Friday, September 30, 2011


Like a dinosaur, I still purchase CDs.  Perhaps I don't buy as many at brick-and-mortar stores as I used to, but that's because selection has declined at places like Best Buy.  That alone should be an indication of where the future of physical media is headed.

The canary in the coal mine that I want to address, though, is the number of shoppers I see when I'll drop in on a new release Tuesday.  It used to be that the stores would be busy and the parking lots were relatively full. Over the last couple years I've noticed that there are a lot fewer cars outside and a lot fewer people inside.  I can go around lunch time and not have to wait to check out. Best Buy is the behemoth of the big box electronics retailers that's still standing, but how much longer can they still make a go of it?

Sure, when Christmas shopping madness kicks into gear at Thanksgiving, I'm sure the lines will be long and the parking lots packed.  Maybe the fourth quarter is enough to sustain business, but I'm beginning to wonder if most of these big retailers, which have fought a war of attrition to rule their markets, can last in the long haul.

Granted, this is just anecdotal evidence, but years of new release Tuesday shopping shows me that there's definitely a decline in those joining me.


Thursday, September 29, 2011


Seems like I don't have enough of it these days.


Wednesday, September 28, 2011


Realistically my Reds have been out of the pennant race for two months, if not longer.  It was a disappointing year to be a fan of the baseball team in Cincinnati.  A busy September and nothing to see them play for meant I watched few of their games as they played out the string.

Still, I am a baseball fan, so I tuned in to see which teams would grab the last two spots in the playoffs.  I didn't have any particular rooting interest.  Sure, I preferred for Atlanta and Tampa to advance, but it didn't have anything invested in the outcomes.

As it turns out, it was a great night to be a fan of the sport.  Of the four games that mattered, only one didn't require one's close attention.  Two went to extra innings, one of which probably never should have needed the additional frames.  One was decided with a two-out ninth inning rally.  Two of the games with somewhat improbable endings wrapped within minutes of each other.

Except for sporting events, technology and time-shifting have rendered live viewing of television largely inessential.  (You can get away with recording games to watch later, but you're also probably more in danger of having the result spoiled.)  Tonight's dramatic conclusion of the regular season had to be experienced as it happened, though.  Whether it was switching between channels or interacting with friends through Twitter as we watched the games while hundreds of miles apart, being in the moment is what made it so thrilling.  It certainly was worth fighting through the slumber trying to overtake me.

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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Cosby sweater

Now this what I call a Cosby sweater.

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Monday, September 26, 2011

Round two

Having recovered from last week's first sessions with a student trainer, I returned today for a second week.  Basically I spent last week sore from the workouts, but it comes with the territory.  I'd had enough days off that I was looking forward to continuing the work.

And once again I left emptied.  Honestly, it would be comical except for the struggling to do much of anything with my arms after these workouts.  They've been turned into gelatin.  It takes practically all I have to pick up something or take off my shirt.  (Lifting my arms up is a real struggle.)

I'm interested to see if this is going to be an occurrence twice a week for almost the remainder of the year.  If so, Monday and Wednesday evenings will find me being virtually useless.


Sunday, September 25, 2011

A Sunday read

Amid the frantic pace I've been keeping I find that Sundays are best as prescribed: a time of rest.  And watching (or sleeping during) football games.

Still, I want to blog something, and since I've been light on the knitting content, I thought I'd dig up a link to something that applies to it.  So, here you go: the daughter of The Clash's Joe Strummer talks about handcrafting and knitting in the punk tradition.

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Saturday, September 24, 2011

On your mark

A student group at my alma mater put together a 5K Homecoming run to raise money for charity.  I knew that I could use the exercise and was curious to see how I'd fare.  So I signed up despite not spending any time on the recumbent bike the last two and a half weeks and being sore from some weight training.  Since my legs felt fine, I figured I could run the race without much difficulty.

