaking hysterical but now she's literally bringing you INSIDE the story! 



Ah. Mazing.



So that's my story about how I didn't get to give this amazing book to my partner and how I didn't get squat from her.



Now I'm sorry but you must excuse me. I have to go nurse my wounded ego.






27.1.12

The Nail Files IV


This week, on The Nail Files...


The Nail Files



Last week, a friend of mine found this on Pinterest. 

Pinned Image


Being a writer, I fell in love instantly. The directions seemed easy enough: polish nails, dip in vodka, press on newspaper, cover in clear top coat. 


I can do that, right?


Wrong.


Oh, so wrong.


After redoing them MULTIPLE times, this is the best I could do.


*grimaces*




They're smudgy. Oh so smudgy! BOOOO!!!


The newsprint was really finicky to work with. If you don't press REALLY hard then you don't get much ink. If you press TOO hard, it smudges. You know, because your nails are wet with vodka. It was pretty much the most frustrating couple of hours ever. Maybe it'd be easier with some help but, frankly, even when I did get a clean transfer, the clear topcoat smudged it anyway.


Grrr...


Has anyone else tried this? Is there a trick I'm missing or something? I'd love to actually have this work out!



Book Club Friday: MWF Seeking BFF



Yay! The week's over!!


That means it's time for Book Club Friday!!



This week, I'm reviewing this little gem...


*blows horn*



I'm not gonna lie, book clubbers, this book is hilarious. Even more so because it's non-fiction. Actually, it's so funny because it's non-fiction. This stuff really happened!


What stuff, you ask?


Well the author, Rachel Bertsche, is new to Chicago after moving from NYC with her husband. They have some friends (his) but Rachel misses her BFFs. Naturally, her solution to this problem is to go on 52 friend-dates in a year. Any woman who suddenly finds herself without her gaggle of gals would be able to sympathize with Rachel. It's never easy trying to make a new social circle, especially when you're in your thirties. Rachel dives in head-first though, and I felt a surge of pride every time she stepped outside her comfort zone to make a connection with someone. 


After the first few pages, I couldn't put it down.


Less than a day later, I was finished. Yeah, it was that good. 


Rachel's biggest problem was figuring out where to start. Where do you find 52 female strangers? How do you even ask a girl out on a friend-date? To answer these questions, Rachel references a few experts. She seamlessly sews various friendship tactics into her prose so you never feel like you're reading a research paper, which this basically is...only longer...and funnier.

After exhausting her tiny social circle, Rachel still has a lot of dates to fill. After all, she doesn't really know a lot of people in Chicago. Being a blogger, Rachel eventually gets some attention from a local Chicago paper who prints an article about what she's doing. The next day, her email box is flooded with interested ladies. Then she expands to asking out clerks from her favourite stores, waitresses at restaurants, women she meets at Starbucks - you name it, she tries it. It was as admirable as it was amusing. I think, by the end, she'd taken 5 different classes (cooking, improv, etc) and met over 100 new people. In only a year, that's quite impressive. She really did give it her all. Watching her confidence grow was heartwarming. 


As it is in the dating world, the majority of Rachel's friend-dates are duds. Nothing really awful happens but often there just isn't a connection. Her descriptions of the dates, though, is what makes this book so great. 


With snippets like: 


"Kari told me about RentAFriend in May after she saw it on a local news segment. In June my aunt emailed me an article about the service. A month later a blog reader sent the link my way. Sure it may be a prostitution ring, but who better to give it a test drive, they said. I can handle shady and inappropriate advances if need be. I'm tough." 


and


"Our week in Croatia is romantic, blissful, and magical, except for when it is hostile, frustrating and bitter." - in reference to a trip Rachel took with her husband. She also once mistook him for a "Mexican hobo rapist" while on another vacation so it's a wonder they're still together. Ha!


I was practically choking on my laughter. 


She also describes a man's voice as: "Sort of like Six in Blossom or the Micro Machines guy."


