Friday, February 27, 2009

Top Ten Greatest Inventions

This post is exactly what the title proudly proclaims: I will list the top ten greatest inventions of all time. We all know about automobiles, planes, Internet, computers, and so on, so I'll exclude those obvious creations. I'm going to go ahead and skip on over to all the wonderful little items that someone or other came up with for the sole purpose of making life either easier, or more fun.
  1. Boxed cake mix Don't get me wrong here, I love to cook. But sometimes you just need a cake in a jiffy, and these miraculous boxes are the answer. They eliminate the sometimes-tedious mixing of eggs and flour and sugar and milk, blending, measuring. And there's one thing to be found in Pillsbury boxed cake mix that you just can't get anywhere else. One word, three syllables, big yum: Funfetti.
  2. Dictionary Without a big collection of all the words in the world and their definitions, how would we know what an encephaloma is? (Don't say "the internet" because if the dictionary wasn't invented, nobody would know what it meant and couldn't go posting it all over cyberspace, now could they?)
  3. Stickers Because life without them would suck.
  4. Lawnmowers In a world without lawnmowers, people would either have to crawl on their hands and knees with a pair of scissors to cut the grass, or let their lawns grow and grow and over-grow into a huge tangly mess. Most people in this lovely country of ours are lazy, so I predict the latter.
  5. Squirtable hand soap One of the most disgusting things ever is a bar of used soap sitting on a bathroom counter. You know, when it's all melted down and the dribbles that have run off of it harden, so it's a little bit stuck to the counter and you have to pry it off. Then you have to rub it all over your hands and make a bubbly lather, which takes forever. Imagine if at the sinks in the mall, at school, in restaurants, in stores, you had to use a bar of soap that hundreds of other people have used before you. If you said "ew," you'd better start appreciating those convenient dispensers full of chemically liquid hand soap.
  6. Foaming hand soap So long as we're still talking about soap, I'd like to acknowledge a newer innovation: foaming hand soap. The few locations that I have discovered it are: Nordstrom's, Aqui, Target, and two different pizza parlors. It is soap that has been whipped up to produce a frothy bubbly substance that makes every hand-wash a big ol' hoedown. This soap is no ordinary soap. It's sanitary. It's pre-lathered. It's fun. When I first found it (in Aqui) I was absolutely stunned. I was expecting a fragrant, viscous pink glop to squirt into my waiting hand. Instead, a stream of peppy white froth shot out. After getting over the initial shock (It's not soap, it's foam!) I took a circumspective glance around me, confirmed that I was the only one in the ladies room, then started pumping away. Piles of white foam cascaded from my hand into the sink. I immersed myself halfway to my elbows in billows of sweet bubbly lather. I almost wanted to scream with joy, but then another woman came in. I washed the soap down the drain as quickly as I could and tried to act nonchalant as I sloughed foam off my arms.
  7. Glue guns The rubbery clear glue that squirts out of the tip of these suckas can stick anything together. You could glue a cat to the ceiling if you wanted to. But then, of course, I would seek you out and kill you.
  8. Staplers What if staplers didn't exist? What would we do if some papers needed to be attached together? I suppose we could poke a hole through each paper, then loop some twine through the holes and tie it. However, that would take quite a bit of time and the knot could become undone. Staples can bite through several layers of paper, and fold closed to provide maximum security in a snap.
  9. Flashlights Because I am pretty sure I would burn myself if I had to use a torch. Plus, how else would I put on a shadow puppet show?
  10. Electric pencil sharpeners What would life be like without electric pencil sharpeners? I mean, seriously. What did they do in the old days, shred off strips of wood and graphite with a carving knife? We are lucky to have the luxury of an acutely pointy tip, shaped and smoothed to perfection by sharp, spinning blades.
There you have it, folks. The top ten greatest inventions of all time. They aren't necessarily in order, but whatever. Did I leave anything out? Post a comment telling which inventions you think should be added to the list, and why!