The good news: I ran the whole thing, and generally I felt pretty good.  The cool weather was to my liking, even if it was a bit on the chilly side.  The mix of track, pavement, and grass was easy on the knees.  The muddy terrain made for some treacherous turns, but it wasn't so bad at my low speed.  My time was within a range that I'd consider acceptable for now.

I could have posted a faster time if I hadn't needed to stop eight to ten times to stop and tie a shoe whose laces kept coming undone, and I imagine that running in some of the slop slowed me down.  Since the finish line's exact location was somewhat unclear, I didn't air it out at the end, which kept the time slower too.

But I wasn't really running for the time.  I was running to see if I could do it and do better than the 4th of July race.  I was running to see how I felt during and after.  I was running to get in another exercise session that I hadn't been able to fit in during the week.

I felt good throughout the day and feel good now.  All things considered, I'd have to consider this race a big success for me.  Next time around, though, I'd like to see what I'm capable of beyond merely surviving.

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Friday, September 23, 2011

Why not?

Consider it aspirational thinking.  I signed up today for a 5K on Saturday morning.  I'm probably not ready for it, but why not run it?

My arms are still sore from training sessions this week.  I'm going to be busy working for a good portion of Saturday.  Taking that time in the morning to get some extra sleep or just sit at home and be wouldn't be such a bad idea.

Instead, I'm going to wrench myself out of bed before 8 a.m. and attempt to run this entire race.  Wish me luck.

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Thursday, September 22, 2011


Long day.  I just want to put this on repeat and fall asleep to it.

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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Talk about the passion

R.E.M. announced that they were calling it quits today.  As a longtime fan I'm a little sad that they're hanging it up as a band, but they had a long, remarkably consistent run.  The last two albums have been a return to form after easily their weakest effort and thus make for as appropriate of a way for them to close the book as anything. 

Perhaps there will be the standard new album and reunion down the line, but I don't get the sense they'll take that path.  Whether they were a big underground band or a big (and somewhat unlikely) mainstream rock outfit, they didn't seem to be all that different.  I get the sense that the guys will continue to work on their own projects and be content to see where that takes them.

As best I can remember, the first time I heard R.E.M. was when "The One I Love" began getting radio play.  I was a freshman in high school and not particularly into "alternative" music.  In fact, I thought they and some of their peers were weird. 

For that matter, I didn't buy music then.  I listened to the radio but wasn't all that caught up in rock and roll.  Document produced some pop hits, as did their major label debut Green, and I had friends who were fans.  Still, I didn't get on board until Out of Time and "Losing My Religion", which I consider among my all-time favorite songs.

For me U2 and R.E.M.--the two were virtually inseparable as modern rock titans--became a gateway to another kind of music being made that was at least a bit off the beaten path and of my generation.  To like R.E.M. was to assert one's identity as quite distinctly different from the hair metal bands and classic rock vestiges that dominated the rock mainstream then.

For a time R.E.M. surely held the title as my favorite band.  I collected albums and singles and lusted for the imports I'd see at record stores but wouldn't buy due to their high price tags and sketchy origins.  I desperately wanted to see them live, but I became a fan right when they took an extended break from touring.

I finally got to see them two days before my college graduation in 1995.  Despite buying tickets in advance through the radio station where I was doing part-time work, I didn't have a great seat, but it didn't much matter.  I managed to see them two other times, in Cleveland in 1999 and in Cincinnati in 2004. 

That last time seeing them was fraught with my peril.  Originally the concert was scheduled for Akron.  I had a seat in the second or third row--fantastic!--and just happened to find out a few weeks before it that the concert was cancelled.  It was rescheduled for Cincinnati and put on sale with little notice where I live.  I was the first (and only) person in line at Ticketmaster when I plunked down the money to see them.  This time I ended up in the front row.  I could hardly believe my luck.  If that is to be my final memory of seeing the band, how can I complain?

R.E.M. hasn't been a huge band in commercial terms in a long time, certainly not what they were in the late '80s through mid '90s.  Whereas The Beatles and Led Zeppelin were still touchstones for my generation, does R.E.M. fill the same role for today's high school and college students?  I tend to doubt it, mainly because they were never THAT massive, but the music blogs have healthy respect for them that may sustain R.E.M. through younger listeners.

