Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Making Pizza!

To start with, this recipe is entirely from a friend of mine. Becca and her family (at least most of the women) are great cooks. And Becca is a vegetarian (and her sister is vegan) so not only is their food delicious, but I can eat it!

Several weeks back, I went over for pizza. The pizza that Becca made was so very good that I have been craving it ever since. I finally got the recipe from her and decided to try it today.

Here is what she sent me for the crust:
"Here's the pizza dough recipe I've been using lately. You can also make a yeast dough by substituting about 2 TBs of yeast and a teaspoon of sugar (proof it in 1/2 c warm water. If it's hot to your pinky, it will kill your yeast.)
2 C Flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 TB olive oil
~1/2 C water. The water is ~ because Colorado is so dry, this is really variable. Basically, I add the all olive oil to the dry goods, then water in bits until the consistency is right. It should be smooth as a baby's bottom, not sticky at all. If you add too much water, just up the flour. It's pretty fool proof, and should be ready in about 10 minutes. Makes one big or two little pizzas."

I made some sauce using a basic tomato sauce. I added a little each of pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, basil, oregano, and marjoram.

I covered that with a basic mozzarella cheese.

For the toppings I, again, copied Becca and put on red bell pepper and this:

Yep. Vegan Italian "sausages." Which seems odd, but I have tried these a couple of times with Becca and her sister and they are quite tasty! I never liked sausage when I was young and still ate meat, so I don't even know what real sausages taste like, but these are good!


I heated my oven to about 450. I stuck the pizza in for about 10 minutes.

That wasn't long enough. I ended up putting it back in for another 10 or so minutes. Even then it was still soft in the center. So next time maybe a higher temperature? And rolling the dough thinner, especially in the middle.

Otherwise, it was pretty tasty! Isaac thought so, too.

Monday, June 17, 2013

A Commentary on Strip Clubs: Men vs. Women

To my utter horror, I ended up at a strip club the other night with a bachelorette party.

That's right, me, at a strip club. And it was even more horrifying and awkward than I could have ever imagined.

And we ended up at the table with the male strippers. Yep, male strippers.

Aside from my feeling completely awkward and horrified, I did notice some very interesting differences between the men watching female strippers and the women interacting with male strippers.

Female Strippers:

There were several little "stages" around the club. Most had nearly-naked women on them with poles for them to dance on. And the men sit close and watch but are not allowed to touch the dancers. And the women didn't touch the men, as far as I saw.

The women walk around wearing little and get up there and "dance" (I use that term VERY loosely because it is not like any kind of normal dancing--not even the kind you see in clubs. I didn't know people could move like that... It probably takes practice and possibly lessons...). They walk around topless (or nearly) and in their underwear. And that was it! They are practically naked to begin with, and they get up and dance.

Male Strippers:

The male strippers were a little different. First off, they actually stripped, which I didn't see any female strippers doing. And they came up in outfits. They had "professions." This almost made me laugh. There was a doctor stripper, cop strippers, a firefighter, a cowboy, etc. They all have jobs. Apparently, women are attracted to men with jobs. "He has a good job? OK, we can continue and I will now find him attractive!" Crack me up.

So the men get up there and dance and all the moves (like the female strippers') were very sexual. And they strip down until they are wearing nearly nothing. While I am not so into seeing naked women, I don't want to see naked men, either.

And one of the other strange things was the interactions between the male strippers and the women at the stage/table. The men grab women, grab their hands, their heads, their waists. One guy grabbed a woman and pulled her onto the stage on top of him! There were many, many instances in which the male stripper pulled womens' heads to his crotch in an imitation of a blow job. Crudeness aside, I couldn't help but think, "I'm sorry, do you think that is pleasurable for women?! I don't think so!" And I was annoyed that even with the male stripper making himself an object (which they do, don't get me wrong), he can still objectify women. This made me mad.

One thing I hate above all else is the objectification of women (one day I will get some feminist posts out). While I did not like the objectification of men, either, I was annoyed that the "Man Object" could still make the women viewers into objects for his "pleasure" (even if it is an act, I thought they were supposed to focus on pleasure of the viewers--that's what the female strippers did, in any case).

Interesting differences, right?

I wonder if some of the differences are due to what men and women are turned on by? Men are very visual, so I guess just watching works fine for them. But being grabbed at and pulled around does not turn me on, so I'm a little lost on that front. I think it must be the confidence with which the men act. As far as I could guess, this was the draw and the reason for physical interaction to be attractive to some women. Perhaps someone will have some insight for me here.

And on a personal note...

The most awkward moment for me was when a stripper approached me (and I had no money out, hoping to keep them away from me and my chair pushed back so far I was almost blocking the isle behind me). He said, "Oh, you're the shy one," and I said "Yeah." And I was thinking, "Don't you dare touch me." At which point he grabbed my hand and placed it on his butt. I think I repressed from then on. I know the girls I was with whooped, which gave me a great excuse to not look at the stripper who had my hand trapped between his hand and his butt because I had to put the kibosh on the cheering. I don't know how long it lasted. I don't think my brain registered any sensation in my hand. It could have been seconds, or minutes. I was so embarrassed. I couldn't even look in his general direction. After the girls were quiet, I think I may have closed my eyes...

That was the personal part. I don't usually consider myself "prude" (nor do I feel that I am or have been sexually repressed), but if not being a prude means being OK with all of this, then I will take prude any day! Call me crazy, but the only person I really find that attractive and want to see naked is my boyfriend!

Granted, I had never been to a strip club before, so maybe they aren't all like this. I don't know, and I hope not to know (I was told that this particular one was a dive. And no, I am not going to say which it was). I never want to end up at a strip club again! Isaac came and saved me (plus I had to open in the morning, so I really needed a little sleep). Isn't he wonderful? Thank heavens for good guys!