Monday, February 23, 2009

I can't think of a title

Stuff-that's-happening-in-my-life-that's-similar-to-what-people-usually-put-on-their-blogs-so-I-guess-I-will-too: Tiffany's birthday was on Sunday. There were six of us, Brian, Jasmin, Lourise, Judy, Tiffany, and I, and we were supposed to meet at the food court at noon. I, being me, got the time all screwed up, though, and arrived at eleven. After fifteen minutes of sitting at a table, faking a phone call on my cell so as to appear to passerby as cool and occupied, instead of pathetically sitting around, idle and all alllooonnneee, I called Tiffany. This is the point in time in which she shared with me a sparkling gem of information: the fact that we were supposed to meet at noon. Uh-oh. My mom had slowed down just enough in the mall's parking lot so I could jump out of the car, then screeched away to whatever rendezvous she had planned for the day. I was stuck here. After hanging up, I sat there, pathetically, idle and alone, before deciding to go mall-strolling and look for a gift for Tiffany. I had to make up for the less-than-attractive cake that I'd presented her with on Friday.
Forever 21 yielded nothing interesting. Neither did Charlotte Russe, Anchor Blue, Bath and Body Works, or even --gaspeth-- Target. I ended up going to Border's, since they have that little gifty section that never fails to stock something interesting if you’re ever in need of a gift. Sure enough, I found something, and even a pretty gift bag to shove it in. Misfortune strikes: for some reason the line was super-duper-hooper-scooper long. I considered ditching the gift and running off to another store, then decided to just tough it out. The line took fifteen solid minutes. The inexperienced cashier was all on her own, and the cash register was not cooperating. An impatient, middle-aged Asian lady kept craning her neck over to see what was wrong with the register, probably resisting the urge to whack it. Probably fourteen of those fifteen minutes were burned up as the cashier fiddled and fixed before calling in another employee who swooshed in, studied the register, then solved the problem with a rap and a tap. Anyway. I ended up being twenty minutes late, which didn’t matter in the end because the only one who showed up on time was Brian and, of course, Tiffany.
I didn’t buy anything, go me. Well, except for a movie ticket. We watched Coraline in 3-D, which sucked. The 3-D was hardly noticeable for the most part, and the storyline was random and cheesy. We spent an hour in dressing rooms trying on dresses, but I only found one that I liked out of the three that actually fit. We ate teriyaki chicken for lunch-dinner, wandered in and out of stores, and somehow remained boredom-free for a full six hours. That was a very nice end to my weekend, and a sharp contrast to the terrible beginning of my week.
On Monday, it was wet. It was soak-ya-to-your-panties, drench-you-til-you-cry, we-ain’t-gonna-stop-til-the-universe-has-drowned, wet. When I burst out of my front door Monday morning, though, rushing because I was late, I didn’t even notice the rain until I was standing in its watery wake. The front door had shut and locked with a secure click behind me. I could run around the back, go through the unlocked back door, and grab an umbrella, but by that point I would certainly be tardy. So I bravely proceeded into the sheets of freezing water. It's not that bad, I tried to convince myself as I trudged through the pounding rain. My efforts at spirit-raising were in vain, however. The traffic was too thick for me to be able to cross the street. Cars were quite literally bumper to bumper, forming an impenetrable barrier between me and the school.
By the time I arrived at the crosswalk, I was soaked through. The very wet sleeves of my sweater stuck to my very wet arms, and my very wet hair was plastered to my very wet face. Puddles of rainwater and misery trailing behind me, I squelch and dribble my way to first period. The entirety of this period is spent fluffing out my clothes and hair in an attempt to get them dry. My hair has dried out before the period is over, but my clothes, especially my jeans, were wet. Very, very wet.
Other bad things: field hockey is worse than ever. I royally suck at field hockey. It is utterly impossible. Today we were all divided into four-person teams, and unfortunately I was grouped with someone who is still working on grasping the concept of being a "good sport." He sucks. I suck. If I am the worst player in the class, he is probably the second-worst. But I do not bellow this opinion into his face. Every single time I screw up, (which is more often than what would be considered ideal) he screams various phrases such as: "Are you serious?!" and "What the hell is wrong with you?" Buddy, we can't all be superstars. Every time somebody makes the mistake of passing me the ball, he'll screech: "Not to her!" Not good for my self-esteem, folks.
If you think about it, I am actually doing my team a favor. If anybody at all messes up, if the goalie fails to stop the ball from shooting into the goal, if one of the players has their ball stolen away, if one of the players' passes goes awry... They can always just turn around and blame it on me. This isn't exactly honorable, but not everything in the world can ever be completely fair.
This might sound like a joke, but I am considering injuring myself in order to get out of playing. I honestly, truly hate it, and any pain I might suffer through couldn't possibly measure up to the internal pain of having to "play" this "sport." A twisted ankle could pass as a legitimate excuse, but it's really hard to twist it on purpose. I don't want to break any bones or anything. It's not that worth it.
Anyhow, that is just about it. Buh-bye now.

What's Up?

