Saturday, April 14, 2012

Long Time No Post: An Art Post (Image Heavy)

Yeah yeah, I know I haven't been keeping up with this like I should.  Oh look!  Here is some of my recent art!  No, it's not a distraction from "real" posts >.>

My character Pwykka.
 Unfinished pen and ink sketch.  (March 2012)

My mate's character Jenks.
Pen and ink sketch.  (March 2012)

My character Melde.
Title: "This is What I Do"
digital (March 2012)

School project for Painting 1
Title: "Self-Portrait"
Oil Paint/ Crappy cell phone camera (March 2012)

My character Pwykka
Digital (April 2012)
My character Melde
Quick pencil sketch (April 2012)


Sunday, January 8, 2012

Adventures in Homebrewing: Episode 2, Brew Day

So I got a homebrew kit for Christmas and so the other day I pulled everything together and started brewing.
I got an English Brown Ale ingredient kit from Brewers Best, and a supply kit from a local homebrew store.  I also have the book How to Brew by John Palmer (I bought the book after reading some of it online), whose instructions I followed in tandem with the instructions in the Brewer's Best kit.  I found that the instructions in the kit were lacking in some places (like they said you didn't have to rehydrate the yeast, even though the yeast packet says you have to), so having the book helped flesh out the confusing/lacking places.  The book is very thorough, so much so that before I started brewing, I found the in depth coverage kind of confusing.
Pulled everything together.  
 I should probably find a bigger pot next time to do this in, but at the moment it was all I could find that was within my budget.  I think having such a small pot (3 gal) lead to some of the problems I had later.
Steeping the grains.

Sanitized stuff.  Under the tin foil are my measuring cup, a couple of
random glasses, a spoon, and my barometer

Malts, both dry and liquid (this stuff is the bane of my existence
as you will see later in the blog)
In the back, in the silver packages, are the hops. 

Steeped grains (saving for spent grain bread!)

I had a boilover when I added the dry malt, which I didn't think was supposed to happen at this stage, but it did.  I had to scrub carmelized malt out of the burner after I finished my brew.  I hope the loss of some of the wort doesn't effect my beer too much.  
And this is why I hate the malt (at least the dry malt)
 Unfortunately I forgot to take pictures after this point, so I don't have anything to show for adding the hops (an hour-long process of watching for boilovers that never happened), or of cooling the wort (note to self: buy more ice next time and use something other than the kitchen sink to cool!).  And I forgot to take a picture of rehydrating the yeast, but that is pretty self explanatory.  In any case, after a lot of time standing around and waiting for the time to be just right to add hops, or pitch the yeast, or whatever, I have beer in the fermenter.  Hopefully it will taste as good as it smells right now.  I know a lot of people don't like the smell of brewing beer (my roommates told me I made the apartment smell "funny"), but I think it smells delicious!
My fermenter in my closet!  I can hear the airlock
bubbling when I go to bed at night!
I must say that this was an experience that I can't wait to do again.  Now I have to wait until I can bottle and then wait some more to drink, but I hope it turns out alright.  I keep seeing exploded airlocks and infected beer pictures on reddit (r/homebrewing), so I'm kind of nervous, but other than the boilover, I did everything according to instructions.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

New Years Resolutions

It seems everyone every year has a resolution to lose weight.  Most of these people only keep it up for a couple of weeks, and then loose sight of their goals.  Like everyone else, I want to lose weight.  Well I guess not so much lose weight as get generally fit.  I'm happy with my body shape and size for the most part, but I am embarrassed at my inability to even jog across my apartment without getting out of breath.  Revealing this embarrassment is a huge step for me.  I've always tried to hide it, but no longer!  I am going to actually do something about it this year.  I plan on editing my diet (not go on a diet, but rather modify what I eat for a lifelong change).  So I am doing Batfit 2012, as well as joining my roommates and boyfriend at the gym a few times a week.  With so many people holding me accountable, I don't think I will fail.

