Nana-nana-nana-nana… Batcat!

I love Batman. I love him from his “nana-nana” to his butler, who made me cry during the last cinematic release on this epic superhero.

I love him for his dead parents – poor, lonely Bruce! – and for his attitude. He is no Tony Stark, arrogant and attention seeking.

He visits charity events because he has to, even if he stayed out late the night before, defending Gotham City, and would rather retire to bed early – and he does all that, not because it is easy, but because it is right.

Endure, Master Wayne. Take it. They’ll hate you for it, but that’s the point of Batman, he can be the outcast. He can make the choice that no one else can make, the right choice. (Alfred Pennyworth)

Besides being tall, dark and handsome, which never hurts, he is kind and clever.

It’s not who I am underneath, but what I do that defines me.

To me, he’s everything a superhero should be – and this Batcat does a remarkable impression of him!

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Doesn’t he look heroic?

time for change – with a new theme

I’ve used this theme for a looong time and still love it:

theme

See that little guy in the middle of the header? He reminds me of my husband. I think the theme is quirky and cute – unfortunately not that grown-up.

Two years ago, I was informed that, having just turned 27, I was a “real woman” now. Whatever that entails.

Now I’m 28, and though I hate to admit it: I’ve outgrown my old theme.

Out with the old, in with the new!

This new theme seems more appropriate: still cute, more grown-up.

Just like me.

theme2.jpg

Scribbler Too sends you scribbling!

The interwebz are amazing, it seems like everyday there is something new and exciting that someone put out there, for others to enjoy and share.

Scribbler Too is one of these things. It’s a nifty little side that lets you, you guessed it, scribble something. What sets it apart are the tiny webs the programme adds to your lines, making your designs looks whimsical and fresh.

It lets you tune your brush settings, change your colors and the size of the canvas you’re drawing on. You can even upload images and scribble on them and save everything you’ve created on your computer, without the hassle to register somewhere.

You should try it! I bet the next birthday/wedding/bar mitzvah is just around the corner, and who wouldn’t like a creative, self-made card?

 

Happy Birthday Charles Dickens!

While driving through this morning’s -13° cold, I listened to WDR 5‘s Zeitzeichen.

Today they featured a story about Charles Dickens that made this morning’s drive that much more enjoyable.

When I arrived back at the desk I saw this lovely design on google:

 

 

Only then did I realise that today is the 200th birthday of Oliver Twist‘s and David Copperfield‘s father!

 

Happy birthday Chuck,

and a healthy “Bah! Humbug!” to you!

 

Why the girls of Hayao Miyazaki are better than Disney’s Princesses

This morning I stumbled upon an interesting article on “Wired“: “Great Geek Debates: Disney Princesses vs. Hayao Miyazaki“.

Author Erik Wecks ponders the disadvantages of his daughters’ growing up while looking up to Disney princesses as role models.

 

 

He concludes that the majority of those girls embody a negative self-image for young girls as most of them have a troubled relationship with their parents and rely on their prince to save them.

 

 

Though Wecks agrees that this is more a cultural than a Disney problem, he fails to see that all of these movies derive from old fairytales.

This is a genre where not only the princess is more of a figure than a character, the prince, the king, the evil stepmother all are. In most cases they don’t even have a name, only a title.  “Snow-White” or “Cinderella” are the exeptions, and those are only descriptive names.

To conclude, as Wecks does as well, Disney is not to blame. It even started to create active heroines, as soon as the early nineties.

Remember this girl?

 

 

It is true, she had some fights with her over-protective father.

But she had a goal, too: She yearned to live at the surface. Meeting, and rescuing!, the prince was only the incentive she needed to go for her dream.

 

Erik Wecks does not only thrash the Disney princesses. He offers a healthy alternative in the form of the studio Ghibli films.

 

 

Wecks describes their assets very well in his article, so I won’t repeat them here.

Let’s only say that I completely side with him when it comes to the values Miyazaki’s films convey.

 

So what is my verdict here?