Does there exist a question in the world that is more impossible to answer than "What's up?" "What's up?" is basically the third line in most friendly conversations. You know, one person says "Hi," then the other either parrots that syllable back, or changes it up a little with a adventurous "Hello." So what next? One could, of course, blurt out an insincere "How are you?" even if they don't give a care in the world, but that is most likely to lead to a "Good." Then the conversation comes to a screeching, grinding, rasping halt, and one of them has to think up something interesting to say.
But the one perk of "How are you?" is that it is a rational question with a small variety of answers. On most occasions, one will reply, "Good." Otherwise, they might say, "Fine," or even take that extra step and make an effort to string several words together to create a sentence. "I'm all right, how are you?" is usually best, as the conversation can carry on for three additional seconds when your partner answers with one of the replies listed above.
However. "What's up?" is nearly impossible to answer. You see, when one asks, "How are you?" the expected responses are "Good," "Fine," "Okay," and so on. They do not want you to reply with "Terrible. My life sucks right now. Got an hour? You can listen to me complain about school, sports, various frenemies and tyrannous teachers.” So when they ask “What’s up?” they don’t expect you to tell a story about something interesting that happens to be going on in your life at the moment. So what kind of reply are they looking for? Whenever somebody asks this frustrating question, my headvoice can’t help from screaming, “What in the world do you expect me to reply to that? Am I supposed to actually tell you what’s going on in my life?”
Following this question is the inevitable awkward silence, as I scramble through my mental calendar, racking my brain for anything at all that is going on in my uneventful little life. It takes me a few seconds to realize that they don’t really care, so I always end up replying with that safe last resort: “Nothing much.” At this point, they are staring a little, wondering why it took me so long to utter three syllables. Once I realize that my metal stability is being questioned, embarrassment cascades over me and I make up some excuse to scuttle away.
The point? “What’s up?” is a phrase that should never be used in casual conversation. Unless, of course, you are a detective interviewing your prime suspect. “What’s up?” is an incriminating question as they will realize nothing has been up except for the crimes they’ve been committing. So if they resort to that all-purpose “Nothing much,” you’ll know they are guilty. Well done, Holmes.
Conversation is an art I have yet to master. Just steer clear from that horrible, irritating, impossibly unanswerable question, and everything will be just peachy.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Slumdog Millionaire

One of my favorite watch-movies-online-for-free websites just got closed down. Turns out, somebody realized what they were doing was illegal. (Somehow getting the tapes of movies that are still in theaters and putting them online.)
Luckily, there were dozens of other sites that were just as good. At first I was going to dance the night away with one of my favorite movies, Hairspray, but then I decided I would take advantage of the illegal-ness before this site got torn down as well. So instead, I watched Slumdog Millionaire. It had a nice full-screen option and the quality was great. Here is the site, it's great:
Anyway, this was a movie that I tried really hard to love. I wanted so badly to be deeply touched by it, to have a life-changing experience from watching it.
But. It was nothing all too special. It was entertaining, sure, but nothing like what people made it out to be. However, my opinions on movies tend to differ from the majority of the general public's. It was a surprisingly shallow film, just cliche enough that I usually could predict what was going to happen next, just funny enough at parts to make me chuckle, just intense enough to keep me watching instead of wandering away after twenty minutes, which is usually what happens when I watch movies at home. ("I could be upstairs reading!" "I could be baking cookies!" "I could be writing in my journal!" "I could be checking my e-mail!" "I could be doing anything instead of sitting around in front of the TV!")
If I really like a movie, it usually makes my "favorites" list. Otherwise, I proclaim that it sucks. However, this movie was one of the rare films that fall somewhere in between on the scale.

~Latika as a little kid was so freakin' adorable.
~The part where Jamal as a kid shows those white people around the Taj Mahal and
makes stuff up as he goes... LOL.
~The music was... CATCHY.
~The part where Jamal has to jump into a pile of crap... EW.
~The last ten minutes or so of it really, honestly sucks.
~The last lines: "This is our destiny." "Kiss me." Yeah, guys. Yeah. Really? YEAH.

One of the things I don't get is why it was rated R. It could have passed as PG, if the evil mafia child-abuser hadn't scooped out the kid's eye, which was gross, and if the game show host hadn't said, "It's my f'in show!" After all, RENT was only PG-13 and they said the f-word several times, and with more acute sharpness than the game show dude's muffle-shout.
So. There ya go. I actually wrote this a few minutes before I finished watching, (made that comment about the lame last lines after I had finished) but now it's over. I am disappointed. Hopefully someday I'll find a movie not aimed at six to nine-year olds that I enjoy.
It is written.
It is my destiny.