My Goals:
-be able to do physical activities without being out of breath
-lose those "pointy" parts on my thighs (I don't mind my big thighs, but they are kind of pointy at their widest part, if anyone knows what I mean)
-be comfortable in my bathing suit at the public beach (see above goal!)

What I plan on doing:
-keep a food/exercise journal (as suggested on Batfit)
-gym at least twice a week
-cook food at home and bring lunch
-drink plenty of water (something I don't really do)

I will keep up with all of my progress on my blog, so I guess sorry if that bores you!  I want to try out new recipes for lunch and dinner, so I'll try to post those to keep things interesting.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Drinks for the Drinking Nonthusiast: Cigar City Brewing

 The Contestants:
Cigar City Brewing's Jai Alai IPA, Maduro Brown Ale, Hillsborough River Dry Irish Stout, Florida Cracker Belgian Wit, Tocobaga Red Ale, and Hotter Than Helles Lager
The Review:
So this review is going to be a bit different for a few reasons.  I actually visited this brewery when I went home for Thanksgiving (thanks parents for telling me about it!), so the majority of that list is what I tried while at the brewery itself.  The only one I had any large amount of recently is the Maduro because I bought a growler of it to take home.  And, unfortunately, I didn't take notes while I was at the brewery because I am lame like that.  So most of this review will be from memory.

What are you're initial thoughts?
Jai Alai IPA (7.5%):  I honestly don't remember too much about this one...  I know I didn't have more than a small taste of it, but from what I remember it is just a pretty standard IPA...  I'll have to see if I can find any around here, seeing as this is really the only one of their brews that gets shipped out farther than the immediate city.  This is their most well known brew and the only one I had heard of before realizing the brewery even existed, and in my hometown for that matter!

Maduro Brown (5.5%):  Now this is my favorite out of those that I sampled.  Obviously I liked it enough to buy a growler (a full quart filled from their taps at the bar that you take home with you).  It has a rather chocolate-y flavor, that is still bitter with a slight roasted espresso flavor.  I'm not usually one for "flavored" beer, but this is absolutely delicious, especially as a sort of winter/dessert beer (seeing as a opened my growler on one of the first chilly nights this past week), although it is brewed year-round from what I understand.

Hillsborough River Stout (5.5%):  I got a sample of this beer for one reason only: the river for which this is named for is one of my favorite places in my hometown.  I have rather fond memories of hiking around the river and canoeing on the river itself.  So I had to try the beer (which ironically shares the same color as the river)!  If the Maduro had a chocolatey coffee flavor, it was nothing compared to the Hillsborough River.  This brew was overwhelming in its flavors of roasted coffee and cocoa.

Florida Cracker Wit (5%): This was the first beer I sampled at the brewery.  I don't remember too much about it, but I don't think it was my favorite by any means.  I remember the flavor being much stronger than I had anticipated, although I don't really remember much else than that.  According to their website, this beer has citrus-y notes with a hint of coriander and vanilla.

Tocobaga Red (7.2%):  This was my boyfriend's favorite of everything we sampled.  Therefore, I made him (although rather unwillingly haha) write up the mini review of this one.  He says, "It was a strong beer, with a very rich piney taste that may put off people that aren't too big a fan of reds. Personally, I really enjoyed it and wouldn't mind having it again sometime. "  I will have to agree with him on the piney nature of the beer being off-putting.  While I do enjoy reds upon occasion, the piney-ness of this beer was a bit overwhelming in my opinion.

Hotter Than Helles Lager (5%):  This was the favorite of my light-beer-drinking parents.  They initially got this thinking it would be spicy (I think someone told them it had a bite), but is wasn't like that at all.  From what I remember, it was just a nice beer, especially for those who aren't used to the stronger flavors of craft beers,

How's the price?
Well, my parents took my boyfriend and I on the tour of the brewery which was $5 a person and included a beer and a pint glass.  What a deal!   I don't remember the price, but the growlers were rather reasonable as well.

Would you ever buy this again?
Well, next time I am at home I plan on buying another growler of the Maduro Brown and possible a six-pack of the Jai Alai, so I would say yes.  I'm rather sad that I don't have any more of the Maduro!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Question for the Makeup Knowledgeable!

