October 3, 2011

Salmon (or any fish) Spread

I know you've all probably had a simply tuna fish sandwich-- some canned tuna slapped together with mayo and squished between two pieces of bread. My boyfriend ended up with a surplus of canned Salmon and I thought, well, why not try to make something like tuna fish? But better? He went all adorably wide eyed, because how do you make salmon spread fancy without taking a lot of time? Well, here's how you fancy up a canned fish spread in about ten minutes with some alternative suggestions for ingredients in parentheses.

It's Chinese Boyfriend Approved.

-2 cans of Salmon (or tuna, or whatever)
-1/2 a container of whipped cream cheese (this can be substituted with mayo or sour cream)
-1 green onion (or half of a small bulb onion)
-4 to 5 baby dill pickles (or sweet if you like that better)
-1 small celery stick **optional
-1 small carrot or a few baby carrots **optional
-1 table spoon of mustard (I use sweet hot or honey, but any mustard works)
-Garlic salt, pepper, and Tabasco to taste-- usually a few good shakes of each.

1) Drain salmon, this is a perfect boyfriend or kitchen novice exercise. Empty both cans into a medium sized bowl and stir with a fork breaking up any large clumps.
2) In another bowl, add half a container of cream cheese. Stir this until it's easier to work with or heat it up for a few seconds in the microwave. This will make it easier to mix with the salmon later.
3) Add mustard, spices, and Tabasco sauce to the cream cheese and mix well.
4) Finely chop your veggies and pickles and stir them into the salmon.
5) Add cream cheese mixture and stir until it is evenly mixed with salmon.

From here you can make your normal-but-now-extra-exciting-tuna-fish-but-really-salmon sandwich with a couple of slices of bread. Or you can spread it on pieces of baguette, crackers, pita, etc.

April 1, 2011

The world is being Sucker Punch(ed).

The more I read reviews about Sucker Punch, the more I realize that these people clearly are not the demographic the movie is intended for. They complain about too much CGI, too many fight scenes, why doesn't it have more plot, why is it a bunch of girls, why doesn't it obey the physics of reality, and how dare it be such a flashy action movie. It's like The Expendables all over again.

The only complaint that holds any water is whether or not this is a exploitation film and how this effects the portrayal of women. I feel that's a fairly in depth question that could go either way if people weren't so busy dismissing movie simply because it is all females kicking ass.

Let's be frank, people, this. Is. An. Action. Movie. It's troperific, full of homages, and is fully self aware. If you could actually pay attention, it is full of symbolism, it makes fun of itself, the genre, and the demographic it is intended for, but at the same time takes it seriously.

The three realities are not confusing. They're pretty straight forward. I felt some of them weren't introduced very well, but that doesn't mean that the lines are blurry-- the lines are very clear. It's like I'm listening to people scream about how confusing Inception was all over again, which wasn't confusing at all, and Sucker Punch is even MORE obvious than that.

If you're not a nerd, if you don't like action movies, if you're looking for something deep and meaningful that you're unable to decipher for yourself, if you don't like bright and flashy visuals, if you don't like cliches DO NOT SEE THIS MOVIE.

If you're not comfortable seeing a group of girls kick ass in skimpy clothing because women should be able to kick ass in anything, that's fine. If you're not comfortable seeing a group of girls being exploited by men, being forced to sell their bodies as symbolism for being constrained and raped while in asylum, that's also understandable. You will probably not like this movie.

This movie is essentially five girls seeking power to escape death. They find agency by using the skills they have to fight. Fight their constraints, mental and physical. On the flip side, how they find empowerment can be a fetish for men. The director admitted that when Baby Doll dances and entrances all the men in the movie, likewise he intended to have all the men entranced by her kicking of the asses in the alternate reality she enters when dancing. This movie works both ways. It exploits women in the movie and exploits the audience watching it. Whether or not you are comfortable with that, whether or not you base your opinion of the movie on that doesn't change the fact that a big damn action movie shouldn't be critiqued for having too much action.

March 20, 2011

The real life roleplaying in board games.