Friday, February 20, 2009


My blog entries never have much ka-powza to them unless they’re about either a wonderful or terrible experience. I need to experience something wonderful or terrible so that this little speck of cyberspace doesn’t become... *DUN DUN DUN* boring.
Let’s talk about field hockey. On a two-degree scale of wonderful or terrible, I would definitely say terrible. In softball, you use your arms to throw balls around, as they are accustomed to doing such things as writing, opening doors, pushing lawnmowers, punching down bread dough, and strapping helpless victims or notorious villains to uncomfortable chairs. In soccer, you have to use your legs and feet, which is preposterous enough. And impossible, as I learned in either fourth or fifth grade, during my excursion into soccer clinic hell. But now, they’ve come up with yet another way to poke balls around: with a stick! And they call it field hockey! And as I stab furiously at the ground in futile attempts to get control of the stupid plastic orange ball, people are charging at me with lethal weapons gripped tight in their hands. My fear of getting whacked in the head with one of those sticks still hasn’t subsided, by the way. Sweaty bodies, scrambling people, and minds focused entirely on sending a dumb little ball through the makeshift “goal” is so not my scene. I mean, why complicate things with these sticks? They could hurt somebody, you know. You hear that, hockey gods? If it is so absolutely vital to get that ball between those two metal poles, why don’t we just pick it up, throw it in, and call it a game? Unfortunately, nobody appears to understand my logic. At least my team isn’t very competitive, we’ve lost every single game due to the fact that every single one of us has no idea what we’re doing.
Project Citizen: We’re doing some sort of project relating to tardy people and sick kids. I don’t really get it, as the project was mostly problems and complaints with few ideas on how to come up with a solution, and minimal suggestions of what the heck we were supposed to do.
As for other slightly prominent events that will occur presently in my life, Judy, Tiffany, Lourise, and I are going shopping on Saturday to celebrate Tiffany’s birthday. (The Jelly Belly Factory can wait.) I made Tiffany a cake yesterday to bring to school today. Let’s just say it’s not the most attractive thing in the world, but it’s that yummy kind with the rainbow flecks in it, so I’m sure it’ll be delish. She’ll just have to close her eyes so they don’t bleed from grimacing at my messy icing job. The cake proudly proclaims, “Tiffany is... FLIPPIN’ AWESUM! in a sloppy scrawl. I dyed leftover icing from the cake blazing-bright shades of blue, pink, and yellow to create the exuberant, misspelled message, as well as a deformed smiley face that seems a little creepy if you look at it for too long. When I covered the cake with clingwrap, it clung on just a little too tight and smooshed the icing a teensy bit. Oh well. It’s the thought that counts, huh folks?
I really don’t have anything else to talk about besides all those trivial matters. Hope you’re all well, and make sure you don’t get salmonella because that would be gross.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Name this Poem!

I wrote a poem just now, my first for a while. (As in, like, a week.) It's not exactly my best, but it needs a title. Leave a comment with a bunch of ideas for a title. Best idea gets a smiley emoticon in my next blog entry!
(By the way, this isn't based on a true-life experience or anything.)

I was part of you, you were part of me
We were fine-just-fine, content as could be
You could make me laugh, I could make you smile
We were friends, and even more than that for a little while
I didn't realize what we had until it was gone, too far out of reach
My life went uneventfully on, but I had to work around that breach
The passage of time whisked you away
I'm forced to just live with it, day after day
You had an informal fan club, which included me
Now I'm an outsider, watching objectively
The slipping away of the year did a lot of harm
I can't help but notice you've lost your charm
We had a bond that was broken by destiny
Once a package deal, we're now boxed separately
You live in your world, I live in mine
And neither of us dare to cross the narrow line
That divides our precious "us" into "me" and "you"
You're gone, and there's nothing I can do
I wish we could have fun again
I wish we could be one again

Anyway, any suggestions would be helpful. I'm thinking about "Division," but I'm not sure. Bleh.

All Hail

It was a quiet and comfortable morning.
I woke up at six forty and went downstairs to sit at the kitchen table and read until eight. Then my sister came down and made crepes. I drank three mugs of scalding hot jasmine tea and ate two crepes spread with raspberry preserves. Then I realized that the amplified rain was due to the fact that it was not rain, but hail. Upon noticing this, we promptly ran outside to dance.
That's it, bye.


