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At least two people have told me in that last few weeks that I really should watch Pretty in Pink, so today I did.

I do not get the appeal. It's so fluffy and pointless.

The only characters I care about are the girl's father and co-worker. I would have enjoyed watching their stories. Why is he unemployed? How do they live? Did his wife leave him over his drinking? What's up with the co-worker's love life?

Maybe I would have enjoyed it when I was in high school in about 1981 or so, but watching it today and remembering who my friends and I were back in the 80 there is no one with whom I can identify, except maybe Duckie.

Even the supposedly "poor" girl seems to have a minimum wage job with little responsibility and full time use of a car. Things I couldn't even aspire to until I was well out of high school.

I don't get how this is a cult classic, unless it's nostalgia for a life that I never had.


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This may apply to young men too, but I’ve only ever been a young woman so that’s the only experience I can really address.

There is a point in a young woman's life when she begins to feel her power. She realizes that she is desirable and that she has the ability to affect her own fate and those of others. She can even change the world. That's the moment when Life is Strange.

She realizes that things are wrong. That people are getting hurt. She feels that it is up to her to stop it. She sees that she is noticed and fears that she is unseen. She knows she should step up, but sees what happens others when they do.

She can be Katniss. Or Hermione. Or Tris. Or maybe she's just the missing girl. The girl killed before the story even began. Either way, along with power she learns vulnerability. There are dangers lurking in the classrooms and streets as well as the dark rooms and corners.

So much power, and so much responsibility.

She can choose and it matters. It's also terrifying because she may choose wrong and the boogeyman will get her. Or her friend. Or that other girl.

Maybe she can negotiate the choices and it will only be the other girl who will be exploited, assaulted, even killed. But then that will feel like her fault too.

Do you think you’ve got the guts to be a teenaged woman? Try playing as Max and find out.
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I just watched "Room 237". It really makes me want to watch the "The Shining" as well as re-read the book. And it's making me even more motivated to get my hands on "Doctor Sleep".

Lots of questions, but it will be fun to examine them. Is the film about Colonialism? The horrifying burden of history? Mazes? Families falling apart? Faking the moon landing? Puberty? All of the above? More

I really like where they superimpose the film run backwards over having it playing forwards. I would love to watch the whole film that way.

I still think Americans actually did walk on the moon though. I don't think Kubrik was that much of a genius.
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Why would they plant a tree there, only to do that to it?


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I love snow days so much - they amount to no-cost time.

So far I've lined up a part-time tutoring gig
Finished a detail for my on the job training, learning how to use my fax machine in the process.
Done some shoveling
Watched a horrible movie
Started the process to find a physician.

And it's really just lunch time.

by Teresa Floyd
teresafloyd: (Default)
Thanks guys! I just realized that I haven't updated. I'm half way through the program and doing very well.

If you are (or know) an administrative assistant or an office manager (or anyone with a similar title), I need a huge favour that will only take maybe 15 minutes.

I am exploring by becoming an office administrator or administrative assistant so I need to formally research the occupation because I am seeking funding to take a course.

I would really appreciate it if a few people would take the time to fill out my survey. Your responses will be confidential and used only for this one purpose.

I will remove the survey when I have enough replies. Feel free to forward this to anyone you know who might be willing to help me.

Again, thank you!

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/viewform?formkey=dFAyNjB0ZFF6MmczcW1yaHMtYlBUU1E6MQ
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Maple Cream Fudge (From Edith Boone's Cookbook)

4 cups brown sugar
1 cup cream or milk (I remember her using evaporated milk)
4 Tablespoons butter
dash of salt
1 cup nuts (optional)
1 teaspoon maple flavouring

Instructions if you know what you're doing:

Combine sugar, milk. Cook on low heat to the boiling point. When mixture reaches soft ball stage (234F on a candy thermometer), add butter, salt, and flavouring and then cool quickly without stirring. . Beat until mixture thickens and loses its gloss. Add nuts, and pour into a greased pan.

Instructions for the rest of us:


Get out your heaviest large saucepan.

Grease an 8 by 8 inch pan to have cubes of fudge, or a larger pan if you want flatter pieces.

Fill half of your sink with ice water to about half the depth of the pan. Put some more ice water into a Pyrex cup or bowl.

You may want to only make half of that amount, just in case! Put the sugar, milk, into the saucepan and put it on the stove on a low to moderate heat. Slowly bring it to just almost a boil. Stop stirring once in boils.

