Monthly Archives: June 2011

When Money CAN Buy Happiness

It arrived! It arrived! I finally got my grubby paws on it!

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Yes, I technically only waited one week to receive my new MacBook Pro after ordering it. But in some ways, you could also say I’ve been waiting five years for it.

When I bought my HP Pavillion dv2000 five years ago, what I really wanted was a MacBook. But my poor student bank account couldn’t afford it. In the first year of having the HP, I sent it back to the manufacturer THREE TIMES to be fixed and found out the model had actually been recalled without my knowing. They never once replaced it, instead removing and fixing whatever cheap parts were broken.

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After five years, the battery went, I’ve invested in two power chords, and a back panel fell off to expose some wires and other pieces. This computer got so hot at times I think I sustained second degree burns on my legs. And probably scorched my ovaries and ruined any chance of having children by lying with it in bed.

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The paint came off on the mouse and I lost a button. There’s also the mysterious instance of “shift + x” not working to get a capital X. I always had to press “caps lock + x.”

Anyways, that is why I was basically foaming at the mouth to get my brand new, exceptionally shiny, laptop.

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Or, for our purposes, my new “blogging machine.”

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I’ve had a lot of experience using Macs but still have a lot to learn about the operating system. As well as getting used to blogging with a different program. This post is brought to you by Ecto, but there are a few others I’d like to try out. Is there an easy way to get Windows Live Writer on a Mac?

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So far my favourite feature is the light under the keypad so I can type in the dark. Oh! And of course, the screen grab function. No print screen + copy/paste into Paintbrush for me. Megan, you know what I’m talking about.

In other news, my mom forced me to go to the doctor last night over the pain in my neck. Most of the swelling is located at the base of my throat and the doctor thinks it might have something to do with my thyroid. I’m being sent for blood work and a cat scan today to get it checked out. I’m not too worried about it (yet), mostly just bummed that I have to spend yet another day of my life at the hospital. On the bright side, I’ll get to see my friends in the imaging department. We’re all on a first name basis now.

As my friend Madeline says, make it a great one!

The Quest For The Best – Banana Bread

Here we go, and so another week starts!

How was everyone’s weekends? Mine was low-key. I am still dealing with this kink in my neck, which I am now convinced might actually be a muscle tear. Or death. Depends on the Google search. The left side of my neck, chest, and shoulder is swollen and my veins are popping out. I’ve been doing the Shaquile O’Neal Icy Hot technique, with lots of anti-inflammatory medications and muscle relaxers to make me pass out at night.

On the bright side, it’s taken the focus off the pain in my arm!

Anyways, as y’all know, I love to spend my weekends baking and creating in the kitchen. The other day, I impulsively bought eight overripe bananas on sale at the grocery store with visions of banana-y creations in my head.

I briefly thought about the whacky concoctions I could try with the black bananas. But the pain in my neck wasn’t really keen on doing a lot of standing, mixing, and one-armed lifting. I then remembered my quest to find the best banana bread recipe, and figured this was as good a time as any to continue in that quest.

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You see, I’ve been baking banana bread since I was in middle school. For a long time, cookies and banana bread were all I could ever bake. In all this time, I’ve never been able to produce what I deem the “perfect” loaf. A banana loaf as good as the ones bought fresh from bakeries and cafes. I just couldn’t figure out their secret.

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I’ve read up a lot on the subject of banana breads. Many swear by using sour cream, others insist on a glaze or sugary coating over the crust. Some use juice, walnuts, or say the ripeness of the bananas is key.

Well, I think I have discovered what makes a perfect loaf for me. The kind of loaf that is dark in colour but light in texture. Full of flavour without being too full of sugar.

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The answer? BANANAS. And lots of ‘em.

Most banana bread recipes only call for two bananas, which makes for a loaf where you can hardly even taste them.

This time around, I used four bananas per loaf and it was bursting with banana flavour. I didn’t fully mash the bananas either so there are little chunks of bananas weaved throughout the bread.

I used this banana muffin recipe. The only thing I changed was that I turned it into a loaf and baked for 45-50 min. I also left the sugar topping off out of pure laziness, but I will probably add it next time.

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I think my quest may be over. No fancy ingredients or techniques required. Just plain ole’ bananas to make a stellar banana bread recipe. Plus, it’s dead simple, and in no way an extra pain in the neck ;)

Weekend Soundtrack – Albums

Happy Father’s Day! Are there even any dads out there reading? I love how stereotyped these holidays are. Moms are always flowers and perfumed things, Dads are all about barbecues and power tools. For the record, I have never seen my father use a power tool.

I did however partly inherit my love of music from my father (other part from my mother, of course). Weekends at my house growing up were always accompanied by music blaring out the stereo system. Neil Young, Bob Marley, Santana, to name a few. Okay, and my father was usually in the backyard grilling too.

Anyways, I don’t have any Neil Young for you today, but I do have some albums to share that I am currently obsessed with. Some of these bands I’ve already mentioned, but this time not just for one song. This time because I love the album as a whole – from beginning to end – which I find is a rarity these days.

1. Lungs by Florence & The Machine

You’ve probably heard the title track, “Dog Days Are Over” on the Eat Pray Love soundtrack. But every song following that one is just as good! No two songs sound the same, yet they are all lovably quirky.

 

2. The Loneliness of Mixed Drinks by Frightened Rabbit

A band I’ve mentioned before, if you like somewhat catchy, but still thoughtful, Scottish indie music, you should listen to this album!

 

3. The Flying Club Cup by Beirut

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I’ve been listening to Beirut for a long time now and I still haven’t grown tired of this album. I would classify him as perhaps a less whacky version of Sufjan Stevens. Great music to work or study to.

 

4. Sigh No More by Mumford & Sons

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Another band I’ve already mentioned, but definitely no one hit wonder. A lot of the songs on this album start slow and progress into this really powerful, banjo-accompanied song  by the end. I love songs that build up like that.

 

5. Let The Dominoes Fall by Rancid

I know it’s sonotcool to like anything a punk band released after the year 2000, but I don’t care. I still really dig this album. Perhaps I’ll never have the emotional ties to it like I do …And Out Come the Wolves or Life Won’t Wait, but I still find this one entirely enjoyable from beginning to end. One of the few albums I can listen to while running and not feel like skipping any songs because they’re boring.

 

On this Sunday, you will likely find me blaring one of these albums while doing housework or cooking in the kitchen.

And yes, you’ll probably find my dad next to the BBQ too.

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Have a great Sunday!

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