Mid-week Crisis: Ryan Gosling would make a great Catwoman

Taking a cue from two of my favorite bloggers, Jessica and Mara, I’ve decided to start a weekly summary of all the exciting (?) things that are going on in my life. Since all the good names are taken (like Mara’s Friday Links, and Jessica’s Tuesday Things), I’ve decided to call mine Mid-Week Crisis and post it on Wednesdays. Kind of like mid-life crisis, but it happens every week. Because Wednesday are stupid. I give my sister full credit with coming up with the name, because the best I could think of was Woebegone Wednesdays. Hmm. So this is what’s been happening with me:

1. I found out yesterday that my dad might be able to get free tickets to see Justin Bieber this summer. Would that make me less of a human if I go…? Wait. Don’t answer that.

2. Why isn’t this in my belly right now? Valid question.

3. This is my dog, Gemma Rose McGinty Italiana. Yes, that is her full name, and yes she is named after Damian McGinty’s older sister, Gemma. I’ve been trying to teach her (my dog, not Damian’s sister) cool tricks. The latest one is I’ll have her sit and then I’ll pretend to shoot her and yell BANG, and she falls over.*

*This only happens if I have a piece of cheese in my hand to reward her with afterwards, and when I say she falls over, I mean I usually have to push her. Do you know how hard it is to push over a 65 pound dog?

4. Batman comes out in 9 days. Tom Hardy+Christian Bale+Joseph Gordon Levitt-Anne Hathaway=best movie ever. Seriously, whose idea was it to stick Anne Hathaway in it? The only character she’s capable of playing is that one princess she played in Princess Diaries. Can someone say boring? Why didn’t they get someone else to play Catwoman, like Emma Stone or Jennifer Lawrence? Actually, they could of just stuck Ryan Gosling in a leather jumpsuit and said he was Catwoman. I assure you he would have done a better job, and the entire female population wouldn’t protest.


5. I switched up my room a bit and wanted to show off how cool it looks. I’m not quite done just yet, but it looks much better than it just being a blank wall. I DID end up putting up the Damian McGinty (so much Damian in this post…) and Beatles posters like I thought I’d never get around to doing. And all those tickets? Those are all the concerts I’ve been to (that I can find the tickets from…). Kind of a lot, but there could and will be way more. And one of them is a ticket from when I saw the Jonas Brothers back in 2009. Now THAT makes me less of a human.

6. Today is Nation Cheer Up the Lonely Day. If you are lonely this is me cheering you up: I think you’re awesome. And if you’re not lonely, you are not welcome to our Sad Holiday Party. Next week? Forever Alone Day, followed by My Sarcasm Makes Me Have No Friends Day.

7. Will someone please invite me to a fancypants party so I can wear this dress? Also, I wouldn’t mind if someone turned me into Mila Kunis either. Just saying.

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No! I will not hide in the fruit cellar! Ha! You think I’m fruity, huh? Well, maybe the cake I made is…

If you’re reading this, then chances are you can read. Or you’re a high-functioning illiterate, in which case please excuse me whilst I marvel at your brilliance. That made sense to me…

I feel like you and I have a good enough relationship (even though, chances are I’ve never actually met you. Hi, I’m Picco.) and I can tell you my innermost secrets. Here goes: I don’t read. There, I’ve said it. That’s probably not something I should proudly announce to the world, but as of last week it was true. I used to read all the time when I was younger, but being homeschooled (no, I don’t do school in my pajamas), I really haven’t had a “set” highschool reading list, so reading has kind of fallen to the wayside. What books do normal people read in highschool…? My problem is I have a really hard time pretending to be interested in books that bore me (unfortunately, that also applies to not just books, but movies, sports, people, etc.) and I guess I thought I was too “busy” to read. Busy with what? *silence* Now that I think about it, I realize I spend my free time watching mindless/amazing shows like Downton Abbey, Sherlock, Psych, and House, and listening to mindless/amazing music like The Beatles, Queen, and Adam Lambert. Ok, Adam Lambert is the only mindless one. But I’m going to marry that man someday. Once he, you know, breaks up with his boyfriend and stuff….details, details.