I suppose, at the heart of this post, this is not my scene. I don't generally approve, but usually I will say nothing to people willing to expose themselves to such things. It is just very much not me and not my style nor my pace. That's OK, I think. I always knew I wouldn't like strip clubs, but now I have the experience to back it up, I guess.

So that is my commentary on male and female strippers. I would say, "I hope you enjoyed it," but I'm still traumatized, so I feel they are false words. I will say, I hope you think the comparison was interesting. Thanks for reading!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

A Father's Day Post

I am not sure that I have ever written a post about my dad. Sorry about that.

That's me and my dad! Oh, and my "baby" brother. Isn't he a punk?

When I was little, I was a total daddy's girl. We did all kinds of stuff together and I have many, many specific memories with him.

I remember when I was about two, I had a red tricycle. My dad was going to repaint it and he asked me what color I wanted, to which  I replied "sparkly blue." And that's what he painted it! I remember him painting bookshelves to match mine and my sister's dinosaur bed sets (I loved dinosaurs when I was little, what can I say?). I still have the bookshelf--I am not sure I can bear to part with it. I remember "working" in the yard with him. Well, he was working, I was "helping." I remember going on a little vacation once--just the two of us--to Vail with his work softball team.

I remember getting up in the morning to "get ready" with him--mostly I watched him shave and he put shaving cream on my nose. Some mornings I wasn't up early enough, so I sat at the top of the stairs and watched him eat breakfast (half a grapefruit almost every morning!) until he got up and came to tell me bye.

We didn't always have the best of relationships. When I got into middle and high school, we fought quite a bit! There was a lot of yelling for a while there and it was not great for either of us.

Then, one day, we had a big blow up and after that, things seemed to resolve themselves.

Now we have a pretty good relationship. We don't see or talk to each other as much as we probably should, but he is always supportive of me and happy when I am happy. He always has advice and tips (even when I don't want or need them!) for me. And he always has good hugs!

And he loves to golf! Luckily for me, I think he loves us kids just slightly above his love of golf *wink.*

So that's my daddy! He probably won't see this, but I hope he knows how much I love and appreciate him. I think about him a lot and still miss him sometimes.

Happy Father's Day, Daddy. I love you always.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

NDK 2013 Costumes Part Five

I have made a little bit of progress on my costumes.


Mostly, I wanted to report that I finished the dickey for my Jareth costume. It was kind of a rough ride, but look how it turned out!

And here it is with the finished vest!

So that's going well. I started working on the coat--the biggest and most intimidating piece (well, the broach aside). Apparently the pattern didn't call for making the coat front with the lapels double sided. As I began to put them together, I realized they needed to be and therefore had to go buy more fabric, which was a bummer. And I couldn't match the color exactly (different dye lot) so I will be working with that. If the inside is the new shade of blue, the lapels will be that color but they will end up covered with glitter and what-not anyway, so it won't matter! That's the idea, anyway, I haven't gotten very far with it yet.

I need to order my wig!!!

Rogue and Gambit:

Sadly, no real progress here... That's bad news. But I need Isaac's help for some of it and we haven't had time. And I need to order my Rogue jumpsuit!


I found a material that exactly matched the jean dress I found! So I have starting on her little leg warmers and the cartridge holders that go on her chest. I haven't decided how to attach them yet, however. I might have to do some creative sewing. I was going to use orange felt for the cartridges themselves. I think I can sew the jean holders on before inserting the felt. I will keep you posted as I get further along.

That's about it for now! I really need to get on this!

Sunday, June 2, 2013

The Ghost and Mrs. Muir

Anyone heard of this movie? And/or the book?

Here is a brief review of both!

I was introduced to the movie (released in the 1940s) by my mom. I was afraid it was a scary ghost story, but it wasn't that at all.

I love the movie. No matter how many times I watch it, I never tire of it. It is funny, sad, and sweet by turns. It is not overly complex or suspenseful (which is a normal criticism, especially of the book), but I love it. And it stars Gene Tierney (who I haven't seen in anything else), and the marvelous Rex Harrison. George Sanders plays a greasy nasty fellow and does a great job (I'm not sure what that says about him, but I only know him from Disney's Jungle Book otherwise where he is also a bad guy).

In the credits at the beginning of the movie, it says that it is based on the novel by R. A. Dick.

Which is funny to find because he published his book, The Ghost and Mrs. Muir, under the pen name Josephine Leslie. Much as his main character, Mrs. Muir, published Captain Gregg's novel under the name Captain X, right? Fun parallels.

So I wanted to find and read this book. My parents had gathered the oddest and most extensive collection of books in our basement library. And one day, I happened to stumble upon this very one! (As well as many other treasures like the book based on the movie Labyrinth which was said to be "worth a gold nugget and just as rare.")

I first read the book several years ago. And loved it! Even more than I love the movie. And I do so love the movie.

They are quite different stories, however. I love the more complex character interactions in the book. Namely, Mrs. Muir's son, who is not in the movie at all. That provides an interesting dynamic to her life as well as a huge contrast to the life of her daughter (who is in the movie). I also like that Captain Gregg stays around the whole time, whereas he leaves in the movie. I like the ending of the book a bit better because she reconciles with Martha. The time lines are a bit different and many characters the same or mentioned, but they have to be taken separately.

There also seems to have been an old TV series based on the book. According to IMDB, it was 50 episodes long. They changed the names of both children from Cyril and Anna to Jonathan and Candice for some unknown reason. I haven't found a good place to watch the series, but it looks like much of it is on YouTube. I will have to find and watch some. Somehow I doubt it will be as good as the movie and the book, but you never know.

There you have it. Some old stuff to look into. And if you like one, I recommend the other. I'm not sure why I love them so much. I guess they are just charming. Enjoy!