Saturday, January 30, 2010

1/20th of #38, check.

#38, "See 20 Classic Films" -- One down.

Yes, a small feat, but my first check off of my bucket-list for this year :) Watching West Side Story for the first time was interesting. I didn't know the plot-line, but I read that it was a "modern-day" Romeo and Juliet. I'd also heard that this was the play where "I feel pretty" was sung, lol, so it was cool to finally see the context.

It takes place in the 60s, the west side of New York, where two gangs fight for the street: the Jets (whites), and the Sharks (Puerto Rican).

Some fun facts, courtesy of

~ Director Robert Wise hired New York gang members to control crowds on location, and fought to shoot on location in New York City.

~ Filmed on-location on West 61st Street.

~ The original stage version of Maria's song "I Feel Pretty" included the lyrics "I feel pretty and witty and bright / And I pity / Any girl who isn't me tonight." In the film this night scene was changed to the daytime, and presumably for this reason, the rhyming words "bright" and "tonight" were changed to "gay" and "today."

~ Audrey Hepburn was offered the role of Maria, but she turned it down, because she was pregnant with Sean H. Ferrer at the time.

~ With its win of 10 Academy Awards, this became the biggest Oscar-winning musical of all time, beating the record Gigi (1958) set three years before with its nine Oscars.

~ Since Hollywood was accustomed to dubbing the singing voices of many stars, dozens of non-singing actors and actresses were tested or considered for the leading roles.

~ The second highest grossing film of 1961, coming in just behind One Hundred and One Dalmatians (1961).

~ Throughout the movie, Natalie Wood wears a bracelet on her left wrist, not for any aesthetic reason, but because she had injured her wrist on in the scene of The Green Promise (1949) when she fell on the bridge that collapsed during the severe rainstorm, causing an unsightly bone protrusion on her wrist. She wore the bracelet to hide the injury. It became her trademark in all of her movies.

Friday, January 8, 2010

How to Make Candied Orange Peels

Over the last few (or 9 or 10) years I've gone home for the holidays, I've always wanted to make candied orange peels with my mom. I had found a recipe in a book I was given and had always wanted to try it. Every year, the festivities pushed it to the back burner and we never got to make them. THIS year. We finally hunkered down to make them the day before I left. I figured I'd take documentation of this monumental event (and preserve it in a blog, should my shaky memory forget what the process was like.)

So here's the recipe! I hope you enjoy them as much as we did!


This is not solely for oranges. You can candy other kinds of citrus peels: tangerines, lemons, limes, grapefruit, and tangelos.

For 1 1/2 to 2 cups, you will need:

4 oranges
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
Granulated sugar
chocolate chips (optional)

We personally did a double batch, but I must warn you that it not only makes the boiling times a bit longer (by only a couple to a few minutes), but it's a bit overwhelming near the end when they're cooling and need to be rolled in sugar.

~ Put a large saucepan of water on the stove to boil. Cut the oranges in slices and peel the orange from the slices.

Step 1

~ Gently boil the peels for 5 minutes or so until the white pith on the inside of the skin is quite soft and yellow. Drain and cool the peels. Use a spoon to scrape away the pith, being careful not to tear the peels.

Step 2

When you're done, cut your peels into thin strips. They should be as free of the white pith as possible and look a bit like this:

Step 3

~ Mix the sugar and 1/2 cup water in a saucepan and put on the stove over medium heat. When the sugar is dissolved, add the strips of peel. Stir now and then until the peels and syrup begin to boil. Let them boil gently for 5 minutes, then turn off the heat and let them sit in the pan for 24 hours.

(Yes, 24 hours)

Step 4

~ The next day, heat the syrup and peels to boiling again. Stir now and then, and boil gently until the syrup cooks to the thread stage, about 10 minutes. You can test this by dipping a spoon or fork in the syrup, lifting it out, and watching the syrup drip. When the drips leave a thread of sugar as they fall, it's ready. Right away, drain the peels in a strainer.

Step 5

~ When the peels are cool, separate them and toss them in some granulated sugar until lightly coated; shake off the extra. If they won't coat, my mom and I pressed sugar into it and it stuck fine.

