Hi, The point (if there is a point) of this blog is to post liner notes and playlists of mix CDs originating from moi and hopefully fanning out into a chain of mix CDs. If you get a CD from me, make me and a friend one, and email me some liner notes and I'll post them. Then your friend should make you and someone else a mix CD etc etc. Maybe it will work PS If you want to be on my knit list, let me know what you want and I'll see what I can do!

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Son of Cooking Club

I have to say, Mykull and I have not been too brilliant at keeping up with our Cooking Club, but we finally made something! We decided to make Honey and Lavender Ice Cream.

We made it with honey that Mykull made from his butt. Actually, it came from a beehive under his house that the bee keeper who took the hive away extracted for us. It's really fragrant and delicious, and so we wanted something that would showcase it.

As in our previous forays into home-made ice cream, it was a three day process. It didn't actually take very long to make, but you have to let the ice cream mixture get really, really cold before bunging it in the ice cream maker, and then you should let the ice cream ripen in the freezer once you're all done. We started on Saturday about forty minutes before going to see 'An Inconvenient Truth', which, as Minty says, is a must see. And you have to go see it because Al told us to tell everyone we know to see it, and it's thought provoking, and entertaining and kind of inspiring at the end. Though I felt a bit guilty because the Carolina Theater had the AC cranked way up.

Anyway, back to the ice cream, which I mentioned to Mykull on the way back, is a total energy sink - heating up stuff that's cold from the refrigerator, chilling it again, then freezing it. We infused the cream with the dried lavender flowers, which kind of smell like old ladies panties, for half an hour. Then we beat the eggs and honey together and gradually added the warm cream, and made a kind of hurried and mildly scrambled custard before going to the movie.

We let the mixture chill overnight. It looked kind of gross to be honest, but smelled fabulous. Then on Sunday, I emptied out my cupboards to find all the fiddly bits of the ice cream maker, and we bunged in the mixture, and in the time it took to drink a beer, it was ready!

We put it in the freezer to ripen, and on Monday, we ate it. It was awesome, I have to say, and much better than our previous foray into ice cream (which I can't believe I didn't blog about, because it was v-e-r-y involved). I think the pinch of salt and the extreme sweetness are the key. Doing all that waiting around is totally worth it too, because it was really smoove - like Haagen-Daaz.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Another RIP

Aaron Spelling, father of many a guilty addiction just died. I was incredibly surprised to find out he is Scottish, per Wikipedia. That just doesn't seem right - I thought he was Jewish, and honestly, I don't remember ever meeting anyone Jewish in Scotland.

Anyway, one of the cultural differences between the UK and the USA that has always puzzled me is soap operas, particularly the ones Mr. Spelling produced. In the UK, soap operas like Coronation St. and Eastenders are centered around working class pubs, have a multi-generational cast, and a pretty good smattering of unglamorous or clownish characters. The storylines are often a bit far-fetched sometimes, but on the gritty side of life, with some sardonic working class humor thrown in.

In the USA, soap operas are about impossibly rich and powerful people, and are usually centred on one family, rather than a community of characters. Everyone is beautiful and is coated in bling, and the storylines are improbable.

Maybe it says something about the relative values of each country; community in the UK and money and power in the US? But American soap operas are also enormously popular in the UK, though not the reverse. What does our respective taste in soap operas say about us?

I found this blog courtesy of the BBC. This is very interesting to me, as the man who writes this blog is almost my complement (American living 15 years in the UK). I revere the BBC because I feel like I learn things I don't even hear about in the American media, but he has the utmost disdain for them. I didn't read anything that indicates his opinion of the American media; maybe it's buried further down in his blog.

Anyway, the BBC link is interesting, but it failed to mention what to me is the whole attraction about blogs; it's a way of building community. Plus I like the discipline of having to write something every few days. Maybe one day, I will do some 'real' writing.

OK, here's one of most beautiful things about Scotland that doesn't get too much publicity - take a look at these stunning Scottish beaches.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006


A huge part of my youth has come to an end - Top of The Tops is being pulled the air after 42 years.

I think Thursday evenings were sacrosanct for me from the age of about eight until about twenty-four or so, so I could watch Top of the Pops. It was a great, great show at a time when music was not available on demand like it is now.

Check out Duran Duran and their horrible lip-syncing - but didn't they look awesome? This clip reminds me so much of going out dancing with my girlfriends at the Student Union after drinking Black Russians and smoking up a storm in someone's dorm room, and teasing up our hair and putting on gobs of makeup. And having a humongous crush on my best friend's big brother, and hoping we would run into him, which we invariably did, and which imprinted me with being slightly turned on by stale beer breath. And from an earlier time, Queen. Now this reminds me of school dances which were always in the cafeteria which still smelled of custard and stew, and always ending up with the dweebie guy and being mortified about it, instead of accepting this as the natural order of things. And pretending not to be totally clueless, which I was until a scarily advanced age. Ah, memories. Ooh, I had to add this one too. I fucking love this song.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Happy Father's Day!

I want this T-shirt for Father's Day. I'm a piss poor father; I throw like a girl, and I can't hammer a nail in straight. I probably need an instruction book to fix a bicycle flat. My attempts at carving the turkey at Thanksgiving are less than Rockwellesque. I think I need to brush up my skills at Or I could buy this deeply politically incorrect book. I blame growing up with two sisters; I grew up a girly girl, apart from a year or so of being a tomboy when I was 11 or 12, and I am sadly deficient in manly skills and sadly proficient in very unfashionable girly skills.

