This is Halloween

I have a love-hate relationship with Halloween.  I love getting dressed up as something pretty and sparkly, like a mermaid or a princess, I love eating Halloween candy, and I love seeing all the neat decorations people come up with.  I also hate skeletons, zombies, creepy babies, things with flesh melting off, corpses, disembodied parts, etc.  As a kid, I thought trick-or-treating was a painstaking, somewhat embarrassing way to get candy, and yet I never missed a year unless I was practically dying from the flu.  The worst part about Halloween in Canada?  You could never wear the same costume that you wore to school that day, because it was freezing out and you had to wear a snowsuit.  My beautiful Swan Princess dress didn’t have a hope of fitting over my puffy down coat, so I ended up as a gypsy.

I did love carving pumpkins though.  Actually, as a kid I didn’t have much patience to finish the whole job, but now I do.  In fact, my last pumpkin carving was an attempt at the Disney castle (see a theme yet?).  If you’re looking for some pumpkin inspiration this year, check out Villafane Studios.  This teacher-turned-artist is an amazing sculptor and has become somewhat of a celebrity for his 3D pumpkin carvings and sand sculptures.  And remember- the best part about carving pumpkins is roasting the seeds!  Spread them out on a cookie sheet with a little olive oil and salt, bake them for a few minutes, and voila, it’s the best way to tempt yourself away from the Halloween candy.

“This is Halloween, this is Halloween
Pumpkins scream in the dead of night.”

– Danny Elfman, The Nightmare Before Christmas


Food, Glorious Food

Whether you’re a student living away from home for the first time, a new graduate in a small apartment or even a newlywed trying to impress, at some point, everyone has to learn how to cook.  A good friend of mine has just launched a new column about making cooking easy- and tasty- at the same time.  Check out the links below for her debut post, as well as today’s delicious lasagna recipe.  Congrats on your column, Mia!


First article:

Today’s lasagna:


If you’re like me and can think of a million ways you’d rather spend your time than standing by the oven, check out The I Hate to Cook Book.  Peg Bracken wrote it 50 years ago for the less-than-enthusiastic housewife, and a special anniversary edition was recently released with a foreword by her daughter.  Even if you love cooking, just read it for the humour.  Ms. Bracken is hilarious, sarcastic, and says exactly what we’ve all been thinking about cooking.

Quote:  “Actually, you can’t trust the word “quick” any more.  Some cookbooks, when they say “quick,” mean that you needn’t grind your own flour.  Others mean that you can pour a can of tomato soup over a veal chop and call it Scallopini.”

Quote:  “First, a general word about DESSERT.  It is wise to keep in mind that in any group of two or more women, at least one is on a diet, and several others think they ought to be.  If you serve them a rich dessert, which you spent considerable time making, they will probably eat it, but they will be annoyed with you.  If they do not eat it, you will be annoyed with them.  And, on the other hand, the nondiet-minded ladies will look at you squint-eyed if they have dutifully plowed through the main part of the luncheon only to find that there’s no dessert at all.”


“Food, glorious food!
Hot sausage and mustard!
While we’re in the mood —
Cold jelly and custard!
Peas, pudding and saveloys!
What next is the question?
Rich gentlemen have it, boys —

– Oliver! the musical by Lionel Bart


Forging Connections

A big thanks to the Calgary Science School for inviting me to participate as a speaker in their Forging Connections workshop yesterday and today.  The conference was a fantastic event combining “the art of science” with the “science of art.”

In honour of the event, and out of respect for Steve Jobs, I would like to share the following quotes.  Despite being a firm Microsoft girl (I don’t even own an iPod- I have a Zune), I’d like to take a moment to recognize the passing of a technology giant.


“People from technology don’t understand the creative process that these companies go through to make their products, and they don’t appreciate how hard it is. And the creative companies don’t appreciate how creative technology is; they think it’s just something you buy. And so there is a gulf of understanding between the two of them.”


“Here’s to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes… the ones who see things differently — they’re not fond of rules… You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them, but the only thing you can’t do is ignore them because they change things… they push the human race forward, and while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius, because the ones who
are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do.”


To read more about the Forging Connections workshop, see the link below.


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