*dies*


Four paragraphs in, I couldn't figure out why it was hard for her to make friends. By the end, I was wondering just how long it'd take to convince The Remix to move to Chicago. 


Why? 



Because I want to be Rachel's friend! 



Me, Rachel! Pick ME!


I literally made 5 pages of annotations on my Kobo while reading because there were so many funny sections. Her anecdotes brought tears to my eyes and I cheered for her the whole way through. 



So, basically...what I'm saying is...



BUY THIS BOOK



BUY THIS BOOK RIGHT NOW AND READ IT



That is all.





26.1.12

Over Exposed Co-Worker


I've been taking a bit of a writing hiatus the last week to let my latest MS grow a thick coating of inspirational mould before I start revising. As such, I've been catching up on things.


Reading,


Blogging,


Cleaning (haha, not really).


Yesterday, I was watching some PVR'd shows and after fiddling in the kitchen for too long, came back to see that the recorded show was over. The channel it flicked to was playing a show called Plastic Makes Perfect, A Canadian show about plastic surgery with comedians who talk about plastic surgery. There are also social "experiments" meant to illustrate how much easier it is to be physically attractive. A strange combo, but whatever.


One of the "experiments" was putting a pretty lady in the St. Lawrence Market to give away cookies - next to a sign that said "Sample My Goodies." Ah-mazing. The cookie eaters would then rate the pretty lady's customer service skills. Then, the pretty lady got a serious make-under and tried to give away cookies again. Needless to say, the pretty lady gave away more cookies and scored higher on the survey. The craziest part, though, is that I knew the pretty lady! She's married to one of The Remix's cousins.


It's always so cool to see someone you know on TV...


that is, unless.....


you see her boobs.


Yup, you read that right.


This is the dilemma that I was forced to grapple with yesterday. 


The segment of the show following my cousin's wife featured a woman I used to work with when I lived in Toronto. Sounds harmless enough but my former co-worker was featured as a plastic surgery recipient, not an "experiment." And what did she want done?


A boob job.


Now, obviously my former co-worker didn't have a problem going on a show that would display her nipples for all of the world to see but I couldn't help but feel like a mega-pervert. I mean, I know this woman! We used to take lunch breaks together! 


During her intro speech, where she outlined her unhappiness, I realized I was in a countdown towards the peep show. Being a half-hour segment, I figured that I had less than a minute to decide whether or not to keep watching. 


Frantic thoughts bounced around my brain:


Just how pervy would it be to keep watching? 


What if she looks amazing afterwards, wouldn't I want to see her happiness?


Plus, I watch makeover shows all of the time, so would this really be any different?


Surely she knew that people would watch her, I mean, she's on a television show.


Nipples, nipples nipples....



So I ask you: Do you think I watched it?



Would you have?






25.1.12

The Family That Draws Together, Laughs Together


When we moved to our cute little country-ish house, I was psyched to decorate. I love design magazines and the big craze in ole 2010 was chalkboard paint. Click here to read how it all went down. 


I grew up in a skiing family. Every Friday, we'd pile into the car and drive for an hour and a half to get to our ski club. Then, it'd be a mad dash on Sunday to get on the road to avoid as much traffic as possible. I miss those days, so when my family came out for Christmas, I thought I'd try to bring the hills to our home. 


After four days of visitors, here's what our bathroom wall looked like:



There's a racer, ski lift complete with dangling skiier, a kid who forgot to get off (true story, it happened to a kid I was teaching...) and the liftee's lunchbox. The mega-wipe-out is also pretty funny. And accurate. 




 Then there's the liftee at the top taking a snooze, a few snow making machines and a snowboard video shoot on the rail. I was a ski instructor for a while and we'd tell our kiddies to "do their pizza" because a snow plow is also the shape of a slice of pizza. Ingenious, right? I'd also like to point out the mildly illicit snowboarder in the trees (which are magnets). Oh man, my family's hilarious. 



It's time to wash the walls now but this mural turned out so well that I decided it deserved a post. 



24.1.12

Snappy Pineapple Chicken



With a name like that, how could I resist?