I’m certainly not one to condemn the Disney princesses movies. I grew up watching and loving every single one (up until “Pocahontas“, which I didn’t really get at that time and never bothered to watch).

But it hasn’t left me feeling like I need to be spectacularly beautiful just to snatch a husband.

On the contrary, my favourite princess, besides Arielle, has always been Belle.

 

 

Sure, she is beautiful. But she’s a booknerd, too, and rescues her prince in the end.

No matter what some jealous people say about stockholm syndrome ;-).

 

If I’m lucky enough to have the chance of raising a daughter one day, I’ll certainly let her watch Disney, just like my parents let me.

But, just like my parents did, I’ll be careful to provide her with some counterparts.

My parents took to Ronja, Pippi and the rest of the Swedish girl-force.

I for one will make sure my daughter will benefit from Chihiro, Ponyo, Kikki and the rest, as well.

 

 

 

The King and the Cobra

Marcel Krüger asked us to stop coming to his house, so people went to the Cobra instead.

In early November Krüger had his first self-published book coming out, which compiled stories from his blog, his project Sonic Iceland and even some articles that had previously been published in real newspapers.

 

 

What better way to celebrate than to return to his hometown, from which he’d fled several years ago in search of ginger maidens and Guiness. Luck had it that a festival was planned for Lindisfarne‘s 12th anniversary, so Mr. Krüger packed his bags and book and came running. At least I guess he did, knowing about his fear of flying. And he took the opportunity to re-unite with his old band Stuck, albeit going easy on the bellowing to save some strength for 8 p.m. when the Cobra’s cinema room’s door would open for his reading.

 

In the beginning Krüger seemed a bit tense, no wonder for not only was his family sitting in the first row, complete with parents, two brothers and his girlfriend, the rest of the small room was filled with old friends who had come to hear some stories first-hand.

 

 

But he quickly seemed to adapt to the scene and started to read about an eclectic mix of topics, from expats in Irelands to his above mentioned fear of flying and spiders. Since his book is written exclusively in English, Krüger translated some of his work so that the less capable German wouldn’t get lost in an English swirl.

 

 

Having read the stories before it was interesting to discover new aspects to them by way of Krüger’s introductions or intonation.

And even though the scene itself might have been nicer had the reading been in the Cobra’s Kantine, the room’s atmosphere of good will towards the author was tangible, which was really nice to experience. Whatever face I looked at either seemed just happy to see Mr. Krüger back on German soil, intrigued by his stories or smiling at his snarky side-remarks.

The evening was rounded off with a “cover” reading of Neil Gaiman’s “The day the saucers came” and his “Tale of two Spiders”. It ended with Mr. Krüger, deservedly, selling some copies of his book and then, equally deservedly, retreating to the Kantine for a small family celebration of his first reading in Germany.

 

He kept his promise

Years ago I’ve watched “Love actually” and fell in love with it. That’s why upon watching “the Walking Dead” I already knew main character Rick Grimes’ actor, Andrew Lincoln.

Now Jenny added a nice piece of knews:

Lonely Guy from “Love actually” kept his promise, to love Keira Knightley’s Juliet for always:

 

 

Eek! I for one do not see that much of a difference between the last picture above and this one:

 

 

Someone get that girl a sandwich, already.

Mrs. Prosch’s Olde Bakery X: Lemon Curd

It’s been awhile since my last baking extravaganza in May, when I baked the infamous rainbow cake. A lot has happened since then, albeit not on the baking front. For one, I am now maid of honour to the rainbow-cake-birthdaygirl! And I was asked to bake the couple’s wedding cake to which I answered:

“Challenge accepted!”

Which has been followed by sleepless nights and moments of “I can’t do this, was I crazy to say yes?”, followed by other moments when I was like “Kowabunga, I got this!”.

But this is not about the wedding cake, there will be posts about that, once the whole secrecy is over.