The other night I played Arkham Horror for the first time as Joe Diamond whose abilities coupled with my superior rolling really saved my ass the entire night.

For those not familiar with Arkham Horror, let me explain: It's a several hour long board game where the game brutally attempts to kill you at every turn with monsters and demi-gods, while you're just a lowly human with $7 to your name. Why this is so much fun...I really don't know. But it is.

Until you're brutally killed, anyway.

After playing board games for a while now, it dawned on me during the middle of Arkham that there are distinct types of players.

Ooo, shiny! That one guy that wants to buy and own and horde all the special items regardless of how truly bad they are because, "Omg, it'll give me +9!" "But only once, this item will give you +5 all the time." "...but it will give me +9!" The guy that thinks all his useless items are going to save his ass and the rest of the game, when in actuality he's going to get his teammates killed.

Case in point, my friend spent several rounds attempting to close a gate, almost killing himself and me in the process because the board hates me and threw me into his portal during his long struggle of beating it into submission hoping that his hoard of items would save him.

They didn't, actually, what did save him was...

God Gamer The person that basically knows everything about the game mechanics, the cards, predict what the game may do next, what series of events would screw over the entire party, and so forth. He bails out the Ooo, Shiny! 90% of the time as he usually ends up with the item transferal ability.

Mod Gamer The guy that wants to control what everyone in the party is doing in order to bend to his in game agenda. Need to kill that monster for the last token you need to seal a gate, and sealing gates is what wins the game? Too bad! He's going to kill it instead because his character doesn't have any tokens and he definitely needs one in order to buy this spell he really wants on the other side of the board that he may use never.

Focu--SQUIRREL The one who is most invested in the game at the beginning and ends up doing something entirely not related to the game towards the end.

The Girlfriend Unfortunately this was me for a while because I had no idea what was going on at all. The one that needs their hand held and directions reiterated to them on every single damn turn they take. You probably even need to tell them how to roll the dice or pick a card as they probably won't be able to figure it out on their own. I was given the express direction to kill and seal gates, and so I did, becoming the--

MVPony Player that basically does more than half of the work, then gets shat on at the end. I sealed three gates by myself, one by beating Ithaqua on my own (yes, ON MY OWN), and raced through a forth gate that was being sealed by Ooo, Shiny! In fact, I sealed two gates and ran through the third two turns after Oo! Shiny attempted to seal his first and only gate. And then tried to kill me by sealing me inside of it.

Of course, there are other types of players, like Failmind, the person that tries to be the master mind and orchestrate everyone else's downfall in the game, only for it to horribly backfire in the end resulting in reaching bankruptcy first. The Hoarder that attempts to own every item, card, your potato chips, and every tangible thing in existence (I usually end up being the Hoarder) just for the sake of having it, and usually becomes the prime target for thievery by death towards the end of the game.

Bottom line, it might not actually be the board game trying to destroy you, but your friends unintentionally sabotaging you.

March 9, 2011

Thank You

Back when I first really got into reading blogs, I stumbled across Bakerella, a really fun and happy woman sharing her sweet creations with everyone else. I use her cake ball recipe yearly for Valentine's day. I check her blog every Monday when it updates because it's such a pleasure to read her entries and look at her pictures that are posted with such obvious joy. Her blog is one of the few I read that isn't snarky, isn't about pointing out the idiocy of others, and doesn't find humor in the stupidity of someone else.

Her blog is about pure happiness and positivity and just good things, and I am extremely sadden to hear that her donated kidney has failed.

There is a lot of pain and a lot of suffering in this world, and Bakerella acknowledges that she's fortunate to have such a fanbase and has been able to do what she loves to do these past few years. But for a woman who has brought me and so many others a little bit of happiness each week with such a positive and loving attitude, she deserves some love and some wishes, and I hope she'll be able to continue to bring a smile to our faces for several more years to come.

February 12, 2011

Pioneer Square Eatery

I probably shouldn't say this, but I work in Pioneer Square. I have a feeling that there's perhaps a few things in my blog (and maybe in the future) that could be...compromising, but whatever, I want to talk about food.