After a few minutes, start testing the temperature with a candy thermometer. You're looking for 234F. If you're not a rich so-and-so with a special thermometer just for making candy, drop a bit of the mixture into the water in the Pyrex cup. When it sticks together to form a soft ball that you can sort of smoosh flat with your fingers, the syrup is cooked.

Remove the syrup from the heat and add the butter and salt without stirring. Put the pan immediately into the cold water in the sink to cool the syrup quickly. Do not stir at this point, and be careful because the syrup is very hot!

Once the syrup has cooled to just over room temperature (probably around 100F or so), start beating it. I use a stand mixer, but Mom used to use a big spoon. Beat it until it starts to thicken and isn't shiny anymore.

Add the nuts, if you're using them, and pour the mixture into the cake pan to cool. It's a good idea to cut it before it hardens completely, although you may have to cut it again after it's completely cool.

Note: If you don't cook the syrup enough, the fudge won't get hard, if you cook it too much, it will get too hard and brittle. If you stir it once it starts to boil, it will 'sugar,' or become grainy.
teresafloyd: (Default)
I got this originally from Canadian Living. I have to get everyone out of the house to make them, and then hide them away

Christmas Tree Cookies

Ingredients:
2 cups butter
2 cups granulated sugar
4 eggs
3 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
5 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
Icing sugar
1/4 cup red jam (raspberry)
1 teaspoon lemon juice

Directions:

Cream butter with sugar.

Beat in eggs, vanilla and almond extract.

Mix flour with salt and banking powder then gently stir into butter mixture.

Gather dough into a ball. Dough can be refrigerated at this point for up to two days, but bring to room temperature before proceeding.

Preheat oven to 325 F.

Roll dough out to 18 mm thick. Cut out cookies with a 3 inch Christmas Tree shaped cutter and place on ungreased baking sheets about 1 cm apart. Using a wide straw or the tip of a pastry tube cut out ¼ inch circles in half of the cookies.

Bake in centre of oven for 10 to 12 minutes until the cookies are just firm and starting to brown. WATCH CAREFULLY!

Cool slightly on pans then remove to racks. Sprinkle the “holey” cookies with icing sugar and/or crystal sugars.

Mix jam and lemon juice together and heat until liquid. Use a pastry brush to spread jam on a solid cookie, then top with a holey one.

Cool and store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks or freeze.

Makes about 64.

Christmas Tree Cookies
teresafloyd: (Default)
As I understand it, at some point soon Canadian seasonal workers and those who employ them will feel the impact of changes to the Unemployment Insurance system.

"The changes will mean fewer people than ever will qualify for EI, more forced into lower wage jobs and others thrown onto provincial welfare," NDP finance critic Peggy Nash said.

What is happening is people who access Unemployment Insurance benefits which are funded by all workers and employers in Canada too frequently will be required to accept jobs at lower wages and at greater distances from their homes.

Remember that New Brunswick has no trains and only a very marginal bus system for transportation (when they're not on strike). With this scheme most New Brunswick households will need to have at least two working vehicles and the gas to run them. Two because, from my personal experience, when you live in the country and work in the city it's almost impossible that you and your spouse will have the same shifts. You just wave when you meet each other along Route 8! At least the number of babies born will stay low.

This means that someone who works in the farming industry from April to October may have to drive up to an hour each way to take a job working part time at Wal Mart for the winter. He or she might as well just move to the city where the Wal Mart is located if that can be turned into full time work or if his or her spouse is also able to get a job there. Great! There's one or two seasonal workers converted to a full time workers and not making EI claims every year. Fabulous, right?

But who is planting and harvesting the potatoes? Who is doing the skilled labour of thinning seedlings in the greenhouse? Who is around to help during lambing and calving? Who is packing the apples to ship to town? You may think just anyone can do these jobs. Try it for a few days Remember that these jobs must be done quickly and safely as well as correctly.

Another alternative is to combine jobs. Maybe there are school bus drivers who know how to do these farm jobs too. In fact, I'm fairly sure that I personally know at least five or six. Great, but what about between April and June and between September and October? Can they really effectively handle working from 6 or 7 in the morning until 7 or 8 in the evening? Do we want people driving down our roads maneuvering buses loaded with our children after they've worked an evening and then a day picking apples? Is it okay for your child to ride on a bus where the driver is working 70 to 80 hours per week?

I guess the best answer is for anyone who is not currently fully employed to just go away. We don't really need farm employees, forestry workers, fisheries workers, park employees, school bus drivers, and so on. You guys go and set up New Brunswick in Ontario and Alberta. We'll follow as the economy here really tanks.