For those my age, though, it does feel like a shift.  My Twitter feed had plenty of comments and memories from fellow Generation Xers about the band's role in shaping what they listened to and what it was like to see them live.  I feel like they and U2 were on that last wave where being the biggest band in the world meant something.  As much as I love some of their inheritors--Arcade Fire, for instance--is it still possible for a rock group to penetrate mass consciousness like that? 

Although the mainstream was hip to them for awhile, R.E.M. was never a trendy band, and that may be a key reason why they will endure.  Listening to their songs and albums today, they don't sound especially dated.  Sure, I link them to specific periods in my life, and I suppose at some point I may listen to them out of nostalgia.  The workmanlike solidity of their music should still hold appeal, though, for future teenagers...or so I hope.  R.E.M. was never The Beatles, nor was that what they were meant to be.  Nevertheless, they are a defining band of the '80s and '90s, and it'd be nice to know that they have a deserved place in the canon in the years to come.

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Looking for the magic

Busy.  Tired.  Have had this song stuck in my head since seeing it in a film that used it a lot.

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Monday, September 19, 2011

Work it out

I had my first workout with a student trainer as part of a program at the university, and boy are my arms tired.  Rather, make that almost every fiber in me.

I know that I need to get stronger, particularly in the shoulders and lower back, so that's what we're working on.  It's not about getting ripped but getting in shape and feeling better.  I still have some issues lingering from the car accident last year that are related to being weaker in the upper back.  This seems like as good of a way as any of fixing them. 

I think it's fair to say that on day one he pushed me to my limit, or at least what that point was today.  Talk about having little left in the tank.  My arms were so tired that I didn't feel like I could carry much of anything after we were done.  And I was starving. 

I've done little to no work on my own with weights, so I imagine results should come quickly if I push my way through the workouts.  I'm sure these early sessions are going to leave me drained and likely sore the following day.  It'll be worth it, but I can't say I expected to be so thoroughly tired after this first one.


Sunday, September 18, 2011


I've gone back and posted photos and a few words on my trip that I didn't have time for when I was actually in Toronto.  So, you can scroll down or use this handy list of links:

-September 8
-September 9
-September 10
-September 11
-September 12
-September 13

I still have two other days of backposting to do--those would be the days where I essentially came home and slept--but these posts should give you a taste of my time at the movies in Canada.

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Saturday, September 17, 2011


I'm getting backlogged on the currently unblogged days.  Blame Canada.

Undoubtedly the lack of sleep and go, go, go nature of my time up north caught up with me since I've returned.  Thursday night I came home from a long day of work and proceeded to doze for a couple hours before getting up and going to bed.  Friday followed the same pattern.

I'm usually a light sleeper, but on both of these occasions and during my time in Toronto, when I was out, I was out.  I did feel better during the day than I have since Tuesday, and I haven't really napped tonight.  I'll take that as a sign that I'm mostly back to normal.

Let's face it. I was overdue to crash like this.  I felt remarkably good during the six days in Toronto, especially since I was getting around five or six hours of sleep a night.  If this post-trip weariness is the price to be paid, I'll take that every time.

But it is taking some time to get back into the swing of things.

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Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Off the grid

Despite my intentions to post photographs at a minimum while I was in Toronto, that's all going to be happening after the fact.  Truth is, some occasional wi-fi issues and an insanely busy (and insanely fun) schedule kept me from keeping up here.  I'll be going back and adding pictures on the days I took them.  I did the blog entries in my head; I just didn't have the time to take care of business.  I had 22-waking hour days on the dates I arrived and departed, so cut me a little slack.

The event I was attending surpassed my high expectations.  I did not want to leave.  In fact, my friend and I stuck around quite a bit longer and left twelve hours or so later than originally intended.