Specifically, lunch.

Admittingly, I eat at work 90% of the time because they give me free food. Who can pass up free food? But some days, those rare 10% days, when either I have a wild craving or the kitchen is too slammed to meet my hunger needs, I roam the streets of Pioneer Square looking to shove something into my face. And thus, my list of food establishments was born.

This is no means a complete list and I'll probably have to do a follow up post in the future. I have yet to go to Tat's and, really, venture beyond a block radius of Pioneer Square Triangle Park, but if you're down here in the area, let me tell you what to get, what to miss, and what's passable if you're starving.

February 5, 2011

New heights in Classy.

Jeff Gallagher: Hey Cali, how do you feel about a rum and coke?
Cali: Sure!
Jeff Gallagher: How do you feel about drinking it out of a bowl?

And undergrad life post-undergrad continues.

February 4, 2011

How to make an impressive cake in non-impressive ways.

If you didn't know, Valentine's Day is quickly approaching. There are two different ways you can go about this joyous (or joyless) holiday of chocolate merryeatery:

1) Like the parentheses capture, be completely joyless and fester inside of your emo cave refusing to enjoy the bounty of 50% off chocolate bound to come your way on the 15th, slamming on your WASD keys until your mage reaches level 60 so you can commence with a hollow celebration at the nearest 7-11. Hey, slurpees are delicious.

2) Embrace the holiday by ignoring your New Years resolution to not eat your body weight in things so bad for you, but taste sooo good, and decide to go to the gym some other time.

I prefer the second. I also understand that some of you spend this day sending off gifts of delicious to other people, which is quite nice of you, but I'm greedy. Well, not really, I slave for days in the kitchen making delicious things for people who burn water on a regular basis.

Ignoring that, I thought I'd go ahead and share some tips and tricks for making really basic desserts look and taste better in order to impress your special someone.

January 24, 2011

When dependability is no longer dependable.

Kilt Guy wears kilts. Every day Kilt Guy wanders around the office building doing whatever Kilt Guy does while wearing a gray kilt. I have a suspicion that he wears the same kilt, or owns five to ten of the same kilt design, but without fail, Kilt Guy wears a kilt. It's a constant, it's how you know everything is right in the world. You could use Kilt Guy wearing a kilt as undeniable proof that you're correct forever as long as you asserted that Kilt Guy wears a kilt.

Until today, anyway.

Today, Kilt Guy wore jeans. And the world mourned.

Well, not for me, personally, as kilts just aren't my thing. Every day I would think to myself, "Geez, Kilt Guy, ever thought of jeans?" Day after day, week after week, month after month, always the same thought as Kilt Guy wandered about the building unawares of my private war with his garments...and then, low and behold, my mental waring paid off!

And what did I think to myself? "WTF, KILT GUY? TREACHERY IS AFOOT!"

Clearly his unconscious appeasing of my fashion standards also crossed my line of betrayal, so tomorrow we'll see if he returns to the kilt or not.

January 23, 2011

Unresolved credit.

Jeff Gallagher wants you to know that he introduced me to League of Legends, that game I keep talking about that is slowly draining away any semblance I have of a life.

If you do not value productivity in your life, I urge you to join, too. You can thank Jeff later.

January 16, 2011

Gender in gaming returns, sort of.

This probably comes as no surprise, but I'm still playing League of Legends like it's the only thing keeping me alive, waiting for it to deliver rainbows and unicorns at my doorstep. I enjoy the game quite a bit, especially since a good chunk of my friends play, and by extension their friends. If we're all on at the same time, we can easily make a custom 10s with people left over.

That said, LoL has made me retract my previous statement and opinions on girls in the gamer community. Earlier I said I hadn't met much opposition in the multiplayer games I play despite my gender, especially in the Halo community. I'm not a good Halo player, but I went running in, guns blazing, mic on, and my teammates never made a derogatory comment regarding my abilities in correlation to gender. I figured that if this attitude were to be prevalent anywhere, Halo would be it, right?