I modified the recipe because I didn't have everything it needed - the ingredient list is a doozy! I didn't have a red pepper or water chestnuts but everything else. I only made two breasts (ha.....bahahaha....okay, moving on) but didn't cut down on the ingredients because I was nervous about there not being enough liquid to cook the chicken. It was a little risky, but worked out great. 



Here's what you'll need.




Now let's get started!



*snaps*




Put carrots and onion at the bottom of the slow cooker.



*snaps*




Take the next 4 ingredients and put them in a ziploc bag. Add the chicken and shake, shake, shake!



*snaps* (is this getting old?)




Place the chicken on top of the veggies. Combine the next 6 ingredients in a 2-cup measuring cup and pour over chicken.



*snaps* (too bad, I'm loving it)





Then shut the top and set the timer for 4 hours on high (or 8 hours on low). Oh, and don't stir it or the chicken's coating will come off...you've been warned).



*snaps* (this is making me want to tango)




After the 4 hours (or 8), add the pineapple (and water chestnuts and pepper, if you have them). Mix the cornstarch and water together and mix it in as well. Continue to cook on high for 20 minutes.  



*snaps snaps snaps snaps*




Just like the recipe's name suggests, this chicken is quite snappy! The allspice makes a nice contrast to the pineapple. It was best when I got rice, chicken, pineapple and carrot in the same bite. Individually, it  didn't balance as well. The flavours really seem to need each other in this one. We'll definitely be making this again (and by "we," I obviously mean "me" haha!).




*snaps* (hee hee)





23.1.12

Cowardly Career Gal



I briefly mentioned in my New Year Goal post that I have a bit of a problem. It's an ego-related problem, which is why it's so bad. Nobody can make it better than me. I guess it's good because it means that I have full accountability but that it sucks that I have to work it out myself.


Stupid self-reflection...



Since being stuck in my house like Rapunzel (minus the flowing golden locks - oh how I long for flowing locks) I've become quite good at finding ways to pass the time.


If I had hair like hers, I'd be french-braiding the crap out of it. With flowers. And sparkly clips.



I paint canvases, cook, bake, dance around like an idiot wearing boas and sparkly top hats, but it's been hard to find things that give my life some purpose. As my bio states, I'm a former obsessive A-type personality. Pre-sicky-face-status, I was used to having such a full schedule that it required a day planner (remember those days, before phones?). Not only was it overflowing with spare bits of paper and sticky tabs, but it was also colour coded. Yeah, I had to be that organized. 


*sighs wistfully*


In May of 2010, I started blogging and I rediscovered how much I liked creative writing. It'd been years since I'd written anything not academic and after a couple of days, I was hooked. Two months later, I completed the first draft of my first novel. When I finished, the surge of pride kept a smile on my face for weeks. I carried around my MS in my purse and showed it to anyone who gave me a second glance. The checkout girl at the grocery store was my biggest fan. Okay so I wasn't quite that bad, but it was close for a while.


After  a couple of weeks of petting the MS, I started researching how books are published. Turns out, it's pretty hard but I figured that with my empty schedule, I'd be able to invest the time. 


While learning about query letters (which are like applications to agents) and how to write a decent synopsis (a summary of the book), I realized just how many newbie mistakes I made. Thank goodness for author's blogs, agent's blogs and Twitter. They're like a continual crash-course in Fiction Writing 101. A FREE continual crash-course and what's better than that?


Submitting my second MS had much better results than my first. Agents actually gave me feedback in their rejections! Feedback with suggestions! Truth be told, I sent out fifteen queries and got three requests for my MS and nine non-form rejections filled with nuggets of wisdom. Although I was disappointed, it inspired me to go back and make some serious revisions.


I feel that it's now about one million percent stronger but I've chosen to stop querying it because my third MS, which I've recently finished the first draft on, is about a ZILLION times stronger than the second. With the great feedback I got, I feel that my third just might be the one that lands me a fantastic agent. It's not good to be a query-a-holic and since my plan is to finish revisions and edits in the next few months, it makes more sense to stop querying the second and focus on the third.