There was only one drawback, and that had to do with data rates when you leave the country.  Driving over the border jacked the data rate to $15.36 per megabyte.  I turned off data roaming, push notifications, and 3G to avoid racking up an enormous bill.  While I could connect to wi-fi when I found it, I was effectively off the grid while roaming the streets.  (Taking note of internet hotspots was important, especially since I was trying to organize meet-ups while out and about.)

On one hand it was nice to be freed forcibly from the phone.  There would be no constant maintenance of e-mail, particularly those from work.  From a mental perspective I was very much in the physical surroundings.  As much as I might ordinarily rely on the smartphone's tools in this situation, I was able to get by in "the old way", although this was probably more of a hybrid.

I was also largely divorced from the news of the world.  I didn't have time to monitor everything, so when I did have time, I was keeping up with a Twitter list that was of direct use regarding the event.  There's so much noise in the media that it was nice to escape it, as unlikely as that might sound for being downtown in a major international city.

The downside is that I do rely on the ability to be in constant communication with anyone and everyone.  I met up with several colleagues, some I've met before and some I've never met.  Trying to coordinate plans to get together was a challenge, especially if I'd go eight hours or more without being able to contact them.  If I wanted to find a place in an unfamiliar city on the spur of the moment, I probably couldn't.

Anyway, I'm back on now and have no plans (for now) to leave where I live until Thanksgiving, so I'm back to being plugged in all the time.  Perhaps I'll be more mindful of how it?

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Bonus day

The original plan was to return home this morning, but neither of us really wanted to leave.  So, I ended up being able to stick around for four more films, including the one I most wanted to see at the festival.  That also meant leaving around 8:45 p.m. and arriving home at 4:00 a.m. on September 14th.  Was it worth it?  Absolutely.

Up top you see the TIFF Bell Lightbox and the two restaurants--the O&B Canteen on ground level, Luma on the second floor--attached to it.

 Here's a look at the swanky VISA Screening Room at the Elgin Theatre.

And here's Damsels in Distress director Whit Stillman and cast members Carrie MacLemore, Greta Gerwig, Adam Brody, and Analeigh Tipton.

With that, I bid Toronto adieu.  I had a wonderful time and hated to go.  Hopefully I'll be back no later than a year from now.

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Monday, September 12, 2011

Eat and run

If there's only one time for one meal a day while I'm at the film festival, make it count, right?  Big Smoke Burger on King St. E. fit the bill today.

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Sunday, September 11, 2011

Business as usual

I'd like to be sampling Toronto's cuisine more than I've had time for.  Basically it's been a donut and one meal, but I was able to sit and enjoy my lunch today at the O&B Canteen, which is next to the festival's hub, the TIFF Bell Lightbox.

There's really no reason for posting another view of my lunch other than to give you a little bit better sense of the surroundings.

And then I saw the new film starring Val Kilmer and directed by that guy who made The Godfather.

If this all seems frivolous on the tenth anniversary of 9/11, well, that's how I spent the day.  I'll admit that it was kind of a relief not to be around what I imagine was inescapable reflecting on the tragedy.  The festival acknowledged it with a well-intended but ultimately misguided short that preceded each film.  September 11 falls during the festival every year and affected the tenor of it in 2001, not that I was at it then.  So bringing it up made sense, even if the piece about it was, umm, awkward.

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Saturday, September 10, 2011

Off the red carpet

The film festival up here has its share of glitz and glamour.  I've seen a few filmmakers on the streets but haven't walked by any stars in the normal course of attending films.  I happened to be near the Moneyball red carpet on Friday and tried to peek through the throng to see if I could see anyone I may have caught a glimpse of Brad Pitt, but I couldn't tell you for sure if it was him.  That was kind of a crazy scene.

I am getting to see directors, actors, and actresses on a pretty regular basis when they introduce films and talk about them after they've played.  Up above you see the director and star of Trishna.  I don't expect you to know who Michael Winterbottom is, but you may recognize Freida Pinto from Slumdog Millionaire, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, or L'Oreal ads.

