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One day, when [ profile] osirusbrisbane finishes building that space-time wormhole-ish transporter (because, as [ profile] page_of_swords aptly points out, Heisenberg's uncertainty principle prevents that Star Trek copying-like version), I will teleport to his hypothetically-by-then already-built yarn-and-games shop, where I will join the legion groups of knitter-and-gamer couples out there. We will eliminate the age-old dilemma where "geeky boys that can't get girls" by sticking nice knitters in the same shop together with the gamer boys. Everyone wins. I will be surrounded by My People.
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This weekend, I hung out with Jamie, and she introduced me to two awesome two-player games (actually, she introduced me to more, but these are the ones I liked most). The first was Ingenious (which has a cheaper travel version, too). The goal of the game is to advance all of your colored tiles on a hexagonal board; the player with the lowest-placed color loses. You get an extra turn for having advanced one of your colors all the way to the top of the counter.

The nice thing about Ingenious is that it involves both strategy and luck -- the colored tiles you grab are random, like in Scrabble, so it actually takes a bit of crossing your fingers for the right tiles. It's also a relatively tight two-player game, which is great -- often, two-player games are either decided in the first few moves, or they drag on too long, because they've been badly adapted from four-player ones.

We also played Blokus Duo. I'd played the four-player version, which is a lot of fun, because of trying to maneuver around three other people's tiles, but the two-player version is a lot faster and in some ways a better game because the tension is on from the beginning, rather than at midgame. (It's a smaller board -- 14x14 -- and you start off 5x5 from the corners, which is what makes the battling for territory move along so the tension is up from the beginning. Note: if you own the four player version, obviously it can be modded into a two player version by drawing a 14x14 square with a marker. You can make the 3p version a lot better by modding it down to an 18x18 grid, too).

So! In conclusion, if you want to play some shiny 2p games that are not endless Dominion rounds (*cough* not that we know anybody like that), try these! (Or Quirkle, possibly, though I wasn't as fond of that one for some reason). I believe both of these games also play pretty well for 3 or 4, (Blokus only when modded, though) so they're good party games, too.
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At yesterday's cuddle party, the clarity of the opening welcome circle hit me again. A boundaries workshop, it made me feel completely aware again of where mine were, and of feeling free to cuddle OR NOT with whoever I wanted to.

"Have you ever had someone reach out and try to squeeze your shoulder or hug you without asking, even with the very best of intentions, and then had that feel wrong? It's because, well-intentioned or not, non-consent is about taking away your voice."

I feel like I'm finding my voice again.
kimberkit: (Default)
Remember me saying I really, really wanted to buy the huge container of instant yeast and freeze it because my grocery didn't have instant yeast (only active dry yeast)? Well, I haven't yet, but I made Mark Bittman's Overnight Waffles, using yeast, and oh. em. gee. These are the best waffles I've ever had -- crunchy on the outside, soft and fluffy on the inside, with a sourdough yeasty flavor that I just loved.

Recipe (makes 4):

1/2 teaspoon Instant yeast
2 cupsAll purpose flour
1 tablespoonSugar
1/2 teaspoonSalt
2 cupsmilk
8 tablespoons Butter; melted and cooled
1/2 teaspoon Vanilla extract
Canola Oil; for brushing on waffle iron
2 eggs

1. Before going to bed, combine the dry ingredients and stir in the milk, then the butter and vanilla. The mixture will be loose. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside overnight at room temperature.

2. Brush the waffle iron lightly with oil and preheat it. Separate the eggs and stir the yolks into the batter. Beat the whites until they hold soft peaks. Stir them gently into the batter. (I just stirred the eggs into the batter without separating them. Seemed to work well.)

3. Pour batter onto the waffle iron and bake until the waffle is done, usually 3 to 5 minutes, depending on your iron. Serve immediately or keep warm for a few minutes in a low oven.


Seriously, even though Ross thought it smelled "funny" [editor's note: I think he means "a little like bread and beer"] and didn't like them all that much (an offense for which I must find some other test victims to prove him really really wrong -- any volunteers?), I thought these were the best thing to happen to breakfast in a long time.


Nov. 24th, 2011 05:52 am
kimberkit: (Default)
A bit ago, my friend [ profile] simonbillenness came by and made tomato-sausage risotto with me. He cut through an onion in like 30 seconds, commenting appreciatively that my knife was really sharp.

Now... my knife is sharp, but I am incompetent. I was jealous of his skillz.

See, when I cut onions, I cry. A lot. (And I am convinced that cutting the onion under running water is just a good way to get slippery soggy onions and to get back strain as you lean over the sink). Further, my attempts at dicing onions into cubes leads to very sloppy horizontal cuts that always end up slicing through the root and then I just have a mess and more crying.

But! I have discovered a new method of onion dicing! It follows the radial shape of the onion (the "fan method") and leads to way less tears:
kimberkit: (Default)
My biochem prof is both fascinating and, oh, lions and tigers and bears, this class promises to kick my butt. But! I just thought I'd share this one thing that is still so spiffy to think about.