So now that I have become a reformed book addict, I’ve been speeding through fantastic books and basically can’t stop reading. Does that qualify me as a dork? No. I don’t watch Dr. Who. Ergo, me=not dork. Although I think using the word ergo is points against me. In the past 5 days I’ve finished Dante’s Inferno, read Catcher in the Rye (pretty much my new favorite book), and I’m halfway done with Brave New World. I kind of have eclectic tastes when it comes to books, obviously. I told my mom last night “Wow, I love reading.” and she gave me the I-can’t-believe-we’re-related look and said “Um, you should…”

I’m reading now. Check. AND I even ordered frames from Target and framed a Damian McGinty poster I’ve had since I bought it at the Celtic Thunder concert a bajillion years ago. Where did this new-found drive to accomplish things come from? But I weirdly haven’t had any appetite for days. I’m pretty sure I’m dying. I think this is the 3rd? 4th? death scare I’ve had this year. Although this isn’t as bad as the lead paint incident a few months back. Remember that? Even though I was only exposed to it for 1/2 hour, and I don’t even think it was lead paint, I still think that it went to my brain and messed me up for good. I’m going to start speaking in Esperanto or something, because that’s what happens when your brain is messed up, right? I’m not sure why I’ve had this weird obsession with Esperanto lately. I blame lead paint.

No appetite, no desire to check blog stats or approve comments, not answering texts or emails. I’m just kind of blah. What’s wrong with me? I decided that I needed a Snap Out of Your Stupid Mood cake. It’s a wonderful cake, really. Marshmallows, fruit (hmmm…I’m still not totally sold on the whole fruit thing. I only eat it because, knowing me, I’d get scurvy. Which might be a better way to croak than from lead poisoning.), and cake. Delicious. And it helped me behave like a normal person again. Ah, the magic of non-healthy food.

I’m usually very proud of my cooking creations, whether they turn out or not, but I’m especially proud of this one. Not only was it my first attempt (AND SUCCESS) at making a yellow cake from scratch, it also is words-can’t-possibly-describe-it good. I was going to follow How Sweet It Is’s recipe exactly for the cake and icing, but I didn’t feel like melting chocolate on the stove to make the icing (lazy with a capital L), so I decided to make a buttercream frosting. Then I remembered buttercream frosting is made with powdered sugar and it always tastes disgusting. Does anyone else notice the weird taste that powdered sugar has? Blech. So I made a marshmallow frosting, which, you know, is pretty awesome. This is a cake to make when you have rediscovered your love for books, or when you’re in a bad mood, or when you have to accept the fact that you and Adam Lambert will never be together. Sigh.

And yes, I did write Picco in blueberries.

Yellow Cake with Marshmallow Frosting

Cake from How Sweet It Is, frosting adapted from some random website. The berries were my own creation. Impressed?

makes two 8-inch layer cakes

Yellow Cake

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
3 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup milk

Preheat over to 350 degrees. Sift flour, salt and baking powder together in a bowl and set aside. Can I just say that sifting flour is really annoying?

Beat butter and sugar together in the bowl of an electric mixer until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, mixing fully until each is combined, then add vanilla. I kinda spaced on the fact that the recipe called for 3 eggs, so I only used 2. But it turned out fine, in case you cared. After the mixture has come together, add in half the of the dry ingredients and mix. Add in the milk, then the rest of the dry ingredients, mixing until just combined.

Pour batter in two 8-inch buttered and floured cake pans. Bake for 23-25 minutes, or until cake is not jiggly (heehee, jiggly…) in the middle and is golden on top. Let cool completely before frosting.

Marshmallow Frosting

32 large marshmallows
3/4 cup COLD butter
2/3 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla

Place saucepan on burner on LOW heat (I maybe started to burn my marshmallows…I don’t remember…yeah) and combine your 32 marshmallows and 2/3 cup of milk. Allow to heat until marshmallows dissolve then remove from heat. Mix, then set aside, ignore, and go watch House. When you finally remember that you made frosting, it will probably be room temperature, which is what it should be.

On the medium speed setting of your mixer, cream the butter until light and fluffy, like the opposite of the Catcher in the Rye plot.

While still beating the butter, slowly add the marshmallow/milk mixture, and then the vanilla. Mix until thickened.