The screening for Melancholia had a red carpet, although for those of us lined up to get inside, there wasn't much gawking we could do as we were ushered inside.  For us the star power was reserved for the stage.  Showing up for the premiere were Kirsten Dunst, Alexander Skarsgård, Kiefer Sutherland, and Udo Kier.

I'm not up here for the celebrity spotting, but it is kind of exciting to see these folks.  Coming out of Melancholia I was about ten feet from the red carpet for the next film and caught good looks of Ryan Gosling and Albert Brooks.  Yep, I guess I'm at a big, international event.

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Friday, September 09, 2011

Say what?

I know a fair number of people who are up here at the festival, although some of them I've never met.  I have an iPhone to keep me connected with people, but while I'm in the city (or in this country, period) I'm at the mercy of those places pumping out free wi-fi to try and arrange meet-ups.

Crazily enough, I've attended six films so far and not sat by myself for any of them.  Today I had lunch with a local at C'est What, met someone else at another film by virtue of each of us describing our clothing on Twitter, and ran into someone I know from home at the last one.

On King Street W. on the walk back to the hotel I passed by a promotional trailer--literally!--that's pictured at the top of this post.  It was a bit strange to see someone in a hazmat suit attending to someone having a seizure on a gurney, but Contagion doesn't just promote itself.

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Thursday, September 08, 2011

Quite a start

I knew I'd have to wait in a line of some sort to pick up my tickets, and I calculated at least an hour when backtiming for my arrival in Toronto.  With my first film at 6:00 p.m. at a theater that is approximately a twenty to thirty minute walk from the festival box office and calculating that I want to be in line there by 5:15, then I figured I ought to get into town by 3:00 or 3:30.

The plan was to leave at 6:30 a.m.  I slept maybe four restless hours before finally giving up and getting up at 4:45.  It's not the way to start what would prove to be a long day--I was up about 22 straight hours--but the extra time gave me the comfort of knowing I had everything ready to go and not being in a hurry.

Because neither my friend nor I were hungry and we went through a stretch where there wasn't anywhere compelling to stop to eat, we made fantastic time with just one bathroom stop and another one for gas and its weird Canadian pricing.  Cents per liter?!

Arriving at the downtown hotel at 2:00 p.m. would then seem to give me time to breathe.  The room wasn't ready, so I figured the best bet was to get the tickets and then figure things out from there.  As it turned out, the extra time was essential.  After walking to the festival box office and picking up the ticket package with ease, I then found one of those quirks of the system.  Picking up the individual tickets I ordered meant getting into a different line.  (I could also turn in my vouchers and do any exchanges in this line.)  That line only took, oh, about 90 minutes to get through.

Since I was not going to be heading back to the hotel--and would not be there until about 2:30 a.m.--I began heading to the first theater.  At this point I realized I had no Canadian currency.  I popped into a Hilton on the way and got money changed at an absurd rate.  (Nice little racket there with the fee everyone charges.  It was the same changing money at a bank.)

And then I saw three movies.

Did I mention all I'd had to eat all day was a cinnamon roll and a decaf coffee?  After the third movie I did get a slice of pizza at 2:00 a.m. and ate it while walking the twenty minutes or so to the hotel...where the room was not in my name and I did not have a key.

Luckily I didn't have any problems at the hotel and finally collapsed into bed by 2:45.  Quite a start to the festival.

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Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Another year

And as the calendar turns to today, I celebrate my birthday.

It's been a modest day.  I enjoyed a partially free breakfast as I scheduled my pick-up of a free spicy chicken biscuit from Chick-fil-a for this morning.  (I paid for the coffee and mini hash browns.)  A quick web search turned up that Firehouse Subs gives you a free medium sub on your birthday, so lunch was mostly on them.  (I sprung for chips and a drink.)  I paid for all of supper.

Since I'm leaving for Toronto in the morning, today has been more about getting ready for the trip than anything else.  In previous years this would have been a slow day at the office, but there was plenty to take care of there.  Tonight at home will be packing and doublechecking that I have everything I need.  With my focus so otherwise directed, it's kind of hard to think of this as my birthday.