Last one out, turn off the light.
teresafloyd: (Default)
A few of these are books I've started so many times without ever being able to finish.

The Lord of the Rings
- JRR Tolkien
Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
Harry Potter series - JK Rowling
To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
The Bible - Council of Nicea
Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell
His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman
Great Expectations - Charles Dickens
Little Women - Louisa M Alcott
Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy
Catch 22 - Joseph Heller
Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien
Birdsong - Sebastian Faulk
Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger
The Time Traveller’s Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
Middlemarch - George Eliot
Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell
The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald
Bleak House - Charles Dickens
War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams
Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh
Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll
The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame
Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis
Emma - Jane Austen
Persuasion - Jane Austen
The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
Captain Corelli’s Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres
Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne
Animal Farm - George Orwell
The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown
One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving
The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery
Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy
The Handmaid’s Tale - Margaret Atwood
Lord of the Flies - William Golding
Atonement - Ian McEwan
Life of Pi - Yann Martel
Dune - Frank Herbert
Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen
A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth
The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens
Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon
Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck
Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
The Secret History - Donna Tartt
The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
On The Road - Jack Kerouac
Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy
Bridget Jones’s Diary - Helen Fielding
Midnight’s Children - Salman Rushdie
Moby Dick - Herman Melville
Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens
Dracula - Bram Stoker
The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett
Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson
Ulysses - James Joyce
The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath
Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome
Germinal - Emile Zola
Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray
Possession - AS Byatt
A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens
Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
The Color Purple - Alice Walker
The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro
Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
Charlotte’s Web - EB White
The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom
Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton
Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery
The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
Watership Down - Richard Adams
A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute
The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas
Hamlet - William Shakespeare
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl
Les Miserables - Victor Hugo
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Catching Fire (The Hunger Games, #2)Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


For an adult, a lot of what will happen is foreshadowed a little too neatly. But this is not really a book intended for adults!

This really is a retelling of the idea of panem et circenses for modern teens. As I hand this book off to my 18 year old to read, I can't help but think that this is the perfect book for his generation who often feel that everything is futile and that they have neither hope nor power to change what is going on.

They feel, like Katniss Everdeen, that they are: "Used without consent, without knowledge."

Some of the ideas in Catching Fire may serve to kindle the sleeping embers of dissatisfaction.



View all my reviews
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I had worked late the night before, so was just barely awake when I heard the clatter of dishes in the kitchen at about 9 am Oh shit! It's Mother's Day! I had promised myself I would get up and make breakfast, but I had ended up working until 4 am. Shit!

She was furious, so I threw my clothes on quickly and slunk downstairs as quietly as I could. My brother was in the front room looking worried so I went in there and mouthed "Mother's Day." He ran upstairs to his room just as she came around the corner and bellowed, "Can't anybody even say, 'Happy Mother's Day?'

My brother came downstairs and handed her a card from the dollar store and ran out the door.

I don't remember the rest.
teresafloyd: (Default)
Lost SoulsLost Souls by Poppy Z. Brite

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


I understand that this was his first novel (I haven't verified that). IF so, it's a gruesome delight full of beautifully amoral vampire boys. Some of the action takes place in the same fictional Missing Mile, North Carolina location of another Poppy Z Brite book that I read recently: Drawing Blood.

I would have to say that Lost Souls is perhaps the bloodier of those two novels, but that there may be more heart in Drawing Blood.

I borrowed both of these from the library, but they are certainly on my 'to buy' list as well.

I hope Poppy will find what he needs to write another novel soon, or perhaps a memoir!



View all my reviews
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The Year's Best Dark Fantasy & Horror, 2011 EditionThe Year's Best Dark Fantasy & Horror, 2011 Edition by Paula Guran

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


The Year's Best Dark Fantasy and Horror
Edited by Norman Partridge

Though there is very little here that is truly revolutionary, the stories are lovely, dark and deep. There are vampires, werewolves, zombies, wizards, and gingerbread houses - but none quite as they've been told before.

"You Dream" by Ekaterina Sedia was one of the most touching stories of the collection. I love this: " And yet you understand his point, the essential impossibility of revealing one's secrets - especially if those secrets are not one's fault. We can get over the wrongs we do, but we cannot forgive ourselves for the wrongs done to us, for your own helplessness."

"The Things by Peter Watts is another retelling of Jon Carpenter's short story but from a very different point of view.

