Monday, August 27, 2012

craving adventure

I want out. Monotony is killing me. Every day passes exactly the same, which is not a good thing, here is not a peaceful place to be stuck in. Because things are a little bit broken around here, a little off-kilter. Some days are better, some moments are a silent hell. But looking back they're all the same. Nothing has changed since day one. No mending has been done. No whispers of The End, now you can start over, scary as it sounds. Just an endless stalemate.
 I am the hero of my story, and I will not be made victim.
I've had it. I have to do something  -- like fly down to the coast to see my sister for a week or three. Or go visit those old battle grounds I've often said I wanted to see, screw the four hour drive.
  Kimberly has found herself in a new land, and maybe that's what I need, a new horizon. Just for awhile.
 I'm tired of writing adventures for my characters while I myself sit still.
School is mere days away; summer almost over. I feel little to show for it. And I'm going to do something about that.
 Now is the time to do, my friends. You are young, you are brave, and almost fearless.
xoxo -Gwyn

Thursday, August 23, 2012

water feature

The best advice I'd ever heard given about photography was really simple: the time-honored 'think in thirds'.
 The best advice I can give as a young photographer? That I would have to say is really know your camera.
But who among us has time to actually read the manual? Who among us would actually read the manual, given the time? Not I, for certain. Oh, sure, I might give it a glance or two when I first open the box to make sure I got the lens on straight, but after that? I'm defiantly a more trial-and-error kind of learner. That being said, lets talk about shutter speed....
If you've got any sort of camera at all you have to try this. Just take an hour or two and find yourself a river or fast flowing creek and just play with all your features; ISO, aperture, manual focus, and of course shutter speed. I guarantee you'll be jumping up and down with each discovery.

Then come home with a thousand and one edits to make, and hundreds of uploads to infest your friends' Facebook home pages. So worth it.
 Ah, but speaking of a thousand-and-one edits, yesterday I realized I hadn't uploaded any photos from my camera to the computer in almost a month so.... I'll be scheduling a few posts so as not to drown you in pixels in one fell swoop of a post.

Friday, August 3, 2012

like pie in the sky, no?

The other day I was feeling courageous and decided to make Sydney's apple pie. According to her she's a kitchen klutz just like me! So when she posted a while back with a recipe called
  This Is the Easiest Thing You'll Ever Make With Apples Besides Apples & Peanut Butter
 I was naturally intrigued and hopeful. And all I needed:
+ 2 apples
+ cinnamon
+ brown sugar
+ a 8-9" pie crust

How hard could it be?
Sydney specifically states that you must use a Store Bought pie crust otherwise you're disqualified from the proud committee of Kitchen Klutzes. So I zoomed into town to our creepy little grocery store and found myself wandering the baking aisle in search of my quarry. They only had graham cracker crusts and I knew that that would not do. I came away instead with a can of cherry filling, Optimistic Self reasoning that, since I would now have to make my own crust, I might just as well make two pies and they would of course turn out ohsowonderful, and Mum would come home surprised and in awe of my extraordinary baker-ness.
Well the crust was a semi-disaster. I mean, for having like four ingredients, all of the them so utterly basic, I was enraged amazed by how temperamental and fussy and ratbag-ish it could be.
 Too much water = glop in my hands. Dump in more flour = dry, falls apart in hands. Repeat seventeen times. Forget about making an awesome pretty design for the edge. Scratch idea that I'll make two pies in one day EVER.
After pleading and pulling and patching the dough to fit the dish, the rest was refreshingly straight forward: dump in your apples, brown sugar, and go crazy with that cinnamon. I was just about to shove it all into the oven (preheated to 350f) when my inner Paula Dean* cried out: PIE without BUTTER? Noo!
 So in order to appease her I festooned the above with golden nuggets of butter-goodness. And then set it to bake. and bake. and bake. That darned crust would not for the world turn the described 'golden brown' until long after the poor apples withered and dried in a most unappetizing fashion. So I kept on adding brown sugar and cinnamon and butter till one side of the crust turned a warm yellow. The other side broke off and started burning on the oven floor, infusing the air with acrid black smoke. I decide it was ready to come out.
*I figured it must have been her, she apparently being the unofficial Greek goddess of butter. Other than that I really know little else about her. Except she has scary white teeth. 
This creature of a dish is best served hot, preferably with an unhealthy amount of ice cream on the side. The apples, while a bit rubbery, retained most of their original flavor, and besides, there's more than enough butter and cinnamon sugar to make up for any losses.
 So the moral is this:
  Butter is always a good thing.
  Ditto cinnamon and sugar.
  Peeling the apples would have been a good idea.