Sunday, February 15, 2009

Sliding in the Rain

Today it rained. All. Day. Long.
It pretty much sucked to be stuck inside, but my cousin came over and we shot some scenes for the Spanish movie. We didn’t get much done, though. My mom was on a housecleaning jag and the roar of the vacuum sent us flying out of the house and over to the school, where we shot hallway scenes. Then we came back home, ate spaghetti for lunch, and she left.
So I made a card for my grandma. Her birthday is tomorrow, in case you were planning to send a card. I took a shower. I watched March of The Penguins until it got too boring to bear. I worked on my story. It has a title now, Double Crossed. Then my sister came up with a strange idea to kill the overwhelming sense of boredom that had settled over the house.
“Hey Jenny, wanna go over to -name of high school that she attends- and slide on the AstroTurf?” was her excited suggestion.
I looked outside at the kilo-gallons of rain pouring down and washing everything with a layer of wetness. Um, no. I think I’d rather stay inside the nice dry house with my warm robe, fuzzy socks, furry kitty, and cup of steaming cocoa, but thanks for offering.
But somehow, after a great deal of whining, persuading, and bribery, my sister had me changed into dumpy clothes and headed to the high school with her bouncing along by my side. The rain did not cease for one fraction of a second during our little excursion into the wet wilderness. And as if wet pavement weren’t unpleasant enough, she insisted upon accessing the turf through the creek. I was praying as we walked along the fence that the door would be closed, shut, barricaded, padlocked, but of course it was swung wide open, inviting us into the muddy slush that lay on the other side. I stepped gingerly through the threshold, avoiding the muckiest parts. My sister was already bounding along, not seeming to notice that she could very easily lose her footing, slide down the hill, and land with a spectacular splash in the river. I would laugh as she was swept downstream. Then of course I would run home, get a cup of hot tea and a change of dry clothes, and dash along the riverbank until I found her. I would rescue her and present her with these thoughtful items and remind her to be more careful next time.
Anyway, I wasn’t the one who was going to fall into the murky depths of the creek. I was very grateful I had worn dirty old sneakers as the mud gushed up around my feet. I slogged my way along the the riverbank, clinging onto the fence and whispering prayers as I inched towards my sister’s sopping wet form. I had thought to bring an umbrella. She did not, but she didn’t care. Crazy woman. Once we reached the fence that led into the soccer fields of Leland, I was relieved to see it was locked up tight and secure. The phony “Too bad, I guess we go home now, dibs on the shower” was halfway out of my mouth, until I saw that Laura had other plans. The chain that wrapped around the two doors had a padlock on the two end links and was shut, but there was excess chain. This allowed the door to be opened about a foot, barely enough room for a skinny ninth grader to squeeze through. And that skinny ninth grader was doing just that. I sighed, reluctantly closed up my umbrella, shoved it through the gap, and then wriggled through the opening. My sister was already ripping off her jacket and charging towards the fields. Once she reached a sizable puddle, she pushed off the ground with her feet, fell to the ground, and landed on her side, propelling herself forward with the momentum from her dash. The water sprayed up on both sides of her, sheets of freezing freeziness that leapt from the ground and folded around her body. When she stood, she wasn’t shivering. She was laughing. Her teeth weren’t chattering. They were grinning. She ran around for five solid minutes, sliding through increasingly huge puddles. I huddled under my trusty umbrella and thought about the equator, the sun, and chicken noodle soup. Finally I’d had enough.
“You almost done here?” I called through chattering teeth.
“No way!” was her reply. “You should try it!” She might have said something else, but it was incoherent because she was being swallowed by another puddle. My first reflex to this was, of course, No freakin’ way are you out of your mind I’m already cold enough and you know I hate being wet besides I just got over being sick do you really think I want to go mucking around in rain puddles, etc. My second reflex was, hmmm. My sister really looked like she was having fun. Something about sliding on AstroTurf in the pouring rain had broken through the big-sister-I’m-too-cool-for-all-that-kid-stuff attitude that my sister usually had. So I stood up, and I closed the umbrella, and I uttered one word. “Sure.”
At first I couldn’t do it. When I started to angle down towards the ground, I would right myself and stagger away. My natural instinct when I start to fall is to catch myself. I cannot simply throw myself to the ground like a piece of rubbish. (sniffery-snobbery) Sometimes I would simply lose nerve. I would run forward, accordingly, but when I approached the area in which I was supposed to push myself down and forward, I would look at all the freezing water and my footsteps would stutter to a halt. On my first try, I kept running and running and running until I was almost to the end of the field. My excuses? “I forgot about the sliding part.” “Oh, you meant to slide there?” “I was just trying to get a good momentum, but then I ran out of room.” Her irritated eye-roll insulted but also motivated me. I would slide through puddles in the AstroTurf, and I would slide through puddles in the AstroTurf well!
So I went to the back corner of the field to give myself plenty of room (see excuse number three) and took off. A puddle lay near the center of the field. Come and get me, it said sassily, smirking. I glared at it. I’m gonna do it this time, I countered. The puddle laughed at me. It laughed at me. And the laughter hurt! Gritting my teeth, I sent myself flying down towards the ground. My eyes were squelched closed and my face twisted into a cringe. Eventually, though, I realized I wasn’t sliding. I had moved two inches before coming to a grinding halt. The water bit through my sweatpants and froze my legs to solid ice. Water seeped through my sneakers to soak my socks. Told’ja so, the puddle sneered. Shut up, I mutter.
I never did get the hang of it. My slides slid about three inches, on average. And I was wet. I was wetter than I had ever been in my life. I was wetter than I ever wanted to be. I hate swimming, the wettest activity in the history of wetness, but this was even worse. I was, in fact, wet. Eventually I gave up (both the staying-dry factor and the whole sliding thing) and plopped down in the middle of the largest, deepest puddle I could find. I pulled out my sister’s cameraphone from her bag and took some candid shots for her to discover later. I rolled in the puddle just to prove I wasn’t afraid of it, and pretended I was dead. I found a Gatorade cap, which I fiddled with for a while. Finally, I demanded that we go home. She had been sliding around for a good twenty minutes, and my socks were wet.
Anyway, that was an interesting experience. I also would like to make known my shock of this tidbit of news. Fred, from YouTube, is going to be on national television. He is making a cameo on iCarly. I remember when he posted his first-ever Fred video. I remember when he was still with his cousins Jon and Katie on their “JKL Productions” channel. I knew this guy before he was famous, and now he will be viewed by kids across America. He is getting paid to make videos. He has to wear makeup for his videos now. Fred shirts are being sold at Hot Topic. It’s not fair. I’ve been a fan since his first video, before Fred was even a series. Now his videos aren’t really that funny. I hope that never happens to my Australian buddy Nat. I just hope he doesn’t become a Nickelodeon star. That would suck.
Also, last item: I’m going to the Jelly Belly Factory in Fairfield! It’s FREE, you heard me folks, FREE. I get to see how those tasty little beans are made, along with some of the other candies the Jelly Belly company produces, and indulge in a variety of free samples. My dad and I are going next weekend.
And that is all I have to say, I’ll blog again another day. (That rhymed, by the way.)