Neil Gaiman's "The Thing About Cassandra" has a delightfully terrible twist.

The last story is "The Mystery Knight: A Tale of the Seven Kingdoms" by George R. R. Martin. If you love the Game of Thrones series, here is a bit of background set before the time of the first novel. A bit complex for a short, but great for those who just can't get enough Westeros.




View all my reviews
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A moment of honesty:
I wish no one ever needed an abortion past the blastocyst stage (approximately 5 days after fertilization).
I prefer any method of contraception up to and including the 'morning-after pill' to abortion.
When all of these have failed or been unavailable and a woman is pregnant, I wish that she could feel supported and safe enough to have that surprise child and raise him or her to be an amazing adult, or hand him over to someone else who can.
Ultimately though, she (and perhaps her partner may be permitted an opinion) must make that decision. If she cannot have that child, she should not be forced to remain pregnant.
I favour life, but I support choice.

(I posted this on Facebook first.)
teresafloyd: (Default)
The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games, #1)The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


For a "Young Adult" novel, this is an incredibly sophisticated story.

The part that sticks with me the most is the complex relationship that develops between Katniss and Peeta. Their choices and actions are so often shaped by outside forces that Katniss doesn't even understand how she feels. Although it seems that Peeta has things figured out, Katniss is a child only on the cusp of becoming adults when she is forced into the most complicated relationship she can imagine.

This is a metaphor for the way I see adolescents maturing. They are so often subjected to outside influences telling them how they should feel and appear that they often become confused about their actual emotions.

You may have heard that the book is violent. And yes, people die but they are not killed coldly nor without reflection on the parts of their killers. The real agent of violence is a harsh regime that inflicts these 'games' as a punishment.

If you can get hold of the movie Battle Royale (Japan, 2010), do take a look at it for a very slightly different view of children being punished through being forced to kill each other. In Battle Royale, the children are punished for their own disrespectful actions, while in The Hunger Games, they are punished for actions by their ancestors.



View all my reviews
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Loren Amelang lives off-grid in California and this video includes some tips and ideas:



Don't cover the greenhouse roof with glass because the winter sun comes through the windows on the walls because it's lower, and in summer it gets too hot.

He uses a commercial three compartment sink in main kitchen. It must be very handy for washing produce.

He uses a wood cook stove in the kitchen for heat as well as for cooking, and has a gas stove in his summer kitchen. I think an electric stove might work well, but perhaps he can't easily generate enough electrictity. It looks like his summer kitchen is located on the north side of the house.

He has located his fridge in the summer kitchen so that it doesn't fight the heating system in winter when electricity 'costs' more.

His solar panels are mounted a few inches above the roof so that they do not overheat and are thus more efficient.

I like the fabric tube with computer fan to force excess heat from ceiling to floor, but a ceiling fan does pretty much the same thing.

He had a system set up that was supposed to drain the water out of the solar panels if temperatures dropped below freezing, but it failed many times. He was concerned about various issues regarding storing and using traditional deicing products so uses Susterra® propanediol antifreeze in his hydronic systems.

http://www.greencarcongress.com/2007/03/dupont_tate_lyl.html
teresafloyd: (Default)
Here's WWII era cookbook that belonged to my Nana. Tea really will help and in various ways:

http://photobucket.com/TeaWillHelp?albumview=slideshow
teresafloyd: (Default)
There have been some possibly valid concerns raised about the method proposed in the now famous viral video. I'd link to the video, but I bet you've already seen it. If you haven't, you likely will very very soon.

How does Invisible Children use the money it raises? Is most of it going to action or is too much going to administration? I'm sure time and investigation will tell.

Invisible Children seems to be calling for U.S. troops to be sent into Africa to go after one of many problems. Is this a good precedent?

I am concerned that there are entities with agendas that may lead them to target such a powerful and unorthodox attempt to use media to sway opinion. My conclusion is, whether this is the best way to do it or not, Kony must be stopped in 2012.

Here are some places to start to read about the issue:

http://sundialsaga.blogspot.com/2012/03/kony-2012-controversy.html

http://news.nationalpost.com/2012/03/07/kony-2012-video-controversy/

http://psych0omantis.wordpress.com/2012/03/08/kony-2012-controversy-at-its-best/

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/opinions/opinion/for-uganda-justice-is-complicated/article2362190/?utm_medium=Feeds%3A%20RSS%2FAtom&utm_source=World&utm_content=2362190

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