i know better than this

Agnes and her surrogates taught me long ago, the motto is simple:

“Be Prepared.”

It is not:

“Let yourself get stuck at work with a dead car battery, no jumper cables, no flashlight, a cell phone with barely enough charge to let you get a couple of phone numbers off of it, and an almost empty gas tank when your Nerd is out of town for the week and it’s -9°F.”

Keith Olbermann needs to add a Best Person in the World segment to his show, and have Amber, Nicholas, and Alan as features. My friends rock. My stupidity does not.

Anyways, I managed to get home ok (gassed up the car on the way too), and I found Nerd 2’s jump starter in the garage, but of course, not charger for it. It’s got a half charge on it now, and the car did start this morning, so I’m hoping to find a universal AC/DC adaptor at BBY for a reasonable amount of money after work today.

Or maybe I’ll just live dangerously.

honestly…who throws a shoe?

And who thinks it’s a good idea to run around downtown minneapolis in a skirt and high heels in December?

Well, the answer to the second question is me and my friends who decided back in October (when it was still reasonable to go outside with exposed skin) that it would be fun to dress up and act like adults for an evening. We hit Barrio for dinner (verdict: the food is good, but not worth the hassle, at least not on a Friday night), and hung out at the twin lounges at the W hotel for drinks afterwards. Nerd 2 ordered a very expensive, very large drink which involved dry ice and and much liquor, and because he was driving, I had to drink most of it…oops…thankfully I had help.

Saturday was Chele and Marshall’s xmas xperience, which was mucho fun (even if Nerd 3 and I did end up doing a tad too much grandstanding in front of GHIII).

Tonight, I need to bake for a potluck — surfer squares based on Jenni’s recipe, since most of my good recipes involve more effort/planning than my co-workers deserve — and possibly bottle a batch of beer.

BTW, I haven’t forgotten my bread related promise — I’m pretty sure I have the ingredients right and now it’s all about fiddling with the timing…maybe next weekend.

and another jaffa cake

Here is an insidious little calculator that will tell you how many calories you drank last night. It’s not a new concept obviously, but this one is cute about how it dramatizes everything and then relates your total to, among other things, the number of jaffa cakes you could have eaten instead. I love jaffa cakes mainly because they are a foreign concept even to my Canadian (and therefore more attuned to the ways of the world that Americans) mind.

So, on a whim a few months ago, I decided to take Ticketmaster up on their offer to rape me for a pair of tickets to see the Trans-Siberian Orchestra. I figured the show would probably be fun simply for the fact that it’s hair metal about Christmas, and if Nerd 2 wasn’t interested, I could always sell the tickets on Craigslist or Stubhub. Well, Nerd 2 was interested and the show was last night, and I didn’t regret it a bit.

The first half of the show was sort of what I expected from them, a cheesy xmas story interspersed with Christmas carols made awesome. I have to admit, the story was a little cheesier than I had hoped, and the band members seemed to be phoning it in a little, but by the time the story wrapped up and the little lost girl found her way home and the old hobo dude swore that it was all really true (something to do with angels not leaving tracks in the snow), I felt I had got what I paid for (after all, it had snowed inside the Xcel Center. And there were lasers).

But then, the music stopped for a while so that the band and the singers could be introduced. And then the real show started — the lasers were augmented with fireworks and flame blasts hot enough to heat you up from across the arena. The two main guitarists dueled it out on a flying stage in the center of the room. The huge robotic light rig moved and aimed its lasers like something out of Macross Plus. There was heavy metal O Fortuna with real flames in the background, and I want to believe that they added a rendition of the Peanuts theme just to play to the hometown crowd. Plus, it turned out that the lead violinist is one of Nerd 2’s heroes.

So yeah, there is something about cheesy hair metal and explosions that totally gets me into the Christmas spirit. Maybe I’ll put a tree — if I can figure out how to add flamethrowers to it.

december already?

Yesterday evening, I finally made the trek down to Jason Alvey’s The Four Firkins for a class on “my kind of beers”: porters and stouts. The class was taught by local beer nerd Josh Pepper, and while I can’t say that I learned _a lot_, I did have a good time and I got to try some beers that I might not have gotten my hands on for a while *ahem*darkness*ahem*.

The Four Firkins is an awesome little beer store, great selection, nifty decor — I just wish it wasn’t in such an out-of-the-way location.

In other news, I’ve somehow found the patience to start fiddling around with breadmaking again.  Things really hit the fan a couple of weekends ago when I decided, hey, if I’m going to wait overnight for this anyways, why not try out 2 different bread recipes.  So, I made a starter a la Alton Brown and did his Everyday Bread from More Food, and I also tried the Basic Hearth Bread from Rose Levy Beranbaum’s Bread Bible.

The Everyday Bread was actually a little disappointing (I blame the lack of honey, and also the use of only bread flour), but the hearth bread was amazing.  I did still have that starter though, so last weekend I tried a weird hybrid of the two recipes (using the starter to make the sponge for the hearth bread), and was also not dissapointed.

This weekend, I’m going to try a repeat, and, if lightning strikes twice, I may just write up my notes for y’all and let you guys try it.