(Song: One that I made up. It goes kinda like: duh-duh-doo-doo-DOO-DOO-duh-duh-doo-doo-DUH-DUH-doo...)

Saturday, February 14, 2009

The Bouncing Apple

The other day, I decided that I would open a cute little bakery-type shop in Willow Glen or perhaps Los Gatos and call it The Bouncing Apple. I would sell cookies, muffins, fancy little cakes, and homemade candies. I also decided that I would have a really innovative candy that would make The Bouncing Apple famous. On sunny days, I would set out a chalkboard in front of my shop that would boast in swirly handwriting: Home of the famous -insert name of innovative candy here-.
So last night, I worked on creating my famous candy. I thought maybe it would be dried pineapple covered in chocolate and rolled in shredded, sweetened coconut. But we didn't have any dried pineapple, which is rare in our house, so that was a flop. I thought about chopping up almonds, mixing the pieces with dried blueberries, then rolling the mixture in chocolate until coated and dropping the glop into cupcake liners. But we didn't have dried blueberries. I remembered as I was pulling out the ingredients that I had eaten the last of our huge Costco bag for breakfast a few days ago. I managed to use the meager supplies of my cupboards to create a few candies, though.The first thing I made was a peanut "truffle." I mixed peanut butter and sugar to create a sweet, fluffy mixture. Then I added a copious amount of chopped peanuts to the bowl and stirred it all up. This I shaped into two large, lumpy spheres.

They were dunked into semisweet chocolate and sprinkled with chopped peanuts. And they actually came out looking pretty darn nice, and tasted good too.So I'd call those a success, though hardly gourmet. I'll sell them in a pretty box sectioned off into four compartments, with a truffle per compartment and a big gold bow. One dollar per box. Yes. Yes, that is what I will do.
Since my peanutty confection came out so nicely, I decided to move on to almonds. Basically, I plunked a few into some melted chocolate and then rolled them in coconut. They looked all right, tasted fine, but were nothing special.While I had the almonds out, I decided to put them to another use. Stirring together sliced almonds and semisweet chocolate infused with orange extract proves to have a very nice effect on the taste buds. I kind of went a little overboard with the orange extract though, so I added some ground cinnamon too, to balance everything out. It was yumma-lishis.
I had some leftover melted chocolate, so I made a crispy rice ball, mini marshmallows covered in chocolate and rolled in Rice Krispies, covered a lemon peel in chocolate and sprinkled it with powdered sugar, and dunked a few dried montgomery cherries in the last dregs at the bottom of the bowl. The crispy rice ball tasted like a Crunch bar, but way better. (According to my sister.) The marshmallow things were okay. I can't tell you about the lemon peel, nobody's had the guts to try the thing yet.
Now I was running out of ideas, which resulted in this:

What in the world could that unattractive glob be? you wonder aloud. That, my friends, is what I like to call the Ranger Cup. Almonds and peanuts and dried cherries, oh my. Coconut and crisp rice and chocolate... oh my. That hunk is basically all of the ingredients mixed together, with chocolate acting as a sort of paste. Is it edible? you may ask. I would assume so. I did not eat any of it, but my dad did and he said it was good. He may have just been trying to spare my feelings, though. We could always use it as a hockey puck, if the need ever arises.(Click on the picture to see it in, you know, CLOSE UP.)
I'll wait for you to get over the shock. Go barf if you need to, it's okay. Really. What could that possibly be? you moan, your face turning a sickly shade of pond-scum green. That, my friends, is my tea chocolate. It is chocolate, mixed with half a tea bag's worth of green tea, and then covered with the other half. It looks like a dog crapped on somebody's lawn, then the grass was mowed so those little flecks of grass that spew out of the rear of the lawnmower got stuck onto the still-fresh pile of poop. Yum. You know what? I'm gonna let you have the first bite. Go on, try it. No, you first. Really. Go ahead.
I was discouraged after that set of failures, and decided to ditch the chocolate. So I concocted a sugary brine to soak lemon slices in. I let them soak overnight, and now I've got a delicious sampling of candied lemons. They came out very nicely. I covered them in a layer of sugar and let them dry so they had a sweet crystallized layer.Anyway, that is two mild successes, two epic failures, and the rest ho-hums. My dreams are officially crushed.