Bucket lists are overrated. But if I did have one, it might look something like this…

In case you were wondering, I need this:

But first I need this: a job. Since I don’t see myself getting a job this summer because I’m not about to waste three months of my life being around people who, knowing my luck, will suck the joy out of my summer, I’m not going to get my precious 1969 Camero RS. Maybe next summer…or in 20 years, since I don’t think a summer job working at Journeys shoe store will pay for that car.

So, since I don’t want to be just sitting around all summer watching reruns of Downton Abbey and eating junk food (although that sounds pretty dang awesome), I’ve decided to make a bucket list.

I’d like bucket lists if everyone wasn’t making them. It’s kind of like Damian McGinty. I loved that guy back when he first joined Celtic Thunder when he was 14, and then he went on Glee and my undying love for him plummeted. He’s too popular now and, frankly, isn’t as Damian McGorgeous as he used to be. So that was my comparison between bucket lists and Irish singers. Anyway, I’m hoping to accomplish most of these things:

Get my license, which might involve actually starting to drive. Does someone near by want to volunteer to take me out driving since my mom’s scared to be in the car with me…? Anybody?

Go to six flags and convince Emily to go on the Superman with me. Seriously Emily, it’s pretty much the most fantastic ride ever. And I’m pretty sure you won’t get hurt on it.

Hang out with my friends that are off to college (Dear Emily and Caroline, I never gave you permission to go to college this fall and get educated without me. Seriously. You’re making me sad.)

Go to the midnight premiere of Dark Knight Rises and drag random people along with me.

Have an 80’s themed 17th birthday party. Because the 80’s sounded awesome and I was born 15 years too late…

Finish stupid Great Expectations that I’ve been reading since January. That book will be the death of me. But it’s SO good.

Get these. I’M NOT OBSESSED.

Go to a concert (I’m hoping Honor Society comes back soon so I can talk to the drummer Alexander Noyes and say something more than “you’re awesome” like I did last winter. Awkward? Oh yeah and it’s Alex’s 26th birthday today. Happy birthday, Alexander Crawford Noyes. You’re still the coolest person I’ve ever met, which is saying a lot because I’ve also met Damian Kulash from the band OK Go and a guy who dressed up as superman and was standing outside of Busch stadium.)

Convince my mom to let me dye my hair red again. But not Carrot Top red like it was last summer. My hair last summer was a prime example of why you shouldn’t buy $10 hair dye from walgreens and then color your hair yourself.

Pull an all-nighter and have a movie marathon. And no Marie, I refuse to watch Sweeney Todd at 3am so don’t even suggest it.

I’ll probably think of more stuff later, but this is a good place to start. Oh, and I pretty much butchered the cookies I made tonight.

The recipe said to bake them for nine to eleven minutes and to make sure to not overcook them, but they still weren’t done after being in the oven for twenty minutes. Blahhh. So I decided to use them in a trifle-type dessert with strawberries and moose tracks ice cream.

I’m not sure what I’m going to do with the rest of the cookies…maybe use them as a base of a chocolate crust, kind of like a graham cracker crust? We’ll see. I know they would have worked with regular brownie mix, because I’ve used normal mix and they’ve turned out, but for some reason the dumb gluten free brownies decided to be a real pain in the patella.

As Pacman says, “Only you can prevent overcooked brownie cookies.” Although I might be confusing him with that bear with the really manly voice. Can Pacman actually talk…? Deep questions.

Brownie cookies

From the Food Network website

21 ounces brownie mix
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
6 tablespoons canola oil
2 eggs, beaten
2 tablespoons water
6 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350°F

In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients. Stir until well blended.

Drop mix from a teaspoon onto a cookie sheet lightly sprayed with cooking spray. Bake for 9 to 11 minutes.

Once cookies have lost their gloss, yet still feel soft to the touch, remove from oven. Do NOT overbake them, or you’ll have to use them as hockey pucks.

Let cool 1 minute, then remove to racks to finish cooling. Store in airtight container for up to 1 week.

Pesto chango

I’m barely alive. Well, obviously I’m alive. As cool as it would be to blog from beyond the grave, that isn’t going to happen anytime soon. Sorry if I got your hopes up. But back to being alive. Why am I clinging on to my life here? Because I took the stupid PSAT yesterday and my brain is totally fried. That’s why. Any more questions?

