August 24, 2010

What she watched: The Kids Are All Right

When we got an invitation to a secret movie screening* I was a little worried about rocking up to see whoknowswhat. Not that I'm picky about my movies in a filmbuff kinda way, but I'm very squeamish about violence, can't handle the tension of thrillers, and too wussy for horror, so my movie choices are more limited than most (normal) people's.**

Luckily for me, the screening was a sneak preview of The Kids are All Right. Julianne Moore and Annette Bening are spot-on as the older gay couple whose teenage kids go looking for their sperm donor dad. There was a really natural chemistry between them (and also between them and Mia Wasikowska and Josh Hutcherson, who play their kids) that made the film for me. (Well, that and the pissyourpants funny bits...)

* thank you, Hopscotch Films!
** which might explain why I'm happy to watch Michael Cera play the same role over and over, I guess.

August 22, 2010

Things that cheered me up after a disappointing election (non)result

1. Baking bread - my first foray into both fresh yeast and wholemeal flour. Not sure how it's going to turn out (it's currently proving atop the gas heater) but pretending the dough was a certain politician's smug face during kneading certainly helped to relieve some of the stress brought on by thinking about what Australia will be like for the next few years if said smug politician manages to form a government.

2. John Green's latest vlog, which also made me really, really want to catalogue my library (aka the tiny bookshelf piled two deep, currently catalogued using the timeless if-you-can-cram-it-into-this-space-that's-where-it-lives technique).

3. Homemade dumplings for lunch - officially my favourite comfort food.

4. Walking in the sunshine - yes, it really is sunny in Melbourne today!

5. Knitting a pair of Susan's Opalicious Uni-solid Lace Socks using softsoft Crystal Palace bamboo soy yarn in a zappy green called 'wasabi'.

Off now to:
6. Knock the air out of risen dough while pretending it is a certain smug politician's face.

I have a feeling there may be a lot of baking chez Fantapants over the next week or so...

August 16, 2010

Headline of the week

Scrabble champ wins with vowel movements

I can almost hear the subeditor boom-tishing themself as they typed it. (Mind you, that would be the same person who included as a 'story highlight': "Knowing the dictionary well is helpful"...)

August 9, 2010

What she likes this week

Because other people are way more productive/creative/interesting than I've been feeling lately:
  • Alien Onion's illustrated guide to the book cover design process (I can definitely relate to Step 7)
  • Rhett and Link's squirrel copyright song struck a chord, although I'd like to think that posing for photos with me is my reward for being the tourist whose handbag is never without a stash of natural almonds
  • Anma's pointers on character names to avoid - point 6 will stay with me for ever
  • Pip's quest to cook her way through the Australian Woman's Weekly recipe box makes me want to do a "project", but given how rubbish I've been lately about getting the have-tos done, the want-tos are not looking like an option...

August 5, 2010

The need to knead

I think it was watching an episode of The Good Life that triggered my sudden desire to bake bread. Usually I leave any yeast-based adventures to Mr Fantapants (who makes a mean pizza base), but for the past few months I've found myself dithering in the bread-flour section of the supermarket every time we shop, with visions of golden brown loaves, fresh from the oven. Then I'd think about the kneading and the fickleness of yeast and the general mess of it all and put the flour down and pick up our usual sliced loaf. But on Saturday we made a pilgrimage to the Mediterranean Wholesalers in Brunswick to stock up on a few essential pantry items*, and when I saw the bread flour I knew that the time had come to conquer my fear.

A few encouraging words from a Baking Friend who's been baking her own for a year now, the simplest recipe I could find (as recommended by Baking Friend) and a few hours later, this emerged:

And now I think I'm hooked...

* squid in ink, calasparra rice, a bunch of dried oregano, lemon-stuffed olives for Mr F's martinis...all the essentails