So, I'm sure you can see by now that writing has pretty much taken over my life. I write about five to six hours each day during the week but there are times that I'm up really early or really late, typing as fast as my fingers will let me. I've also become that random person who jots down inspiration while grocery shopping and The Remix has become the wall I constantly bounce ideas off of.


YET....When somebody asks me what I do, I respond with, "Nothing."


My family and friends seem to have no problem calling me an author - they do it all of the time - but I just can't seem to do it unless I force myself (and then I do this awkward smile that sort of looks like I'm going to stab someone in the eyeball - it's bad).


The further along the writing road I go, the more I've wondered what my beef is. Well, after thinking and drinking thinking, I think I've finally gotten to the root. The bad news is that it's completely ridiculous. Ridiculous and somewhat embarrassing. Not a good combo.


I've spent the majority of my adult life in an academic setting where credentials mean everything. If there wasn't a string of letters after your name, then you didn't know shit. Credentials = credibility.


This is the core of my problem.


I took one creative writing course in the second year of my undergraduate degree about, oh....well...ten years ago. Aside from the A- in that class (see how I put the mark in there? Told you I had some issues), I have zero training in creative writing. Zip. Zilch. Zero.


As much as I've been taught to believe in credentials, though, I also believe in life-experience. Heck, I was volunteering as a rape-crisis counsellor long before I had any schooling on the matter and some of the best people I worked with used their personal experiences to become positively fantastic counsellors. I've read countless interviews with authors who say that they've been writing for as long as they can remember. Despite work schedules, family commitments and life-craziness, they always found time to write. They needed to. It was like breathing to them.


The bummer is that I don't fall into that category either. I literally just started two years ago. 


*deep philosophical sigh*


So, between having no formal education or creative writing background, I feel that when I say:


"I'm a writer." 


The natural follow-up question will be whether or not I've been published. Since the answer is "no," I'm setting a trap for myself. A trap that makes me sound like a wannabe loser. With no publishing experience, no formal education and no life-long commitment to the craft, I might as well call myself an  an astronaut or circus magician. I mean, who am I to suddenly declare that I'm a writer when I've been doing it for all of five seconds?


The last thing I want is a pitying smile from someone, like they're patting a five-year-old on the head and saying "That's nice, dear." My ego just can't take it. 


But (and this is a BIG BUT)


I freaking love writing. I love it. LOVE IT!


 It truly feels like what I was meant to do. 


I like to think that once I get an agent, it'll make me feel more legit but there a lot of posts out there that declare a writer isn't a writer until they believe that they are. Not terribly helpful information but I guess that's just the way it is.


So for the last month I've been faking it. And I'm going to keep on faking it until I believe it. 


I'm an author, dammit! 


An author!


An author!


Hmm...okay so it still doesn't sound natural but it doesn't sound quite as weird anymore, which is a tiny step in the right direction. Hopefully after a few more baby steps, I'll get over the hump.


*peers at hump in distance*


*starts walking*





ps. Props to you for getting to the end of the very loooooooong post. *hands bags of props*

20.1.12

The Nail Files III

This week, on the Nail Files...


*Law & Order dun dun*


The Nail Files



I was feeling a little blue with all of the white stuff outside so I thought I'd opt for something bright. I rummaged around my polish collection until I found the brightest pink I had. Imagine my delight when I saw it was called Bermuda Shorts.


Done and done.



*imagines walking on a beach*



*sighs*




Here it is: Essie's Bermuda Shorts next to OPI's Divine Swine




The Essie polish is actually a matte. Without a topcoat it's much darker and doesn't wear well (you've been warned). When I added Divine Swine for the accent finger, I just about died. The teeny purple sparkles give off a sugar-plumb sheen, taking the pink to the next level. 





So obviously, I couldn't resist going back and doing all of them. 



I feel just like Jem! Truly Outrageous!



Hop on over to see Tara or Vicki to link up and show off what you're rocking!





Book Club Friday: The Family Man



Two reviews in a row?!?



