Sunday, March 30, 2014

I still think they should tell us.

When Southwest announced that people could start flying with their small pets, the Chief asked how someone would know ahead of time whether any of one's fellow passengers were 4-footed.  The answer boiled down to "you won't."  Not a good answer when you're allergic to cats, dogs or both.  
Finding out only at the gate that you'll be spending however many hours in a tin can with one or more allergens means you can't prepare medically or try to get a different flight.  They're potentially putting people's health at risk.  They need to do better.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Eggnog trifle

Thursday night I finally got around to making the KAF eggnog cake mix that's been sitting on the shelf for ages.  Apparently I didn't prep the pan well enough, because a significant chunk - and I do mean chunk - of the cake didn't want to come out of the pan.  So much for taking it to work for a Happy Spring cake.

Instead, I made trifle.  I've only made trifle a coupla times and the last time was years ago, but I figured "How hard can it be?"  I broke the cake into chunks and put half of it into my biggest plastic container, then covered it with half a small box of vanilla pudding (made with a bit of eggnog extract added), then sprinkled on about half a cup of gingersnap crumbs.  Oh, and one layer was half the glaze that comes with the cake mix. Topped that with the rest of the cake, glaze and the pudding, then decided that wasn't enough pudding.  Made a second small box of vanilla pudding with a splash of eggnog extract, poured it, still hot, over the trifle, sprinkled it with another 1/2 cup of gingersnap crumbs, then topped the lot with a small container of cool whip.

It wasn't bad, and people seemed to enjoy it, but there are a couple of things I'd do differently:
1. Use a big box of pudding, and maybe even a small one in addition to the big one.
2. Maybe use a big tub of cool whip so I can add a layer in the middle of the trifle, not just on top.
3. Next time, grease the cake pan really, really well!  :)

In the course of browsing for ideas for my mangled eggnog cake, I found a recipe for gingerbread eggnog trifle, made with gingerbread for the cake.  I'll have to try that sometime...

Monday, March 10, 2014

The local version of the Tony awards

Last night was the awards ceremony for the local community theaters.  The venue, usually used for concerts (think Leo Kottke and Mary Chapin Carpenter), has an odd main space - broad but with a low ceiling.  Last night was packed, with about 500 of us at the various tables, nearly all of us in our glad rags.

I'd guess about half the non-black dresses worn last night were red, mine included.  A significant proportion of the remaining dresses were purple, with a few fuchsia and at least one turquoise dress that I could see.  I loved seeing everyone's finery.  There were even a couple of little girls there; one of them had on a turquoise chiffon dress, and her daddy had a matching tie and pocket handkerchief - very sweet.

I was one of six people nominated for Outstanding Hair Design in a Play (there was also a category for hair design in a musical).  In other words, the adjudicators put my work in the top six of the 72 hair designs considered.  Pretty good for my first time designing hair for someone besides myself!  I didn't win, but just being nominated is definitely encouraging!  Good thing, as I'm about to do more hair and make-up design, this time for more people.  Maybe the award nomination will paper over my lack of experience. :D

My next project

I've just been asked to design hair and make-up for a production of "The Arabian Nights", which should be fun.  The cast member who suggested me (we were in "Guys and Dolls" together) introduced me to the producer last night.   I mentioned that, after years of middle eastern dance, I've collected a few costume pieces and other things that might be useful as costumes or set dressing.

I've already started to think about how I want to style things, wondering what colors the costumer and lighting designer will be using, etc.  If I can't be in the show, working on the design team is the next best thing.  Not to mention that it introduces me to yet another community theater company.  I'm looking forward to this...

Friday, March 07, 2014

Taking the smartphone plunge

Now that the Chief is official as an Enrolled Agent, he's been looking into all the business stuff he needs - business cards, advertising and the like.  In pondering what vocal challenge or project to take on after Yeomen, I decided to start putting myself out there to sing at weddings.  We decided it might be a good thing for tax purposes to have a separate, business phone number.  Or more accurately, numberS - one for each of us.  This afternoon we hit the mobile phone kiosk at the Exchange (15% military discount) and came home with one new account and 2 new smartphones.

I imagine we'll take our own sweet time learning all the tricks these things can do, but we'll get the basics right off the bat.  Only trick is that, as we are reserving these strictly for business, they may not see much use for a while.  At least mine won't.  As April 15th nears, the Chief may find his phone getting quite a bit of use.

Thursday, March 06, 2014

When freezing hummus...

Lesson learned upon pulling things from the freezer for a post-funeral reception:  When freezing hummus, use very small containers - no more than a cup.  Otherwise, that lovely, dense stuff will take days to thaw!