22 February 2011


Plant in the window, Chemistry Lab, OMSI, 2011.

I had a good weekend. Did you have a good weekend? Don't you wish it was always the weekend?

11 February 2011

Classical Cassette Tapes.

Glenn Gould image found here.

Classical Cassette Tapes.
Part One in a series of Memoirs on Music

Do you remember how grocery stores used to sell things totally un-grocery related? Maybe they still do, but I don't notice it. When I was a kid I remember randomly seeing special things like, a matching set of Christmas Dishes, or a multi-volume Encyclopedia set, or random music collections brought to you on cassette tapes.

The collection that caught my interest was cassettes of Classical composer's greatest hits. Kinda weird for a 9 or 10 year old kid from the sticks, but for some reason I had to have them. I bought a Beethoven, Mozart and Tchaikovsky tape. Who knows where I got the money for those, especially considering we were not the wealthiest of families by any stretch of the imagination. Maybe it was with birthday money, or maybe one of my grandparents forked over the cash because they thought it was a worthy purchase.

Whatever the case was, I was super excited about these cassettes. I listened to them all the time. Especially the Mozart and Beethoven ones. I memorized every little nuance in the performances, to the point where even now, when I hear a piece of music that was on one of those tapes I can tell that it is a different recording based on minor adaptations of notes and tempo.

I used to listen to them over and over, and fancy myself a little conductor, I would swing my arms and bob my head to the tempo, and act out different scenarios with my barbie dolls where they were classical musicians, and of course they were very famous and wealthy. I would pantomime piano playing, envisioning myself as some grand master piano player, when in reality I never really learned to play anything very complicated in the 5 odd years in which I took lessons off and on.

I still love classical music, and listen to it regularly. I feel very much an amateur though, my knowledge of the classical world is very small. I know I love piano sonatas, I know that much, but I really have no knowledge of who or what I like outside of Moonlight Sonata. I recently watched this incredible program on PBS about Glenn Gould (which I totally recommend watching, it's amazing), and fell in love with him. He was like, the rock star of classical musicians, he was talented, obsessive, quirky, strange, eccentric, brilliant. I fall in love with anyone that loves their craft that much.

But other than those three composers I had on cassette tape, I've really only picked up Vivaldi, Bach, and Leonard Bernstein (thanks to my love of old movies) albums since. I really need to expand my knowledge though. I owe it to my childhood self.

And now for a completely unrelated movie quote (from the hit film Empire Records)
Lucas: Warren, look what you took.
[going through the CD's that Warren stole from the store]

Lucas: Rap... metal... rap... metal... And Whitney Houston.

Warren: It's for my girlfriend, okay?

Lucas: Suuure it is. You know, someone like you needs to diminish their criminal impulses, not magnify them. Maybe some jazz or some classical.
Warren: Maybe you bite me.

So how about you, do you like classical music? Any recommendations of classical composers or musicians?

10 February 2011

Whole Wheat Peanut Butter Cookies

Made some cookies today. A bit of a riff on the standard Peanut Butter Cookie. I used whole wheat flour instead of regular flour, and I added a chocolate chip on top. I halved most of the ingredients from a classic type recipe (Here's one at Simply Recipes), but these ones have a higher ration of egg and peanut butter, which gave these cookies a little more of a fluffiness than your usual pb cookie. They turned out really nice and light. Eli's had like, 4 in the last hour. I think that means they are tasty. :)


Whole Wheat Peanut Butter Cookies

  • 1/2 cup peanut butter 
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened to room temp.
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 tbsp milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder 
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 16 chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Mix peanut butter, butter, sugar and brown sugar in bowl til well blended. Add egg, milk and vanilla extract, mix until smooth. Add flour, baking powder and salt, mix til combined. Spoon one tbsp size balls onto cookie sheet (I did two batches of 8). Top each one with a chocolate chip, pressing down slightly. Bake for 8 minutes. Cool on rack and enjoy!

Makes 16 cookies.

So tasty!

Tidbits or, Things of Interest to me this week.

Tidbits or, Things of Interest to me this week.
(full of linky-links for you to clicky-click)

  • This morning my friend Nick called just to chat. It was nice. We talked about old tv shows that we like and how cool the Real Life Gidget was. I told him about this neat-o vid I saw of Alain Gree drawing a happy picture. I recommend everyone should call a friend for no reason but to chat, you will make your friend so happy. Try it out on one of your friends today!

Outside today it is sunny and cool.

  • I have been reading the Tolkien Reader, listening to the Tolkien Professor Podcast, and playing a lot of Lord of the Rings Online. Basically I've been back on a Tolkien kick, and it has been marvelous. I would be reading Anne of Green Gables right now, but I can't find it. I must have left it somewhere. If you see it, let me know, OK?

  • I've signed up for this website Sparkpeople. It's pretty neat for tracking nutrition, fitness, dieting, etc, and best of all it's free! I figure it might help with my whole get fit new years resolution thingy.

Today's lunch, approx. 590 calories.

  • My friend Jody texted me this photo of her latte today. She knows about my love for lattes, art, and latte art. This latte is from of 10 Speed Coffee. I wish I was drinking a latte right now, but Earl Grey tea is OK too.

Yummy latte.

What are your interests this week friends?