I purchased some red lipstick over the summer and wore it a bit then, but I want to start wearing it more now (like to class and such), but I don't want to have to worry about reapplying it every hour.  Any tips to help with this?  I know red is a high maintenance color, but I want it a low maintenance as possible!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Drinks for the Drinking Nonthusiast: Terrapin Beer Company's Gamma Ray

 The Contestant:
Gamma Ray

Source: Terrapin's Website

The Review:
I went on a beer hunt today for a specific beer (which I did find, and will review later), but while I was on that quest, I ran into this monster and had to pick it up.  Needless to say, the superhero-themed labeling forced me to buy it.

What are you're initial thoughts?
*ROUNDHOUSE KICK TO THE FACE*  Holy ball, Batman, this beer is strong.  Lesson learned, read the ABV before purchasing any beer claiming to be a "monster" of a brew.  Actually, I should probably look at the ABVs all the time....  This lovely little beer has twice the amount of alcohol in it that any other beer I usually drink.  According to the website, "This Gamma Ray will stop any super hero’s arch enemies in their tracks!" In all honesty, I don't think I can actually even finish the glass I have sitting next to me, it is that strong. I guess that makes me a supervillian!  The flavor is sweet, but with a hoppy bitterness that is stronger than I expected in a wheat beer.  I guess that is what makes it a "wheatwine."  My roommate had a sip and told me it reminded her more of wine than beer, but she isn't a beer or wine drinker, so we have to take her evaluation with that in mind.  As for the color, Gamma Ray is an innocent amber color.  It hides its strength well!

How's the price?
I paid around $10 for a 4 pack.  That is definitely a lot more than I would like to spend on beer, but it was worth the experience.

Would you ever buy this again?
Nope.  It is too strong for me to even enjoy the flavor.  I am interested in trying Terrapin's other brews, especially the Sunray Wheat and  Moo-Hoo Chocolate Milk Stout (never the Monster brews though!)

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Movie Reviews for the Bad Movie Lover: Jesus Christ Vampire Hunter

The Contestant:
Jesus Christ Vampire Hunter (2001)
"The Power of Christ IMPALES You!"

The Review:
I went to my friend's Halloween party last night, and somehow this movie got brought up.  We decided that it was life-threateningly important that we find the movie and watch it.  Surprisingly, it is on Netflix.

How is the overall quality?
Jesus and his hot bitches?  Look at the amazing image
quality!  Also this was part of a musical number!
When you hear the title of the movie, you expect a low-budget film of questionable intent.  And this film doesn't disappoint.  The movie looks like it was filmed by a college student using his parents' old video camera.  The video quality it absolutely terrible and the sound doesn't make up for it.  It looks like a poorly dubbed movie, with the actors' lips not syncing up to the sound, except it is originally in English, so I'm not sure what is going on there.  To top off the awful video and sound, the acting seems like the actors have never tried to act before, and the director just told them to "be tough."  Everyone is monotone, because apparently monotone = tough. Oh, and there are trippy crosses randomly.

How are the plot and the characters?
Awful and awful, to sum it up nicely.  In all honesty, I got distracted around the time the luchador showed up, so I can't give a very good review of the full plot, but from what I saw, the plot was pretty bad.  The vampires want to kill Jesus for some reason and they are also hunting lesbians.  Why lesbians?  I don't know.  In any case, Jesus is a kung-fu master, and he kicks major vampire butt.  He doesn't really have a personality, but I think expecting that would be holding this movie to too high of standards.  Also appearing in the movie is Mary Magnum, who's only defining feature is a shiny red jumpsuit.

Is it so bad it’s good?
Yes.  Very much yes.  I haven not seen a movie so terrible in a long time, if ever!  I don't know if I could actually sit down and watch the entire thing without a big group (and beer!) to make fun of it with.  The dubbing would probably drive me crazy.

So would you watch it again?
Probably not.  It’s worth the watch if you are in the mood for god-awful movies, but I certainly don't want to watch it again.  I don't even know if I want to finish it!