So you know that whole theory about eukaryotic cells evolving from prokaryotic cells? And hence organelles, like mitochondria, having their own DNA? Mitochondria, then, are reproducing on their own without the help of the nucleus. Here's the cool part: exercise makes mitochondria undergo binary fission faster. People who exercise have more mitochondria! And therefore, they really do have more energy. (Also, felllow nerds, a NYTimes link about how the increased mitochondria kept mice healthier despite those same mice having had genetic defects built into their mitochondria.)
kimberkit: (Default)
A few years ago, there was this catchy Coke jingle, with the actor singing: "There's one truth I've found, and it's never let me down: if you stock up on joy, there's enough to go 'round..." And man, those lyrics are ridiculously infectious.

It's not completely true, of course, because we all get tired -- weighted down with the cares of the world -- but still. It's surprisingly easy to make someone else's day a little better, and to bask in that shared joy.

I started volunteering at the hospital, just making the rounds before they can find me a placement in the PT department -- and it's not brainwork, really. But still, a smile and an offer to get ginger ale for someone who can't is enough to make someone who's post-op feel a little better -- and even though you stand for a long time while doing this sort of thing, the shared moment of cheering up is worth it.
kimberkit: (Default)
From a random walk a few months ago:

Grey fall

more )
kimberkit: (Default)
After years of complaining that I needed some easier way to shred cheese than a box grater, I was cleaning out my cabinets today and discovered.... the cheese shredder blade that came with my food processor. Oops. I didn't even know food processors did that. I had no idea what the disc thing was for, when I bought my food processor, years ago. Older and wiser now in the mysterious ways of food processors, I plan to bitchsmack some macaroni and cheese. Watch out, mac and cheese! I mean, I know I just made a giant batch of you, but I'll DO IT AGAIN just to watch the cheese shredder attachment shred!

*cough* Er. I also found the julienne blade on my mandolin. I was wondering where that was, last time I made sauteed zucchini.

In other news, this is the beginning of the new spice storage system, on my fridge:

New spice storage system!

The good

Jan. 31st, 2011 02:25 pm
kimberkit: (Default)
[ profile] paper_crystals was awesome, and cooked up some Thai-style chicken on Saturday, which made life feel much calmer, somehow, despite the fact that I am clearly getting sick with some sort of cold.

Also, Cornell confirmed that I have carpet beetles, not bed bugs, so I can slowly start having friends over again without being terrified I'll give them the same plague I have.

Happy with all that, I finally took a few photos yesterday on the High Line:

Sunset windows

two more )
kimberkit: (Default)
Although this bedbug thing is a Sisyphus-like nightmare (one where the boulder I push uphill not only just rolls back down the hill, but also squishes my feet on the way down and slowly squashes any friendships, since everyone is understandably terrified of catching bedbugs), the one nifty thing out of this is discovering the power of steam cleaning.

[ profile] confuseacat bought a really cool toy in the form of the Vapamore MR-100 steam cleaner. (Best loan/present ever.) And while he and I used it for purposes of bedbug-battling, we managed to play with some of the smaller heads in the kitchen, and whoa, you see dirt literally come flying away from whatever surface you're zapping.

That annoying bit of grease or dirt in the crevices of your sink and oven? Steam it with the grout head and it liquefies and melts right off. What took [ profile] paper_crystals and me several hours to do, in terms of scrubbing at stubborn, caked-on grossness in the kitchen took a few seconds per piece of grossness to clean up. I've spent many an hour attempting to scrub at oil stains on the walls, and there are a few that didn't come off. With this, it was steam, wipe, done - no scrubbing. It is literally the fastest cleaning I've ever done.

Meanwhile, the large head on the steamer, with the scrub brushes, is excellent for getting up just about everything from your carpet. (It doesn't pick it up the way a vacuum cleaner would, but it pulls all of the gunk up to the surface). Tiny amounts of cat hair are deep in the carpet where no vacuum cleaner ever managed to get to, but the steam cleaner is startlingly effective at eliminating all of that. I sound a bit like a commercial, here, but, like... no one ever told me that cleaning could actually be fun. And it is, a little, now -- my carpet has never been cleaner, and my place is much, much more dust-and-allergen free.
kimberkit: (Default)
I saw gloves in the store the other day that would let you use your iPhone. But they were sort of thin and not well lined, which didn't make them ideal as actual gloves.

Instructables to the rescue! Apparently, you can sew a few stitches of conductive thread onto the finger of your glove, and make them totally iPhone/ touchscreen usable! I'm totally buying some to do that to my gloves.

Also, I should say that despite the annoyance and sleeplessness caused by the bedbug resurgence, the nice clean floors are great. And Neil's starting to do things like put spoons from my tea back into the sink, and my increased compulsive cleaning is actually sort of nice, as far as living spaces are concerned.
kimberkit: (Default)
Under the files of "I guess I should have vacuumed more" -- for the past 3 days, I've been showing up with bites on me. 2-3 bite marks at a time, which suggests bedbugs. Last week, there was a tiny red creepy crawly on my sheets that Ross found. WHAT DO I DO? Other than panic?