Back-to-back??



Ah....it feels good to be reading again! So good!






So, today's review is for Elinor Lipman's The Family Man



*points*





If I had to sum up The Family Man in one word, it would be: ridiculous. 


Sometimes the ridiculous-ness was funny...but other times it left me shaking my head. 


Let me break it down for you.


Henry Archer is the MC. I was a bit confused considering I'd classify the novel as classic chick-lit but I accepted his lack of boobies and kept going. A few paragraphs letter, it's revealed that Henry's a successful and lonely gay man. Naturally, this piqued my interest. 


Next up to meet is Thalia, Henry's long-lost stepdaughter from a marriage over twenty years before. No, they're not biologically related but Henry had a great relationship with Thalia until the marriage to her mother ended. Thalia's twenty-nine and an aspiring actress. Her stepfather (the man who her mother married after Henry) was mega-rich but when he died, he didn't leave anything to Thalia or her mother. An opportunity arises for Thalia to become the fake girlfriend of a down-and-out movie star. Nothing too scandalous but she's required to date him publicly and get their pictures in gossip magazines. 


Through a series of unbelievable coincidences, Henry and Thalia are reunited and she ends up moving into the apartment beneath his brownstone.


Still with me? I know. There's a lot going on. Frankly, it was hard to keep up.


The premise of the plot was good but there was WAY too much backstory needed to get me to care about the characters. Plus, there are about a zillion side-stories that make it hard to figure out exactly what's going on and how (or if) they're related to the main plot-line. 


Characters fall in love, 

fall out of love, 

fight,

meet family, 

hate that family, 

threaten those family members, 

adopt dogs,

have secret relationships,

law problems 

gaaahhhhhhhhh!


 It was simply too much for me. 


Maybe if the book focused on two or even three story-lines, I could have gotten into it more. That's not to say that I didn't enjoy it but I feel like things could have been streamlined. There's a lot of humour and some good one-liners but I wasn't able to really connect to the characters. 


So, if you like detailed novels where you get to know a lot about each character (primary or secondary) then you'll probably love The Family Man


All in all, I'd give this book a solid 3.5 vanilla cupcakes with orange buttercream icing. It might not be for everyone, but for those who love the somewhat unusual combination of orange and butter, it'll be right up your alley.








19.1.12

New Year's Goal Update


Wohoo!!


After a couple of weeks after declaring my New Year's Goals to the world, I'm delighted to report that I've made some progress!


Yesterday, I finished the first draft of my third novel.




It's hard to believe but it's true. And I'm two weeks ahead of schedule.


NBD


There's still months of editing and revising in front of me but that doesn't take away from the awesome-ness of getting the first draft down. I can't believe that I've managed to write another one. It's crazy.



As I leave the MS to marinate for a while in the memory files of my computer, it's time to put together some character boards/sketches for the fourth. I find it's best to totally throw myself into the prep stages of my next project before revising. It gives me fresh eyes, a necessity before wading through the trenches of word-warfare - slashing every single sentence until it essentially becomes a new MS (you writers out there feel me on this one, right?)



I picked up this book a few weeks ago and am psyched to see what I can get out of it.



I liked it because the cover uses blue ink instead of red for the edits. I loathe the colour red (but understand that it has to exist because it's half of purple, the best colour on the planet). Plus, it got pretty solid reviews on Amazon.


So far, I'm fifty pages deep and it's already given me some great tips on how to really "show" versus "tell." And they use excerpts from The Great Gatsby as examples. Loves.


For today, though, I'm going to celebrate. Life's all about celebrating victories and completing the first draft of a 88,000-word novel is, in my opinion, a victory. Not like a needs-a-day-named-after-it kind of victory, but a victory nonetheless. Unless, of course, you INSIST on launching a Twitter campaign to have today designated as "Jennie Finished The First Draft of Her Third Novel Day." Don't let little old me stop you. Ha!



Last week, I booked a massage for today, so that's super convenient as far as celebrating goes. I also think I'll treat myself to Subway for lunch. 