That isn't to say I've never encountered that type of behavior. I have a few guy friends who make such remarks, and one that certainly believes males are superior gamers (and also throws quite the manly fit if I ever beat him in anything), but I've never heard them say similar things to other girls, so I'm chalking it up to being part of the dude circle.

I'm sure you can see how this is going to correlate with League of Legends...or can you?

LoL is the first time I've experienced heavy trolling and childish attitudes. Name slinging, cursing, and complete with nearly incomprehensible grammar. My user name is rather feminine as well, which is why I have been hassled and mocked for being a gay male.

I'm having a hard time trying to verbalize exactly how I feel about this, but I suppose I can do it this way: What the fuck is so wrong with you that you think gay bashing is acceptable?! And what does sexual preference have anything to do with gaming ability?! At least a small and maybe plausible argument could be made about gender considering the genetic makeup between men and women are different, but sexuality? Really? Do you really think liking men inpairs ones ability to hit a button faster?

And no, I'm not talking about the general, "Omg ur so geeehy!" comments when one is losing, but honest to God gay bashing for no reason other than to be a homophobic dick.

Let me tell you, little gamers, while your home town or little tent village or whatever hellhole you reside at may find it acceptable to lynch those who prefer the same sex, the rest of the world doesn't feel the same way. Maybe not all the world, but certainly good chunks of the world that you interact with online. Now that LoL has implemented a new system dealing with rude gamers, hopefully we'll never have to see you again.

However, the downside to this is out of all the people in that 10 person game, only one other person aside from me called him out on homophobia and how it isn't relevant to gaming. Only one other person. I understand not wanting to get involved in stupid little flame wars over a game, but your silence is what keeps this type of behavior going, and your silence isn't going to solve this problem. We're a community, perhaps it's time you join it.

January 2, 2011

Nom Nom - Spanish Rice

Not to toot my own horn, but my favorite thing about what I typically cook is how it's easily adaptable to one's personal tastes. This is why I typically forgo the practice of offering measurements as I believe that, if you really like feta cheese, I'm not one to suggest how much or how little you should put in there. I'll give my opinion, of course, and suggest alternatives but ultimately cooking for yourself is about you, so make it how you like it!

That said, Spanish Rice is totes easy and very adaptable so long as you and whoever else you may be cooking for like tomatoes and beef. And rice.

In order to make it exactly as I have, you will need: half an onion, 1ib of thin cut beef, 1 can of stewed tomatoes, 1 can of diced tomatoes with green chilies, 3 cups of rice (uncooked), chili powder, garlic powder (or fresh garlic), and brown sugar.

Other suggestions: cheese, 1 can of any kind of bean, lime/lemon juice, and any additional spices that you like (for example, I think yellow curry powder would be quite interesting).
1. Place three cups of uncooked rice and 1 can of diced tomatoes with green chilies in your rice cooker. Make sure to add extra water as the tomatoes and chilies will increase the water line causing inaccurate measurements. If you don't have a rice cooker...uhm...good luck!

2. Place the half onion face down and slice the entire onion from the side. I prefer big chunks of onion, but feel free to dice as wanted. Add these to a large frying pan and set to a medium-high setting. Cook until they are semi-translucent until moving on to the next step.

3. Slice your beef into bite sized strips and add them to the frying onions. Let this combination cook together for a while, but you can add lemon or lime juice here.

4. After your beef is as cooked as you want it to be and onions fully translucent, add the can of stewed tomatoes and any spices you want (also beans). The green chilies in the rice should bring a little bit of a spicy kick when introduced to the beef mixture, but you can add more hotness here as well. Brown sugar is completely optional, but highly recommended. I love spicy-sweet, which is why I added it.

5. Once the rice is done cooking, add it to your beef and tomato mixture and stir together.

6. EAT UP! This would be the time to top with cheese if you want to, or stick it inside of a tortilla for burrito action.

This dish should only take as much time needed to cook the rice, so about 20-30 minutes.