ETA: I also found some black peppery things on my sheets. Oh ew. I called the landlord, who told me he'd call an exterminator, though... but meantime, dammit, thoroughly steaming the hell out of everything is going to be expensive. Mom told me she'd cut me a check for that, though. Did I mention oh ew?
kimberkit: (Default)
Oh my gosh. Rebecca from Ezra Pound Cake just rocked my world with the idea that you can BAKE risotto. No constant stirring on the stovetop!. That makes risotto a weeknight dish, not a weekend one. I can just set it in the oven and go away to study!


Oct. 19th, 2010 01:27 pm
kimberkit: (Default)
I tweeted about shakshuka yesterday: a spicy tomato dish with poached eggs on top, complemented by creamy cheese and parsley, it is ridiculously tasty for using such cheap ingredients. I had it at Hummus Place, a restaurant near me.

Then I made it for lunch today again, using SmittenKitchen's recipe. It cost me $9 ($5 of which was for the cheese). For a dish that makes 4 meals and tastes as yummy as this, that's insanely good.

Plus it's vegetarian and is fairly virtuous -- all flavor and essentially no fat other than from the cheese, the latter of which you can eliminate. Go forth and make shakshuka!
kimberkit: (Default)
Shame is what keeps most people from speaking about their weaknesses. If we don't talk about it, if it's only in our heads (unexamined), then perhaps the record will be clean; no one will have to know that we're unworthy.

So I just thought I'd say that I think your flaws give you character; that you are brave for admitting them at all, even if it's only in the privacy of your head; that we all have our own timelines for dealing with the broken pieces of ourselves.

Often, I'm surrounded by people who are relatively competent, who have intact childhoods and who I think couldn't possibly get it. And maybe some of them don't -- but a lot of them do, and they sympathize, even if they're busy.

Friends are wonderful like that: even when they're dealing with their own stuff, or overwhelmed with the landscape of their own heads, they often find the time to understand anyway.

Anyway. Thank you.
kimberkit: (Default)
I remembered yesterday that one of the joys of being a student is Broadway rush tickets. So I rolled out of bed this morning, intending to check on what the theatre did as far as rush tickets, because their policies differ by individual place. I assumed the box office opened at 10 AM, so I got there at 10.15 -- only to discover that the box office actually opened at noon. That also made me third in line if I wanted rush tickets right then, for A Little Night Music. Hmm. Well, okay. I had brought my knitting, so why not...?

Gosh, guys. The music gave me shivers. The play is about the loneliness of unfulfilled love, and wasted choices, all subtly, slightly ironically highlighted by the beauty of some lovely waltz-time music. Waltzes are about being close and easy and rhythmic as possible with your partner, and the whole play is about longing for that closeness, and looking in the wrong places.

The pacing of the play was brilliant, too -- dark, rueful laughter at all the tenser moments, just the way I like it.

It's been ages since I've been to a musical that moved me most of the way to tears like that. And Bernadette Peters? She still has it. As did all of the other stunning voices in that play. Man.
kimberkit: (Default)
I have been dreadfully lazy in saying this, but: go look at Danielle's bead shop. She has some of the prettiest glassware pendants you'll ever see. Also, I notice that her "uglies" (which are not ugly) are a total steal.


Jul. 15th, 2010 06:38 pm
kimberkit: (Default)
I've been spending some ridiculous amount of time squashing my cat. (I'd say 'cuddling' her, but really, it's squashing. She's remarkably good-natured about it.)

Along the way, I discovered the Furminator -- a comb-thing that does not make loose hair fly up into the air (and therefore, I sneeze less while combing her), while also managing to do a remarkably most effective job at removing fur. I now have a cat that is half the size of the cat I started with. And she loves it -- she stayed twice as long as she usually does for these de-furring sessions.

I wish I'd thought to take a picture of the trash can full of her hair before I took the trash out; it was a whole two cats' worth of hair that got removed, which is about twice as much as she usually will stand for.

Maybe this way, after an intense vacuuming session, people might be able to actually visit here without immediately sneezing and running for the Claritin...
kimberkit: (Default)
One of the nifty exercises we were all practicing on each other this weekend was whether we sat evenly on our two sit bones (the ischial tuberosities).

We all started off sitting down, cheerfully telling each other "of course the weight distribution is even when we sit down!" Then our partners put their hands underneath us, feeling the bump of the sit bones. Hmm. "Uh, it might not be as even as I thought..." Then we stuck our own hands under our butts to confirm. Nope, not so even at all, actually. Shift shift shift.

Then we practiced moving our lower backs anterior/posterior, as if the low back were a set of tricycle wheels going forwards and back. Our partners took notes and helped us to move accurately. I don't think any of us nailed that on the first try, either (I pivot left, as did my partner).

This is a pretty clear illustration of why practically everyone has some scoliosis; at a very basic level, many of us aren't distributing our weight properly, even when we think we are. I bet if I can keep thinking about re-educating my body to sit properly, I'll basically lose my low back problems.


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