The trip to the film festival isn't a birthday gift I'm giving myself, but it does tie in nicely.  That I had my first meeting with a trainer on this day is also coincidental.  This is a free program with the university's student trainers, and I figured I could use some help mixing things up with my workouts.  Twice a week for the next three months or so I'll have someone else putting me through the paces.

It has been nice to see the birthday wishes come in, and overall the day has been a good one.  Has it been anything special?  Not really.  That's OK.  There will be plenty of fun in the days ahead to make up for a relatively quiet and business-like birthday.


Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Summer's end

Since Labor Day has come and gone, the summer is unofficially over.  So how did I do with all the little projects I hoped to immerse myself in? Not very well, it turns out.

I read The Hunger Games trilogy in a short period of time, but those were the last books I read.  I started an Elmore Leonard novel but didn't get very far in it.  The TV series on DVD that I hoped to catch up on didn't find their way into the player except for a few episodes. 

I started the summer sitting on one of my balconies, enjoying being outside, and watching the birds.  Somewhere along the line I got too busy and that fell by the wayside.  I really should do some of that this fall.

Where did all that time go?  What did I do with it?  I'm not entirely sure, although I'm guessing that work and exercise took up a significant part of it.

While the summer went much too quickly and wasn't filled with some of the media I'd hoped to consume, I certainly can't complain about how the season turned out.  There were trips to D.C., New York, Cincinnati, Dayton, Ann Arbor, and my parents' new home.  I saw a fair number of baseball games and two Broadway plays.  I attended concerts of some favorites who don't get here often but came nearby twice and saw a Beatle for the first time.

And in less than 48 hours I'll be in Toronto.  What a way for fall to unofficially begin.


In advance

Do you find yourself getting stressed out before a vacation?  I know I have often put myself in the situation of not packing early enough or getting everything together in order sooner than I do.  Plans?  Those are usually set well ahead of time.  Doing what needs to get me out the door?  That's usually reserved for the last minute, and it does me no favors.

I am trying to be better prepared for the trip to Canada this week.  Part of the reason is because there have been so many moving pieces that I don't want to be scrambling at the last minute.  I want to get to bed early the night before--yes, even if it is my birthday--so I'll be rested before an early rise and lengthy drive.

I gave up a significant portion of today to working.  While I didn't complete everything on the list, I was pleased with my productivity.  I made good strides.  I plan to hit the sack at a reasonable hour to reset my clock.  (This will do me no good once at the festival, but I'm most concerned with that first day.)  I want to do most of the packing on Tuesday so it's not a concern on the day before departure.

I've been stressing out about this trip for awhile, mainly because there's been so much to keep on top of.  Hotel reservations were made three or four months ago.  I bought the ticket package about two months ago.  Last week required getting the specific tickets allotted where I wanted.  That's done, at least for what's within my control.  Who's driving and when we're leaving has not been discussed, although I kind of figure that I'll be the one who ends up behind the wheel.  By virtue of the ticket distribution giving me something Thursday night, I have a much more pressing need to get there with ample time, thus necessitating an early morning departure.  Then there's figuring out where to park, how to get around, etc.

Let's put it this way: I've been dreaming about all this.

I'm sure things will go fine and that I'll have a good time.  The anxiety leading up to it, though, has been more than I expected.  And so help me if I somehow forget my passport.

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Sunday, September 04, 2011


Some moviegoing, some napping, some straightening up around the apartment, and some TV viewing. (I had three episodes of Breaking Bad to catch up on, including tonight's latest installment.) That's what passed for this Labor Day weekend Sunday.

Call it the calm before the storm (or after the storm considering the busy nature of last week). I'm planning to work on Monday so that I'll have cleared the one thing that could be hanging over me while I'm gone for a bit. I want to be able to go to the festival without that writing nagging me. I expect the abbreviated work week to be plenty packed as is, so if I can feel like I got ahead of something before going out of town, all the better.