Though maybe I'm not such a bad dad in a world where David Beckham is held up as a good example of a father. I don't think superlative fathers instigate newspaper articles like this one and this one.

Speaking of football, I feel for Ronaldo. Though as a fatty, I can't think of anything more weight-loss/getting into shape inducing than running around on a soccer pitch in front of the whole world, and the president of your country calling you fat in public. Good god, that would make me staple my stomach pronto.

I have been kind of sort of following the World Cup, and England have not been great so far, although they're doing ok in their group.

Back to parenting though, I'm enjoying the schadenfreude of uber-mom Marie Osmond enduring her rebellious daughters. It does make me want to keep my son ignorant of MySpace as long as possible.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Truff of Despondency

I'm pretty much getting over the whole wallet thing, but have had a couple of other minor things happen that have bummed me out. I feel very subdued these days - not exactly depressed but not very upbeat either. I wish I had some of these haggis truffles, they sound pretty good. I would totally eat these; haggis is good stuff if you don't think about it too much, plus I am in the mood to indulge in maudlin homesickness.

OK, this headline is very unfortunate. I hope the break dancing competitions were not in the nude, though I do picture bowler hats and sock suspenders. On a related note, John Cleese is retiring, because he can't top Fawlty Towers.

They keep playing trailers for that stupid, sappy Lake House movie. I think the premise is Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock live in the same lake house two years apart but somehow communicate with each other. What would happen if he farted? Would she smell it? Or if he cut the house from it's moorings and took it on a wild ride? Now either one of those would be a good movie.

Soapbox time; a list of male privileges. I think there are probably a few female privileges that we take for granted; here's a few:

  • Your worth is measured in many different ways other than your income.
  • If you cry, in general, people will feel sympathy and not discomfort or disgust.
  • If you are a naturally quiet, submissive person, it will not be considered a defect.
  • If you are even moderately pretty and minimally charming, you will get free goods and services.
  • You will be able to form close relationships with members of either sex that are nurturing and intimate, without being sexual.
  • You can give birth.
  • You can appropriate opposite sex behaviors and dress and it's considered cute, not deviant. Anyone think of anymore?

    I'm a big touristy dork; I would like to see the Parade of Sails. But I would definitely not like to see Train. Bleagh.

  • Friday, June 09, 2006

    School's Out For Summer

    For some reason, I always get a little bit excited when my son gets out of school for the summer, even though all it really means is we swap going to school for going to camp, and I have to make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches every day. I wish I could give him the experience of a lazy, carefree summer (hell, I wish I could give myself the experience of a lazy, carefree summer), but it is not to be.

    I think someone ought to make a restaurant guide like this one for Durham. Hmmm.... somewhere to cheat on someone should probably be your place or their place because Durham is a small, small town, and you always run into someone you know. I think Francesca's would be a good place to dump someone, as they can always console themselves with cake and icecream, and not with alcohol. Someplace to take someone you only want to fuck....hmmm, somewhere with light, sexy food and good cocktails? God, I wouldn't know - any ideas? Place to make a scene? Somewhere with a controversial reputation - well, we're already in Durham. How about Blue Corn Cafe? - then your scene can spill out onto 9th Street.

    This woman is inspiringly cheap. I would love to spend this little on food and eat so well. I do have some stock-piling impulse though, in that I always want to have a cupboard full of food. Since my recent 'troubles', though, (see last post), I have been cutting into my supplies some.

    Well, I guess the World Cup has started in earnest. Of course, Scotland never had a prayer of qualifying. And apparently, a lot of Scots (including the First Minister) have decided not to support England. This is so typical of Scottish thinking - "Let's not support England, who might have a chance, but let's support Trindidad and Tobago". According to my mum, local bakeries are making England cookies, and they are being bought for the sole purpose of destruction in a spirit of sour grapes.

    I don't know what to think about the death of Al-Zarqawi . Is it really going to make a difference? I just remember the jubilation after the capture of Saddam Hussein, and yet, did it decrease the violence in Iraq or lead closer to a resolution in the war? I find the dead face image very disturbing, as I did with the Husseins. To me, it seems inflammatory and dehumanizing, which I think is ultimately dangerous and destructive.

    Saturday, June 03, 2006

    My Life is like a Movie

    Unfortunately, it's a movie by Todd Solondz. My wallet got swiped at work, where the front desk are obnoxious about checking your ID badge, but not, apparently, about monitoring the freight elevator when people are moving office. It had everything in it - credit cards, driver's license, health insurance cards, and some really adorable pictures of my son. I just have to make sure I postpone my nervous breakdown until after I can prove I have insurance again. At least I got rid of my lesbian prison wardress picture on my license. It now has a rather sad-eyed picture on it, but I do look like a girl.

    My colleagues were awesome and supportive about it, which helps a lot. But it does make me feel awfully vulnerable.

    On a different note, as a British person, the new Ocean Spray commercials make me laugh. Straight from the bog is a horrible catchphrase for anything liquid. Especially white cranberry juice which looks like pee anyway.

    Is this not one of the most fucking awesome things you have ever seen?

    I am never, ever giving up chocolate. Not only is it delicious, it is healthy, and good for your skin, and you can even lose weight on it - I have. You just can't eat a shitload of it.

    Speaking of yummy food, Amelia's is my new favorite place for a treat - great coffee, and good cakes. There are a couple of other celebrated bakeries in Durham which to my mind are completely overrated, as you can taste their stuff is made from a mix. Sure, they look pretty, but taste like hydrogenated vegetable fat. Amelia's kicks their butt, as far as I'm concerned. Plus you can sit outside without getting car fumes in your face.