This is about my friend’s (semi-)annual DVD-girls-night and its culinary aspects. See, everyone brings something to the table. This year, to the surprise of everyone, I said: “I’ll bring a cake”. Surprising indeed 😉

I flicked through my recipes and found one for “lemon slices”, which sounded perfect for these late summer days we’ve been enjoying this week.

The recipe called for lemon curd (glass). Where the fudge can I get this? Certainly not in my regular supermarket. Heck, I thought, I’ll just make some.

After some googling I found “Joy of Baking” and this recipe. Not only did they tell my what lemon curd is, they also explained for what it is used, what aspects you’d have to be careful about and how long you can keep it in the fridge. Then, after explaining the whole procedure, they followed with a short and easy-to-understand instruction:



“Lemon Curd: In a stainless steel bowl placed over a saucepan of simmering water, whisk together the eggs, sugar, and lemon juice until blended. Cook, stirring constantly (to prevent it from curdling), until the mixture becomes thick (like sour cream or a hollandaise sauce) (160 degrees F or 71 degrees C). This will take approximately 10 minutes. Remove from heat and immediately pour through a fine strainer to remove any lumps. Cut the butter into small pieces and whisk into the mixture until the butter has melted. Add the lemon zest and let cool. The lemon curd will continue to thicken as it cools. Cover immediately (so a skin doesn’t form) and refrigerate for up to a week.

Makes 1 1/2 cups (360 ml).

Note: If you want a lighter lemon curd whip 1/2 cup (120 ml) of heavy whipping cream and fold into the lemon curd.

Source:

Sorosky, Marlene, Easy Entertaining with Marlene Sorosky, Harper Collins. New York: 1988.

Here’s the recipe, if you’re not lucky enough to attend our DVD night and might want to make some yourself:

Lemon Curd Recipe:

3 large eggs

3/4 cup (150 grams) granulated white sugar

1/3 cup (80 ml) fresh lemon juice (2-3 lemons) (do not use the bottled lemon juice)

4 tablespoons (56 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 tablespoon (4 grams) finely shredded lemon zest

What stumped me for a second was the stainless steel bowl. I don’t have one of those! I ended up using a small pot on top of a bigger one with the hot water, and it worked just fine.

I whisked and whisked till the curd thickened and lost its see-through quality. It became a lovely, cloudy yellow and lost the foamy glaze it had before.

I was so excited to pour it into my little mason jar that I almost forgot to add the butter!



Good thing I have this funnel, otherwise I couldn’t have gotten the good stuff into the tiny jar



Once I had it all inside I added the soft butter I had forgotten  before and gave it a good stir. Fortunately, It hadn’t been too late.

Look at it: doesn’t it look like sunshine in a jar?



After posting this I’ll return to the kitchen to make the pie, which you’ll see in the next post. Its’ recipe only calls for three table spoons of lemon curd, so I’ll have to figure out what to do with the rest. Any suggestions?

Pretty (,) Useless Stuff

What was that? You said you wanted to buy me something? My oh my, you shouldn’t… But if you insist: I found some veeeery nice things online. Pretty and useless stuff. Mostly useless. In the sense of “I don’t need this, but I want it!”. The Geek would probably scratch the “pretty” and just call it useless ;).

Look at those measuring cups:

 

 

Aren’t they lovely? I might already have some, but not nearly as pretty.

Or this cupcake kit? I think the birds say “Eat me!”

 

 

Just as these erasers say “It’s ok that you made a mistake, here, let me rub my butt against it and it’ll disappear in no time”

 

 

I think they’re Princess Peach approved.

With this wallet, no one is going to hornswaggle you. They will assume you know your maths.

 

 

I’m a sucker for mustaches. They say “I’m a badass and a gentleman!”. Love it.

 

 

I’d like these for next winter. This way I’d have warm ears and good music to brighten the dark days.

 

 

Just as these would, in the right place. My ears, for example.

 

 

Oh, those whales. Will they find eachother or not? Whatever, they look happy as they are.

 

 

As does this pouch. It would be allowed to swallow my cents any day.

 

 

All items can be found at ModCloth, who should open a German shop. Just sayin’.