Perhaps we'll find orange Oreos on the shelves soon...
25 May 2008
16 May 2008
I'm a huge Lost fan. It's a fantastic show - although it has become considerably less fantastic than it was at the beginning. Season three was really when it started to collapse, but I'm glad to see the writers taking their time this season trying to reclaim some of their former glory. The flash-forwards this season are a welcome addition - but who is the sixth? And does the baby count as one?
I digress. My complaint - Holland is one of the few countries that doesn't broadcast the new episodes within about 24 hours of their original broadcast stateside. We not only get it on Sunday, but we're also several episodes behind. It's absolutely heinous. And they're still showing season 2 of Ugly Betty and trying to pass that off as new! As far as I know, even the insular media of China is doing better. What is wrong with television here? Hell, we're still watching Malcolm in the Middle every night on our weird, twisted version of Comedy Central. When was that show on? Last century, I think.
The bottom line: TV in Europe sucks.
15 May 2008
To anyone who takes photos at department stores for a living - you need to quit doing that. They're bad.
This one's a favorite of mine. One of the things I really love about it is all the color. Taken in Bedford, England, with a crappy HP Photosmart. But you know, often enough bad cameras take really good pictures. It depends more on the person behind it. So for anyone who doesn't have a big fancy camera, remember that.
Babies are tough subjects. You can't pose them (although I think that very few portraits should be posed - candids are so much more compelling), and you never know what kind of face they'll be making when the shutter clicks. Staying tight helps - you want to be close to them to get the most interesting photos, and strange angles don't hurt, either. This was taken of my little Dutch baby today - she's one month old now!
More little Dutch babies... Lots of great portraits happen when the subject deosn't know you have a camera. I snuck this one of my friend and her baby; I think she still has no idea I took it.
Little kids are almost as tough as babies - in fact, sometimes tougher, since they run around more. Again, candid shots are great. The best advice: get a big lens and stay far away from them. Knowing they're having their picture taken is usually a recipe for photographic disaster. My little muffin goes nuts in front of the camera, striking poses and making ridiculous faces. At this particular moment she was just mad about leaving the petting zoo.
17 April 2008
14 April 2008
But I digress. The problem, as I said, with liking to bake is that I live here. As much as I like it here, you cannot be a serious cook of any sort in a small town in Holland. You simply cannot find ingredients to make whatever you want from scratch. My latest odyssey has been the quest for baking soda. Our grocery store does not sell it, either in store or online (we have our groceries delivered each week), and my mobility is rather limited at the moment, so I can't easily search elsewhere. I thought I was challenged with vanilla extract and allspice (I had my 'drug' mule bring both over from England), and I was irritated with the baking powder that only comes in little pre-measured packets, not cans. But the problem with not having baking soda is that all the cake recipes in my Betty Crocker cookbook called for it, and I will not eat cake-mix cake. So here I sit, wanting cake for days and days, finally giving up the search and hunting down new recipes online last night. After almost an hour, I finally found a lemon cake with lemon icing (icing, not frosting) that I had all the ingredients for. It was heaven. Moist, fluffy (but not TOO fluffy), and surprisingly refreshing; it has a perfect moist crumb and we ate some warm right out of the oven, thick-sliced and dripping with lemony icing, while we played rummy last night. And then we split another piece, because it was just so good - there are few things in life quite as good as warm fresh cake, and it's only warm and fresh for so long.
I am kind, so I will share. Have a slice of cake.
In the meantime, can anyone tell me where to find baking soda in this bloody country?
29 February 2008
Camera: Nikon D40x, Nikkor 18-55mm lens, ISO 1600, exposure 1/6 at f / 5.0, focal length 40mm. Shot in color, developed in Lightroom.
This one is a friend of my precious, on a preschool field trip to an art exhibit.
Camera: HP Photosmart C945, ISO 100, exposure 1/170 at f / 2.8, focal length 7.6mm