Maybe I'll even get cheese on my sandwich....it IS a celebration, after all.





A delicious, cheesy celebration (with extra pickles).









18.1.12

Dear Gerry Dee:


We've got a problem, buddy. A big one.


A couple of years ago, when The Remix and I moved to Fredericton, we got tickets to see your stand-up show at The Playhouse. You were so funny that I choked a few times. The set you did was hilarious from beginning to end. My favourite parts were when you told stories from when you were a teacher. Although I can't remember any specific details about what you covered, I do remember fearing that I might leave a wet spot on my seat cushion.


So when I saw that you had a new show on CBC called, Mr. D, where you play a teacher in a private school, I immediately set up my PVR to record the series. Last night, The Remix and I watched the first two episodes.



Here's the deal Gerry...something bad has happened.


During your stand-up show, your teaching stories brought tears to my eyes. However, in the TV-show, you're just plain mean. Mean and inappropriate. 


Let me break down for you the things you did that just didn't work:

- Outing a middle-school girl for getting her period MULTIPLE times (This one makes me so mad that my leg is still bouncing as I write this post. Talk about AWFUL)

- Rolling your eyes at a middle-school boy because he has a difficult time reading aloud and then, when another student commends the boy for trying, tell the commender to stop

- Cutting a middle-school girl from the basketball team for being too short - telling her to audition for Annie - but then accepting another shortie


That's just too much for a half-hour show. For every laugh you gave me, a cringe wasn't far behind. I'm all for funny teacher sitcoms but there's a line, Mr. Dee, and you plowed right over it....and then kept driving....like, to China. It's more than possible to be hilarious without being an a-hole and, unfortunately, you're on the wrong sign of that line too. Making kids feel bad about themselves isn't ever going to make me laugh. Not when I see the pained look in their eyes.


Yes, I get that these aren't "real" kids - they're actors - but my point is still the same...it's just NOT FUNNY! Maybe if the school was a high-school setting, it'd be better because the students would be able to put you in your place and not just take your meanie remarks without some snappy come-back. But that's not the case here.



I want to like your show, Gerry. I REALLY DO but you're making it virtually impossible for me. 



So get your shiz together. Stop picking on kids for humour and come up with another way to get a giggle. Hell, I'm cool with you poking fun at the students sometimes but do it in the Teacher's Lounge, not the classroom. I'm going to give you one more try but I'm not terribly hopeful. 


There's no way I'm the only one who feels this way and let's face it, Ger-Ger, you have a Canadian show on a Canadian network, which basically means that you need to get some solid ratings or, as Heidi Klum would say...



Auf Wiedersehen



So work it out, Gerry.



WORK IT OUT!



*waits*









17.1.12

Slow Cooker Creamy Chicken Dijon


I think it's safe to say that I've fallen in love with my slow cooker. Being able to throw a bunch of stuff into one big pot, leave it for 4 hours and then eat a delicious meal is....well...kind of like a miracle. It was freaking FREEZING out yesterday so I figured a hot meal would be great at the end of the day. I went back to my Company's Coming cookbook and found a recipe for Creamy Chicken Dijon.



Here's what you'll need:

1.5 cups - chopped onion
Can of sliced mushrooms (I didn't add this because I suffer from an psychological allergy to mushrooms, as in, they're gross)
Can of condensed cream of chicken soup
1/2 cup - water
1/4 cup - dijon mustard
1/4 tsp - dried crushed chilies
2 to 4 - chicken breasts
Can of evaporated milk
Bag of frozen cut broccoli (I used fresh)




Step 1: Put everything up to the chicken in the ingredient list in the slow cooker and stir.






Step 2: Add the chicken and stir again, coating the chicken entirely. Set the timer on high for 4 hours and go read a book or something.






Step 3: After the 4 hour cook time, add the condensed milk and broccoli. Stir and re-cover, on high, for 20 minutes. While this was happening, I made garlic butter rice. The timing worked out perfectly.





Step 4: EAT!


