There are a new set of kittens being fostered with John, who runs the kitten cam. Click here for the cuteness
So… I HAS A HAT.
More to the point, I knitted it myself. It’s my first ever hat, so please forgive the slight over-excitement. But it’s big, it’s slouchy and it’s oh so warm. Which in this weather, is exactly what I need. Oh, and the pattern’s reversable, so it doesn’t matter if I accidentally end up wearing it inside-out. SCORE.
Anywho, here’s a bit of early afternoon madness:
In other news, I’m still working on the script for Herr and Frau Streipze’s debut, but it has to be finished this week, so you should see it soon. Oh, and here’s a glimpse of one of the many Christmas presents I’ve been working on:
I have to say I’m
very slightly jealous of the recipient, purely because I love these colours waaay too much.
…Mr. and Mrs. Stripes. Or Herr und Frau Streipze, as they’re known in German. This is a still taken on set whilst filming for their upcoming debut.
Filming’s nearly done – got 2 more scenes to go tomorrow before editing can begin and then it’s basically finished. The first version has to be in German, but I’ll make sure to do an English version too!
I’ll bung it up on youtube and link it back here when it’s ready, I just thought I’d give you guys a taster…
So I thought you could do with some cuteness. And hilarity.
I give you: THE KITTENCAM.
This is a foster home for rescue cats in the States, and they currently have Rosmary and her four kittens: Pepper, Sage, Basil and Mace.
There’s also sound, if you turn it up loud enough, you can hear them mewing at each other mid-fight.
Best study aid ever.
Right, my apologies for the 1) the massive rant which has dominated this blog for the past few months, and 2) that I now so rarely get around to posting anything.
I was getting bored of looking at the Roosevelt quote on the rare occasion that I actually loaded my blog, and I’m in need of your help and inspiration.
I am currently in my final year of my degree now and this year is worth 50% of the entire qualification, so naturally there is a serious amount of running around in the headless chicken routine and the workload is distinctly unamusing.
The sad thing is that I can’t really ever see this changing much, even once I graduate.
Anywho, like I said, I need your help. For one of my courses, I am required to do a 10 minute podcast in German. On anything I like, as far as I understand.
Except being the glutton for punishment that I am (and a massive 3 year-old), I’ve asked to do a “vodcast” (check me out) because I feel that using hand puppets and cuddly toys would make it far more entertaining a) for me and b)for the poor sod who has to sit there and grade it.
The idea was to ask you, dear readers, if you had any particular burning questions or if there was a topic that you would like the astute and enigmatic Herr Streipze (previously known as Mr. Stripes) and co. to explain/answer.
I have to hand this thing in before Christmas, so ideas are very welcome and if it proves popular (I’ll upload it onto Youtube afterwards, I promise) I can always do more…
Today I suddenly found myself looking at our fridge magnet poetry. I’ve been back at my parents since the end of March, and I’m surprised that this is the first time since then that I’ve actually taken the time to read it all.
Poetry can be incredibly diverse: one the one hand you have sonnets, there are ancient sagas, the slightly off-the-wall classics such as Blake, and then you get the Byrons, the Sassoons and the angsty teenage “You’re the love of my life” stuff written by wannabe drama queens of today that you see on various sharing websites. One thing’s for certain: I remember doing poetry at school and it was hideously boring.
They tried to do a multi-cultural poem that most of the class didn’t really understand and neither were they interested in it. They were more interested in painting nails and other girly stuff that I thought was as equally boring. Sad, but true.
Well, I say hideously boring, but the only poetry I ever took an interest in is nonsense poetry, as those of you who have read my previous post on The Jabberwocky and its translations will know.
If only there had been a form of poetry more engaging and interesting to the teenage version of myself, then I probably would have started with my wordplay and manipulation of imagery a lot earlier.
On second thoughts, maybe it was a good thing that I didn’t.
One of the main reasons I find nonsense poetry so interesting is because it makes me think. At least, it makes me think in a far more abstract manner than “normal” poetry, for want of a better word, does. It certainly encourages me to play with imagery and produce things such as describing something as “bright black”.
My solution to the whole poetry problem in schools? Fridge magnet poetry. Wanting to get a bit of Shakespeare into the curriculum? Never fear, there’s a Shakespeare kit (which features on our fridge at home and further on here). Foreign language exam coming up? No worries, we have a German kit, too.
As the German kit in our house has not quite yet developed to the same level as the Shakespeare, I shall leave that for another time.
