Thursday, December 31, 2009

My New Year's Resolution

Looking back on the aughties (2000-2009), it seems like the decade just flew by, yet so much happened nevertheless! The grunge nineties gave way to a...somewhat undefinable time. We survived past the Y2K glitch that could have caused so much damage had the bravery of computer programmers, who corrected the two digit year format in machine's programming, not saved us, and then we just went on...The aughties birthed a more technologically social culture with the introduction of Facebook. Bush came to power in the US, and then there were a rocky eight years that launched a war on terrorism, hurricane katrina, the tsunami of Boxing Day 2005, replaced more recently by the "hope" of Obama's election last year.

The global downturn didn't hit us as badly in Canada, (so says Stephen Harper) yet we've reached the end of our wild spending days. Our government is going to have to be fiscally conservative now for awhile. Finding a decent, stable job in Ontario can be a daunting task for anyone who finds themselves suddenly unemployed, due to "corporate restructuring" and considering the education system itself always drilled into our minds that education was the foundation of hireability, it's frustrating that our youth in Ontario are faced with the least government funding for education and the highest tuition rates ever! (Thank goodness my company is the one paying for my Pharmaceutical Accreditation that I'm currently taking).

Now, on the brink of 2010, we collectively continue to fantasize about the apocalypse occurring in movies like 2012, while we make weak promises at Copenhagen about reducing greenhouse gases in some other decade in the future. As my father argued with me over Christmas, there has almost always never been some global crisis that hasn't appeared to be capable of imminently wiping us off the map. In the 60's, the rate of population explosion seemed to make the possibility of feeding the world impossible. Now we produce enough food, we just have other political problems preventing us from sharing with the poor...and the "new" threat is global warming...

On the other hand, it's an exciting time to be alive. I'm excited to see the US healthcare system start to resemble at least an option not unlike our Medicare. We have many challenges -one being a large, aging population for which we will have to provide and care for. Yet I'm excited to see what kinds of technological interventions will prove as breakthroughs with recombinant DNA technology and stem cell research. I look forward to traveling the world, hopefully making it to Venice before it floods, maybe go visit my friend Kazuto in Tokyo, writing more songs and watching many more HBO series' before I'm through.

Today I will opt for a New Year's Eve unlike many others. I will celebrate it from the comfort of my own apartment, raising a glass of champagne to a new era: the "tens"? I will virtually kill many mutant zombies playing Halo 3 and play countless F├╝ssball matches with my friends over fig chutney appetizers and mango brie creations. Done are my days of spending shameful amounts of money and time planning, rushing, fighting my way through crowds to ring in the New Year with strangers. With just a few close friends and a little hope, 2010 will start off just fine.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Christmas Cookie Fiasco

Whew! I just sat down for what seems like the first time today, after making sixty (YES! 6-D!) cookies for a cookie exchange! (In reality, I sat for all nine hours at work, never once raising my ergonomic desk to the 'standing' position). Anyway, I thought it was hard work, all that stirring.

I had to do it in three, approximately (I don't have measuring cups) doubled recipes of "Haystack Cookies". (I used a coffee cup). Some people know of them as macaroon-like imitations.

What turned out are three distinct batches.

I forgot the salt in the one batch. I think it's strange that baked sweets (which, in this case doesn't even apply, since these cookies are unbaked) even call for salt. I managed to remember the vanilla last-minute.

I put my butter and milk and cocoa and sugar in a pot and got it to a boil, stirring rapidly for five minutes. Then, because it still wasn't carmelized properly, I stirred it for another five.

Each time I did the recipe, I improved and strategized on previous errors, sometimes adding more of one thing and less of another, and also, as mentioned above, sometimes "strategically" overlooking some ingredients entirely!

I'm going to mix all of the batches together and see if anyone at work notices that they're not the same.
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