We didn't like this quite as much as the Beer and Bacon Chicken but it was still delicious and a sneaky way to eat a lot of broccoli without feeling like you're eating a lot of broccoli. Yes, I may be thirty but I still have to trick myself into eating my veggies. Surprisingly, this meal is 10 points on Weight Watchers, including the rice! For being a creamy recipe, that's pretty good so this will make its way into our dinner rotation.


Three cheers for slow cookers!!




13.1.12

The Nail Files: II


This week, on The Nail Files...


The Nail Files



Some of my wonderful girlfriends got me gift certificate for my b-day, which allowed me to purchase this unexpected and super fun new OPI collection. *squeals* I love Nicki Minaj! Two of the polishes I used this week came from this collection.



For my toes: Muppets' Fresh Frog of Bel Air & Nicki's Did It On 'Em. Fingers were Nicki's Metallic 4 Life and Ski Teal We Drop (don't know the collection).



Last week I learned that all of the cool kids were painting one finger differently. It feels good to be part of that crew. I just LOVE the baguette holographic sparkles in Metallic 4 Life but wish there weren't the mini silver sparkles too. Just the baguettes would look better, in my opinion. Ski Teal You Drop reminds me of Russian Navy, but a slightly greener version. It dries way darker than what it looks like in the bottle. Loves.



Toes, however, are magnificent. Did It On 'Em is a fantastic base for the Fresh Frog of Bel Air. Truth be told, my big toe has three coats of the sparkles while the others only have two. It'll be way harder to take it off but I think this is my new sparkle plan. It's nearly blinding in direct sunlight.


I can't wait to check out what everyone else has done!


*starts bloghopping*


Thanks again to Tara and Vicki for hosting!



Book Club Friday: Call Me Princess



Yay! It’s BOOK CLUB FRIDAY!! 




I’ve been away for so long – too long, really. But now I’m back!! I've missed you all SO MUCH!! Hugs for EVERYONE! How have you been?


*stares expectantly with a goofy grin*


Bahaha!


I got a Kobo ereader for my birthday from The Remix and it came with a whole whack of super cheap reading options so I've gotten back into the swing of things. 



Yay for ereaders!


I love how you can preview books, sometimes up to twenty pages. I’ll always read paper books too, but I’m starting to really dig how I can take a bunch of books with me in my purse without becoming a bag lady. It’s nice. And pretty. And gives me awards. For instance, I recently got the Primetime reward because I’d read for five hours between eight and ten at night. For reals.


Moving onto the review.


So one of the previews that came on my Kobo was for Sara Blaedel's Call Me Princess.

 


The first ten pages were intense. I’m going to lay it out to you straight – it’s a rape scene. Not quite in Steig Larsson territory but a rape scene nonetheless. All the preview included was the first chapter. Sensing a Law and Order: SVU-esque theme, I bought the rest of it. After the opening scene, I needed a happy ending.


I have to say, (mild spoiler alert) I wasn’t disappointed.


The novel is set in Copenhagen and is centered on Louise Rick, a Detective Inspector. She has a long-term boyfriend named Peter, a journalist best friend named Camilla and a bunch of colleagues whose names are so different from English ones that I had a hard time remembering who was a male and who was a female character. For instance, Flemming, which is a first name of a man but somehow I always read it first like the last name of a female character. That really isn’t a criticism because it is set in Scandinavia but it’s something to look out for when reading. Which you should, because the book’s pretty great.


So, Louise is assigned to the rape case and proceeds to investigate and it turns out that the moral of this story is just how dangerous online dating can be but not in a way that you’ve been told before. These are fully-functional adults, looking for love on the Internet without taking silly risks. Adults who take precautions to protect themselves. That doesn’t help them, though.


There are more than enough twists and turns here to make it an interesting read. I haven’t read a crime novel in a while and this was a pretty good way to get back into them. Ms. Blaedel certainly knows how to draw out the tension and lead you down dead-ends without being obvious. I feel that she respected the subject matter too, which is very important for me. And, of course, I loved that the Lead Detective was a female character.