In any case, I think that fridge magnet poetry is seriously undervalued. The number of evenings spent gathered, sniggering around the fridge like school children has certainly provided more entertainment that most board games that you end up being forced to play at family gatherings.
Cluedo? Oh no. We don’t play
SquabbleScrabble any more, either. (And anyway, I received the equivalent to a lifetime ban as apparently you have to stick to the one language when playing? Spoilsports. They claimed it was unfair if you start speaking gibberish and called it Roospeak.)
In any case, I think I can safely say that my family are downright weird.
The one thing that is very apparent is that there are varying types of fridge magnet poetry. Some have the tone of a biblical commandment:
Thou will let him be vile at sea
Whilst some are a tad risqué:
We would be on earth, but alas circumstance has slain our passion king
I sleep with my tempting romeo as I love to rub his frothy wagtail
Prince sword fickle in o nunnery
Need an excuse for no homework? No problem:
Trouble is, I hast wilteth
Other phrases have a distinct style and the author is nearly always obvious:
The queen doth bestow dire wind on me then treachery doth soon bolt out
which is followed by:
Brest canst only quicken arrow spot of discontent as I bid thee war and say swod oft
These, however, are by no means a match for the classic:
slain by far toil
Say it out loud and think school boy humour. I can say that this was without the influence of alcohol. Anybody familiar with the phenomenon that is “Dad humour”?
Yeah. All I can say is apple. Fall. Tree.
But best of all, you get the epic Shakespearian sagas which are clearly dramatic works that have taken several alcohol influenced hours of sniggering, gesticulating and musing on the complexities and the finer points of life and human existance:
Well farewell noble trifle,
What straw seizeth golden fortune o’er ere?
Alas, after much woe and thought
From said,” o scorn melodious humility
& break every damn goblet!
How can one wage above?”
Overcome ladys, yield paid your arm,
Beware no jest;
Thus horse is up your breach but no mercy,
So thence there’s sorrow morrow.
Speak! You vile precedent!
We vow at all twire wherefore get loath by sullen vow,
Nay more love this direction.
Ambition dost strive when perchance ado,
Mind your wit to use about ghost hunting,
For impatience was madness and dire kingdom lose a drunk.
Record full wonder of mercy who say they suffer defunctive window blinds,
Could a midsommer beseech thy enemies to kiss despair and die?
Galeth doth speak of stanly; curse tongue of death day,
Our poor wench not eaten, like, if art a bloody tempest die like thine dair will.
Nor toil here, o chronicle lord, shall winter plead or weep?
‘tis frailty hadst haste’d,
Were oak to see well – thou damdt myself.
Foul reason I am sweating,
Is unfold her villain, where the wicked laughing which goes nay mouth.
How art my convent; methinks, tale hast pluck, Denmark.
Do dream she know well, vaunt & slinging you oftly vow, herein est un idle borrower on my thandess, toil by far questioning goblet
Why chance almost found sun!
Fool! Marry cold steel maiden:
And remember, when in doubt:
Always ask for the night witch.
If you do anything this evening, I ask you watch this. Ladies, it will make you smile. I was actually crying with laughter.
Best quote: “Ladies, maybe you decide vampire lumberjack not for you”
Seriously, watch it.
Oh, and for the Dr. Seuss fans among you:
This link here expresses quite nicely the sheer and utter panic that’s been dominating any kind of thoughts about what to do once I graduate in 2013.
I know I still have this year to finish and then another year (now worth a wonderful 50% of my entire degree /grumble) to pass, but it still creeps in.
I’d also like to point out that languages and linguistics don’t actually appear on this; it’s mostly dealing with the Sciences and Pseudo-Sciences.
Here, have a possum.
I think my wordpress ought to prefix an apology for lack of signs of life onto each of my entries on here.
Since returning to the land of tea and crumpets, I have found myself in an office doing paid work whilst simultaneously attempting to research and write my final assignment for my year abroad.
Yesterday, I went back to my university for the first time in 5 months and for the first time in my life, actually spend 6 or so hours in the library; that mythical place of work.
Fortunately, I was chaperoned by the long-suffering Mr. Hunter. This meant that I was unable to get myself lost anywhere
or end up getting myself arrested for disrupting the peace.
I might have made the odd foray into the rather imposing world of shelves, books and deadly silence (by deadly silence, I’m talking the “in the library, no-one hears you scream” style silence) a couple of times in first year, but I have to confess that I got complacent in my second, and my love affair with the library had ended when I was wined, dined and seduced by Amazon and its Kindle.