I really hate standardized testing. Well, maybe hate is a strong word. How about I really really really really really don’t like standardized testing? After spending all day Monday and Tuesday taking 4 practice tests (that’s over 8 hours of tests. GAHHHH!), I took the real deal on Wednesday at a highschool. Yes, I had to break out of my homeschool comfort shell and interact with people who go to real school. Scary.

After hours of test taking, plus lots of cramming, my brain is in slow-mo today. I’m so worn out that a few different times today I would realize mid-sentence that I had no clue what I was talking about. At times like this when I’m really not in the mood to make real food, I turn to my new best friend. Pesto in a jar. Pasta+pesto=instant delicious.

Now that I think about it, a lot of my best friends are inanimate objects. Allrecipes.com, my Newsies DVD, Waldo my Wusthof knife, and now pesto. Is there something wrong with me?

And apparently my brain is so fried that I though having “pesto chango” as the title of this post was clever. Yeah, there’s definitely something wrong with me.

Speaking of messed up, I opened my blog earlier to look at my stats and look at what some awful person typed into Google to find me.

I don’t know what’s worse, the fact that my blog pops up when you type that in, or the fact that some human being out there actually hates Damian Joseph McGinty, Jr.

In food news: I bet you’re wondering, “what’s on the menu this week, Picco?” Glad you asked. Tomorrow? Red velvet cake balls. The day after that? Pesto cake balls. And I’m so tired right now those actually sound good. Yeah, I’m going to stop talking now.

September 20, 2011. The day of many wondrous new albums.

Tomorrow is going to be a good day for me. I can feel it in me bones. Eh, not really. That was a total lie. But, even without using my psychic skeletal powers, I do know that Tuesday is going to be great. Why? Because three new albums from three of my favorite artist on the planet are coming out. That’s why. Who are these much loved singers? I’m glad you asked.

First off, probably my favorite singer/celebrity/person outside my family and other than Christian Bale ever. Demi Lovato. This is her 3rd album and if it’s anything like the other 2, it’s going to be fantastic. I feel sorry for this girl. She’s been through a lot this past year and she has a pretty crazy family…always a bad combo. She released one of the songs off this album a few weeks ago and it’s supermegaawesomefantasticlyepic. And yes, that is a word.

The second one is Time Travel by Christofer Drew’s group Never Shout Never. I was a huge Chris Drew fan back when he all of his songs were acoustic and he went by NeverShoutNever! I even painted the lyrics to one of his old songs on my wall. But then he decided to become a “rock band”, got a bunch of band members and changed his name to Chris Drew and the Shout. Kind of like Selena Gomez and the Scene, or Nick Jonas and the Administration. And equally as stupid. No offense. I’m just saying what I know you all are thinking. But I am still excited about this CD, since he went (sort of) back to his roots with the sound of his songs and the band name. If only he’d get rid of the other 3 dumb members of the group, he’d make me happy, whether he knew it or not…sorry. NSN reference. *ehem* Moving along…

And finally Storm, by Celtic Thunder. I’ve loved Celtic Thunder since they first started almost 5 years ago. This wonderful group has brought many friends into my life. Actually last July I was talking with a girl and things were getting awkward because we had nothing in common. Then I learned she liked Celtic Thunder. BAM. Instant friendship. But back to the album cover, I have no idea who picked out their outfits, and whoever it was needs to be kicked out of humanity. And also I’m not really sure what Storm is. I’m pretty sure that it’s kind of like a show and they’re all characters. *cough* STUPID *cough* But I’ve been waiting for this CD to come out since they first announced it a year ago. In that time, Celtic Thunder changed and my two favorite people left the group. Paul Byrom (2nd guy on the right) left to go do whatever it is Paul does, and Damian McGinty (first dude on the left) is now on the show Glee. And now they have 2 new guys. That I hate. So, I guess I have mixed feelings about this album…but I might buy it, since I have all six of their other CDs…

And that’s my excitement in a nutshell.

Oh and to get you guys participated in the little one-sided-conversation-with-myself-I-call-Spoonlighting, what’s your favorite album? Or singer? Or song? Leave your answer in the comment area, if you wish. Or just say your answer out loud to yourself, nod your head, and get on with your life.