1

On Roger Ebert

So I saw this link from The Loop today, and I read it and it was really nice.

It made me think about Roger Ebert again, and I remembered something about him that was important to me. He LOVED movies. All of them. And he taught me the difference between “this is a movie that’s good” and “this is a movie I like”. There’s an important distinction there. I love some things that are really good, and I love some things that are really not so great (in talent or quality). I can see greatness in some things, and I like to think it’s because I learned I could appreciate greatness even if I didn’t like it (not one little bit).

So I think about this sometimes. And I like to think he was hard on the subpar films because he wanted them to be better. If I care enough to offer criticism it’s because I want it to be better, not because I think it sucks. If it were that bad I wouldn’t bother at all!*

So please take a moment and read that article. It’s worth your time because it’s good, not just because I like it. 🙂

* This is another way in which Kelly Is A Terrible Nerd.

Fun With Hashtags

Well hello there friends!I have this friend who says “Kelly, inside my head is a circus. Sometimes other people can hear the music too.”

Right now I’m going to share some of the circus in my head with you.

Long long ago, we would play “games” on Twitter using hashtags. Like replacing one word in a movie title with “bacon” or first draft band names (Velvet Underpants, Deep Fuchsia), and they are really fun because my mind runs about a jillion miles an hour most of the time and I can riff on something like this all the livelong day.

Well thanks to Timehop I discovered this list of #tolkienpop that I did four years ago (today!) so I’m posting them here because most of them made me laugh all over again today.

– I Touch My Elf (DiVinyls)
– Fly On An Eagle (Steve Miller Band!)
– Sgt Baggins Lonely Ents Club Band (The Beatles)
– Meat Is Mordor (The Smiths)
– Friday I’m In Lothlorien (The Cure)
– Bombadil The Bass (Actually the band name, Bomb The Bass)
– The Sun Always Shines On Sam Gamgee (a-ha)
– Papa’s Got A Brand New Ring (James Brown)
– Moria Dreamin (on such a winter’s dayyyy) (Mamas & The Papas)
– Beleriand Bop (Ramones)
– Roll Over Mithrandir (Chuck Berry)
– Roll Over Bombadil (Chuck Berry)
– Good Golly Mithrandir (Little Richard)
– Merry Merry (The Monkees)
– Knockin On Rivendell’s Door (Bob Dylan)
– Forlond Prison Blues (Johnny Cash)
– Westfarthing Lineman (Glenn Campbell)
– Try A Little Enterness (Otis Redding)
– The Night They Drove Old Wormtongue Down (The Band)
– Say It Loud (I’m Dwarf And I’m Proud) (James Brown)
– Pippin Is A Punk Rocker (Ramones)
– Subterranean Homesick Blues (Bob Dylan) (See what I did there?)

See? ALL DAY LONG. And I did! Those are all throughout September 10, 2009. And now you get to enjoy them too. Leave your contributions in the comments. (:

Iced Aeropress Coffee Recipe

I recently got a new coffeemaker and I’ve been using it with varying degrees of success. I finally nailed down a recipe I like, and then Alexander had to go all “YEAH ICED!” on me. Dangit.

So he linked me to a recipe for iced Aeropress from Brew Methods and I was off and running. I thought I would just follow it, but I didn’t like this, or that, or the other thing, so since I basically changed every step along the way I figured I’d publish an alternative recipe for those interested. Here it is:

First, set the Aeropress upside down on the counter, with the plunger just barely pressed down. I’d do it right side up but this way is easier and doesn’t slowly drip while you’re stirring:

1 - Empty Aeropress

 

Add water to your water heating mechanism:

2 - Water to Zojirushi

 

Now add a bit more coffee than you’re used to. I’m like a scoop and change, so this is like two and a half:

3 - Coffee scoops

 

 

Power up the water heating mechanism (if I turn it on when I fill it I don’t have time to do the rest before the water’s ready).

4 - Water Boiler on

 

Now, we wait.

5 - Waiting first

 

Then wait more.

6 - Waiting Second

 

Have an idea about what else could kill the time.

7 - Waiting Third

 

YEAH TOAST!

8 - Waiting TOAST

 

And here we are at the magical 180. I might do 185 for hot, but for iced 180 is fab. Anything above 185 seems to be more bitter than I prefer.

9 - Water Temp

 

Stir enthusiastically for 30 seconds. After that, stir for a couple seconds every few seconds, for like a minute. Comes out to be 90 seconds or so altogether:

10 - Stir coffee

 

Well doesn’t THAT look good?

11 - Stirred Coffee

 

Flip and commence pressing into a cup which already holds some ice cubes. For me, it’s “some” and then halfway through pressing, I add “some more”. It’s a precise measurement.

12 - Pressing Coffee

 

Having pressed, add water. I’m lucky in that I could use either the sink or the fridge, but the fridge is colder so I generally use that.

13 - Add Water

 

Not pictured: Bonus step where I add a whitening agent, sometimes Vanilla CoffeeMate, sometimes soy milk, sometimes half and half. And there it is, in my giant cup: The Iced Coffee That Ate Cincinnatti.

14 - Coffee voila

 

Here’s the recipe in condensed form for copy and paste purposes:

– Set the Aeropress upside down on the counter, with the plunger just barely pressed down.
– Add water to your water heating mechanism.
– Add ground coffee to the Aeropress, more than you’re used to putting in for a cup of hot coffee.
– Power up the water heating mechanism (if I turn it on when I fill it I don’t have time to do the rest before the water’s ready).
– Commence waiting.
– While waiting, toss some ice cubes into the cup where you’re putting the coffee.
– Wait till 180 degrees, then add water to the Aeropress, nearly to the top. (Not all the way to the top, you have to stir enthusiastically!)
– Stir enthusiastically for 30 seconds. After that, stir for a couple seconds every few seconds, for about a minute and a half total.
– Add the filter, flip, and commence pressing into a cup which already holds some ice cubes. For me, it’s “some” and then halfway through pressing, I add “some more”. It’s a precise measurement. I also pause a couple times and give the cup some swishing because (even though it’s likely bogus) I feel like if I cool the coffee in the cup, it will help the rest of the coffee cool off faster. I might need a Mythbuster.
– Having pressed, add cold water.
– Bonus step: Add a whitening agent of your choosing.

All of these items are up for debate, change as necessary. But if you find a tasty alternative, please let me know.

…amazing things will happen.

I’m reading “The War For Late Night“, and I was reminded of this:

All I ask of you is one thing: please don’t be cynical. I hate cynicism — it’s my least favorite quality and it doesn’t lead anywhere. Nobody in life gets exactly what they thought they were going to get. But if you work really hard, and you’re kind, amazing things will happen.

Conan O’Brien said this on his last Tonight Show, and it resonated with me then – January 2010 – because I have tried to be kind and not cynical since I learned what cynicism was. (That was a long time ago, by the way, I didn’t look it up after Conan said it on tv.)

I don’t claim to be able to put a dent in the universe or anything, but I try to help where I can. I do easy stuff like donate to the Red Cross on my phone, or retweet someone I know who worked really hard on a good app and now wants to get attention for it. I volunteer to help out at different nerd events around town, and I am working with my friend Jean on App Camp 4 Girls to help make the world a better place for nerdy girls like me. I try to help and I try not to be a super complainer; there are other people who are way better at it and honestly most of what I have to complain about would be considered First World Problems, so I go for the joke or the smile or the fun thing instead.

Here’s how I know it’s working for me:

This makes me feel like I’m doing something right. So I’ll keep it up. I have worked hard, and I have tried to be kind, and I have two amazing jobs and some fun side things too. I like to think they are related.