In any case, as it turns out, when there are exams coming up, the library is rather busy. Funny, that. So we ended up in the area near the café. (I tried later to explain that this was a tactically-made decision as it meant that I was close to a source of tea.) This meant that we could actually talk to each other.
Interspersed with the hours of me whinging about the fact that I was intellectually chasing my tail and getting nowhere, Matt decided to join in and complain about Ibn Taymiyya’s theological writings and the idea of pre-eternity.
The problem seemed to be understanding what exactly pre-eternity is. I don’t know about you, but my immediate reaction was to take my understanding of the word “eternity” and then ask myself how the heck you begin to think that there was a point in time before forever.
2 minutes of googling and His Noodliness decided to clear matters up for me through the medium of Cosmic Spaghetti.
Draw a line. In the middle, you have the present. The leftmost point is the past; the rightmost the future. This, argues Ibn, is how all creatures (including humans) view and experience time.
God His Noodliness, however, does not. He is omniescent and omnipotent and sees all of those points on the line simunltaneously.
So imagine that line is now a single strand of dried spaghetti. Rotate it so that you see a single point, as if you are looking down a tube. That is pre-eternity.
And that, dear reader, is what you call a Cosmic Spaghetti moment.
Shame it took me about 5 hours to have a similar moment with the structure of my current assignment.
Ooh, look! 2 posts in one day :O
No, hell hasn’t frozen over. I thought I’d post this now before I forget.
Seeing as I was moaning earlier about how cold Munich has gotten over the past few weeks, I decided to have a go at cooking something to warm me up.
I had no idea what I was doing, and had the strangest of ingredients, but I have to say that I’m pleasantly surprised with the results. Naturally, I decided that you, dear reader, would want to know about it.
If you don’t, tough. I’m going to tell you anyway.
Aunty Roo’s “Mystery Soup”
Anyone who has ever watched me cook a main meal will tell you that I am perhaps the worst person to ask for the recipe. I can only give you a few exact amounts; everything else I do to taste.
250g mince (here in Munich it’s invariably a mix of beef and pork, but I would generally go for beef out of preference)
3/4 medium sized onions
any veg you have in the fridge
2 large cloves of garlic
a beef oxo cube
3 cups of water
Aunty Roo’s secret ingredients
paprika (the spice, not the capsicum pepper)
I told you it would be vague.
First off, wash and rinse the lentils – I didn’t put an amount because I always do these things based on how famished I’m feeling at the time. I generally cook several portions at once, so that I can take something into work with me the next day, so I often use half of a 250g packet.
Once you’ve washed and rinsed them, place them in a pan and add water – as a rule of thumb, whatever the quantity of lentils, I double it for the water. Bring to the boil and simmer until soft.
Whilst the lentils are quietly burbling in the corner, chop the onions and fry them lightly in another pan (this one needs to be deep enough to hold everything) in oil with the crushed oxo cube and a dash of curry powder.
I do this all by eye, so I can’t tell you how much I added. (I also can’t tell you what kind of curry powder – I simply found a mysterious jar of yellow powder with the word “Curry” printed on it and decided to play culinary Russian roulette.)
Once the onions have softened, add the mince and whatever vegetables you’ve decided to use. You can use literally anything. In this version, I used a handful of button mushrooms and a couple of small parsnips.
I told you the ingredients were bizarre.
Once the mince has browned, then add the tomato purée (also to taste – I personally don’t like an overpowering slap in the face of tomato), more seasoning and the water.
Hopefully by this point, the lentils should be ready and you can drain them off and bung them in too.
You then need to play the waiting game and cook it all (either boil if you want to stand over it or simmer if you
want to go to sleep/on facebook have other things to do) until it’s the right consistency:
You then need to taste and season accordingly.
Now, I could pretend to be sophisticated here and sound like I know what I’m talking about. I’m not going to lie, I didn’t have a clue what I was doing. I got the seasoning horribly wrong and it was awfully bland.
I also repeatedly burnt my tongue and uttered several words rather unbecoming of a young lady.
Once I managed to vaguely sort out the lack of flavour, I realised it still needed that “oomph”. So I then added 2 ingredients of which I’m personally quite proud of having thought. I only ask that you don’t judge me.
The first ingredient is lemon juice.
The second, was 2 heaped teaspoons of Marmite.
The result, was this:
Yes, I know how appetising it looks.
Not bad for pottering about in the kitchen when it’s cold, I thought.