Friday, February 13, 2009

Will Smith, Friday the Thirteenth, and Valentine's Day

If my cat were a celebrity, he would be Will Smith. Who knew.

This, my friends, is the knowledge gained from online quizzes. By the way, if you have a cat, you might want to sign him or her up for Catster. It's like Myspace for kitties. It's fun for about a week, then gets a little old. Ah well. Click here to sign up.
Now then, onto other topics. Today was Friday the thirteenth. Eek. I didn't have any bad luck, none of my family members died, and I checked my closet for renegade axe murderers. We're all clear. I actually had a very good day. Nobody gave homework, not even Goldman. Not even Rebustes. That is a pleasing fact.
Tomorrow is Valentine's Day. That means today everybody brought little chocolates and such to school to peddle amongst friends. My dear little friends and I traded several sweets, and I ended up with a nice puddle of candy. Half went to my sister, the Reese's cup was stashed away in my room to devour later (thanks, Rachel!), and the rest I taped onto the lovely, glittery, gemstone-encrusted little valentine that I made for my dad. (Thanks Erika, Pooja, Alyssa, Amiee, Devin, Amanda, Michelle, etc.!) Sarah gave me a scrump-diddly-umptious hand-dipped chocolate-covered strawberry. It was a huge gigantic fruit the size of my freakin' head. Delicious. I gave my sister her valentine/present thing early, mostly since I was all in the whole Valentinesy spirit today. It was a boring gift, but tasty. 12 delicious Ferrero Rochers. We both love them, so I went to the drugstore last weekend to pick up a box. Yeah, I know, the drugstore. Not exactly fancy, but I'm just that kind of kid, ya know? 
A certain event also occured that left me very confused. Argh. No more details.
Anyway, crack open the champagne tomorrow night, break out the chocolate, smear on the red lipstick. Hope your Valentine's Day is awesome. 

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Conversation Hearts

My mother is a first-grade teacher. So sometime in the month of February, she goes on and buys a big ol' bag or two of Necco conversation hearts to split amongst her first graders. After scooping handfuls into twenty separate little snack-size Ziploc bags, (a tedious job, but still--yum.) there were plenty of hearts left over. I started to sift through them... find that the cute little sayings had been updated! There were phrases like "love bird" and "melt my heart" and "stir my heart" and "sugar pie" and "angel" and "spice it up" and "yum yum" and "top dog" and "top chef" and "honey bun." When did that happen? And how does Top Chef have anything to do with Valentine's Day? I ate a "honey bun" one, and I swear it tasted ten times better than any others I ate. Could've been the fact that it was purple, though. That's the best color/flavor of them all.
(Just another thought before I go on: don't you hate those hearts where the ink has messed up, or it stamped off-center so you can just see the corners of a few letters? So you tip it every which way and squint and try to figure out what the stupid heart says, before throwing it down in frustration and agony, pawing through the bag to find a more legibly printed heart? Don't you hate those? I got one of those, kind of. Well, it was a reject, all right. Because it was blank. I stared at it for a moment before letting it slip between my fingers and land with a clatter on the table. My jaw fell open and my eyes glazed over. This was unacceptable. This was unethical. I will march down to the Necco factory and sue them. Never, ever, ever should a production line be so careless that they leave a conversation heart blank. It defeats the whole purpose! If I hadn't been born with a heart of steel, I think I might've cried. Clean up your act, Necco. Never make that terrible mistake ever again.)
Maybe I'll change my poll to "What's your favorite flavor conversation heart?" now. Or, "What's your favorite message on a conversation heart?" Or, "What gift would you want to recieve on Valentine's Day?" I went to the drugstore to buy my cheap Valentine's Day candy. I did not buy little Reese's cups, as I had planned, because they didn't have them in a pretty Valentine-sy pink package. Just the boringly normal bag, and no way was I buying THAT. I could not find Crunch hearts, either, but even if I had found them I don't know if I would have bought them, since that's what I used last year. Instead I bought these chocolate hearts that have foil wrappers printed with messages similar to the ones on conversation hearts. They're so cute.
I made my Valentines on the computer this year. They're pretty typical, an elephant holding a big red heart and "Happy Valentine's Day!" sprawling across the top. I printed out a few last week, and I tried to print some more this morning. Of course, now my printer won't work. "Opening printer connection..." it drawls as the printer moans and spurts out little start-up grunts. Poor thing. It's probably exhausted from all the printing my dad was doing yesterday.
I finished my whole little Dolley Madison thing. I'm glad to have it out of the way. I'm not sure if it's long enough, though, only a page and a half. Maybe I'll have to add some more stuff and reprint it, if the printer ever decides to get off its lazy butt and start working again.
Anyway, see ya.


Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Abdominal Weakling

Today in P.E. we had to do fitness testing. You know, the ones that they send to the state and/or national P.E. gods so they can see just how fat and lazy American kids are getting? You know those ones? You know?
Yeah. Those ones.
We did curl-ups today. That means we laid on our backs with our knees bent and curled into a sitting position while a radio played a recording of a lifeless man with an iron throat chanting: "up... down... up... down..." over and over, into oblivion, whatever that is. They were easy to do. I thought I was doing pretty good until I felt somebody kick my foot. That's Mr. Mornhinweg's violent signal that we're screwing up. What the heck. I am acing these stupid curl-ups, thank you very much. One curl-up later, though, I suffer another kick. This is the signal for: you-suck-so-stop-doing-curl-ups-before-I-have-to-hurt-you-even-worse. Guess how many I managed to do with my chin pointed up and away from my chest? Four. And these are the numbers that are being sent to the bigwigs who measure weakness and laziness in the youth of the country. I just shamed thirteen-year-old girls across America. Sorry, guys. Good thing I'm not in the military. Later I will learn that what I was doing wrong was "tucking my chin," forbidden in the strict world of curl-ups. But for now, I am left to wallow in the shame of being a abdominal weakling and a curl-up failure. Sob. All around me, sturdier folk are curling their way into the twenties, some making it into the thirties. I did four.
I actually did some more a while ago. I laid down on the floor and did twenty freakin' curl-ups just to prove to myself that I could, but I'm sure my chin "tucked" or my fingers "lifted" or my feet "rose" or some other ridiculous minutiae.
On a different note, I GOT A THOUGHT HERE. Isn't there an Abdominal Snowman? Cuz hey, I know I'm not the one to talk, but how can a snowman be ab-y? And why don't they just call him the Muscular Snowman? Why single out his abs?
In other news, I have a new project in Social Studies. I need to write a biography of Dolley Madison. She was James Madison's wife. Dolley Madison was born on May 20th, 1768 in Greensboro, North Carolina. She died on July 12th, 1849, making her 61 at her time of death. That's all I've got so far.
As for my Spanish movie, it's coming along great, thanks for asking. Well, I haven't exactly started filming it yet, but I'm sure when I start it'll be great. Yeah. The script is done. I'm just waiting on my mom, who keeps forgetting to bring her camera home.
That's all for now, folks. I gotta hit the gym. Not.


Thursday, February 5, 2009

Hey, page-viewers. Been a while, huh? I've been busy with, you know. SCHOOL.
I pretty much wrote this post for the sake of writing it, because of that horrible guilty feeling I get if I don't post for a while. I don't have anything to say.
Well, I used to basically just talk to myself on here. Now I know there's at least one inconspicuous being out there who reads it. And that one inconspicuous being is also my one and only, single, solitary, lone, sole "follower." You know who you are! (And so does everybody else, who can just click on the little blue silhouette labeled "1 Follower.")(Not that there's anybody else who even reads this pathetic little blog, but still. I've been pretending so far, and I will continue to pretend.) As for other site news, my poll now has four votes. String cheese is currently winning the "What is the best fooooood?" poll. I voted for pickles. I would think more people would be pickle-fans. But no, I am apparently the Lone Pickle Consumer.

I'm going to start posting the songs that are stuck in my head at the moment in future posts.
Let's start now.

Mrs. Goldman has sprung another project on us. (Another, hah, it's only our second.) But this time, it's gonna be fun because it's nothing more than one of my hobbies. Lewis and Clark kept journals of their journey--rockin' the onomatopoeia there--up the Mississippi River. We have to do the same, make a journal of our daring expedition to school and back. I took some notes and stuff yesterday and today, but we have been instructed to "paint pictures with our words," something I have not quite accomplished.
Another thing: I have to make a movie in Spanish for--wouldn't you know it?-- Spanish clase, la clase de espanol. It's due in, like, March though. I have been working on writing the script in my free time, which is usually right about now if my chores are done, that pocket of time after my homework is finished but before it's time for dinner. So be grateful, guys, I'm writing for you in good old English instead of for Mrs. Navarro is Spanish. So far, my costar cousin and I have discussed our science teachers, maestros de ciencias, learned addition in our math class, debated over whether soup or a hamburger should be purchased for lunch in the cafeteria, and made plans to go to the theater. All in Spanish. Whew.
Valentine's Day is coming up next Saturday, nine days. Valentine's Day isn't one of those holidays that you get super-excited about weeks and months in advance, like Christmas. It's more like one of those nice holidays that come along to make an otherwise ordinary day a little bit more fun. Basically, friends give friends valentines. Couples get an excuse to go out on a hot date. Drugstores stock up on heart-shaped boxes of chocolates for lazy husbands and boyfriends to snatch up at the last minute for their expectant spouses or girlfriends and pretend they'd gotten the cheap gift at a fancy San Francisco choclatier. I printed out my valentines the other day, now I'm going to change my poll to which kind of candy I should buy to stick onto them with Scotch tape.
Well, it's time for this little blogger to run along. Bye.