Speaking of which, I'm already anticipating that my schedule in Toronto is going to preclude much in the way of blogging here. So, for whoever's reading, I'll promise to post a photograph and some short bit about the day while I'm in Canada. Anything more than that is icing on the cake and, frankly, not likely to happen.


Saturday, September 03, 2011

First batch

I tried my hand at homemade Oreos tonight, but due to my mistakes, I imagine they look better than they taste. If you'd like to attempt to make them, correct these errors that I made.

-Roll the dough out more.

You can see that the wafers are a lot puffier than what you expect from Oreos. I thought I'd rolled them out enough, but clearly that wasn't true.

-Don't use powdered sugar of uncertain age that has been in the cupboard probably picking up other smells.

The filling definitely tastes off, and I think the blame falls on the powdered sugar. I was surprised how much the texture and consistency of the filling is like the "stuf" in Oreos.

-You don't need to make as much filling as is suggested. I didn't come anywhere close to using it all.

-Use the suggested food coloring if you want the cookies to resemble their inspiration.

I decided not to bother with food coloring--it isn't essential--but without it you can't sell the illusion of homemade Oreos as much.

On the positive side, the lid from something in the spice cabinet works very well for cutting out the cookies. With all that didn't work, I found these pretty easy to make. Now that the rough draft batch is out of the way, I'll have to do them up right.

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Friday, September 02, 2011

Keeping up with the neighbors

My residence has been a recurring topic on this blog, so get ready for the latest update.

The neighbor who lived below me has officially moved out. I suspected as much when I returned from New York City, not to mention the fact that it seemed like she and her daughter weren't here often, but confirmation arrived on the last day of August. Of anyone in these units, I had spoken to her more than the occupants of the four other apartments, mainly because I'd encountered her a couple times in the parking lot. While her smoking pretty much meant I could no longer keep the sliding door open in cooler weather or sit on the balcony when she was around, I appreciated that she and her child weren't loud.

Now I bide my time waiting to see who moves in next. Since the other apartment in this unit was filled relatively quickly after the last people moved out, I wouldn't be surprised if someone is in there by the time I get back from Canada.

As for the new next door neighbors, a second one is here now. A young guy was already there. A young woman moved in last weekend. I don't think they're a couple. The names on the mailbox are different, so I don't think they're siblings. If I were to guess, one or both are Ohio State students.

They've been much better neighbors than the previous occupants, at least so far. Noise hasn't been an issue. For that matter, they aren't in and out and in and out and in out like the last ones. (They didn't necessarily go anywhere. If anything, they were here too much. They just had lots of dogs to take out, and sometimes they'd smoke in the stairwell.)

Tonight the guy did do something that never ceases to confuse me. He came out of the apartment talking on a cell phone, conducted some of the conversation in the stairwell, and then walked into the parking lot to continue it for a good long while. If you have your own space, why would you do this? I can't hear it if you're in your apartment. I can, and so can several others, if you're outside.

I've become the old lady keeping tabs on everybody, haven't I?

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Thursday, September 01, 2011


September, and a young man's thoughts turn to knitting. OK, maybe not, but the last third of the year is when it seems like time to start thinking more about projects. This August was cooler than usual while the first day of September saw the temperature jump up, but milder weather should be on its way.

This blog has been witness to a serious lack of knitting on my part this year. I confess to being busy and directing energies elsewhere--exercising mainly--but I need to get back into the swing of things knitting-wise. The transition into fall will hopefully be an impetus to doing so. I'm ready to park myself in front of football games on TV. That's good for knitting, especially when I want to avert my eyes from my favorite professional team, a bad franchise that looks to be even worse than usual this year.

Before you break into wild applause, let me hedge by saying that I don't anticipate refocusing some of my time and energy into knitting until the middle of the month. I am crushingly busy right now. Then I leave the country for five nights, which will keep me occupied going to movies and enjoying whatever else the city has to offer. After I return home do I foresee any serious knitting time ahead of me.

Mainly, though, I just wonder where all the time goes and has gone? Did days use to be longer?

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