Step 6

And you're DONE! The next part is optional, but I highly recommend it because it makes them SO delicious. Dip the ends in melted chocolate and cool them in a freezer for a couple minutes. Bon appetit!



Monday, January 4, 2010

College Girl = Ramen Queen

Alright, so in my apartment, my housemates tend to notice a very prominent cooking style of mine: quick. I'm in and out of there in a matter of moments, and I have a menu to go with it. I CAN cook if I actually take the time...which is rare, rare.

I usually opt out for whatever gets me back on my checklist the fastest. Yay pasta! Sandwiches. And of course, the staple of every college kid, ramen. I myself fulfill the ramen-quota equal to the 5 of us girls put together, and let's just say one of my roommates noticed.

Thanks Steph :-P Chances are, I'll use it tomorrow.


Friday, January 1, 2010

20+10 for 2010....x 2

I'll be blunt, I'm lousy at New Year's Resolutions. Though I think we all pilfered that quest as soon as it was invented, I think I might try a check-list to complete throughout the year, rather than doing it all at once :) I have no clue whether or not it'll actually get done, but as I've heard, "If you aim for nothing, you'll get it."

I was going to only list 30, I could only THINK of 30 things. But then more started coming, and I just figured...I'll do 30 times 2, lol, why not.

So here it be: My bucket-list for 2010, in no particular order...(yes I plan on living past this just started being called that.)

1. Be there for my students' graduation on Majuro
2. Take pictures of a good cause
3. Make a printed photography portfolio
4. Design packaging for my photos
5. Be a first Assistant Director for a film shoot [Completed 3.13.10]
6. Actually drink 8 glasses of water in a day for a week (small steps here, I hate water)
7. Volunteer at a soup kitchen
8. Get an internship at a reputable film studio
9. Shoot 5 couples portraits
10. Shoot 5 family portraits
11. Shoot 5 senior portraits
12. Shoot 5 weddings
13. Carve something out of a coconut :)
14. Get an official photography website
15. Learn how to tie a monkey's fist with Wes Hall [Completed 3.9.10]
16. Direct a music video
17. Call an old friend out of the blue [Completed 2.18.10]
18. Learn how to surf
19. Learn how to drive stick
20. Create a packet for potential photography clients
21. Learn how to take good pictures of the moon [Completed 5.29.10]
22. Make a wooden bowl on the lathe with my dad
23. Sew a PJ set with my mom
24. Learn how to matte and frame a photo with my aunt
25. Blog every day for 30 days
26. Learn how to make Thanksgiving gluten
27. Get a portrait photo published in a magazine
28. Get a 70-200mm/f2.8 zoom lens (haha)
29. Get instead, a Gary Fong Lightsphere diffuser. [Completed 2.19.10]
30. Swim 365 laps (I have no clue whether or not it's a lot or not...but I'm a terrible swimmer, so it seems monumental enough)
31. Get a 2nd camera body [Completed 5.6.10]
32. Learn how to spin (DJ) :)
33. Do an HDR photo
34. Write a snail-mail letter!
35. Do a time-lapse photo with an ND filter
36. Learn how to use Lightroom software
37. Read "Visual Poetry" by Chris Orwig
38. See 20 Classic Films
-Mary Poppins
-West Side Story [Completed 1.30.10]
-Shall We Dance
-To Kill a Mockingbird
-Gone With the Wind
-White Christmas
-The Bridge on the River Kwai
-Singin' in the Rain
-The Philadelphia Story
-The Quiet Man
-Roman Holiday [Completed 7.14.10]
-Bringing Up Baby
-The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly
-It's a Wonderful Life
-Miracle on 34th St.
-You'll Never Get Rich
-Magnificent Seven [Completed 2.25.10]
39. Read the New Testament
40. Make the firestarter kit with Jim Buller (denim, tin, flint & steel :) [Completed 4.9.10]
41. Write and record a song
42. Learn how to make Pad Thai
43. Go to a photography workshop
44. Dance in a production [Completed 3.20.10]
45. Climb a 5.10
46. Learn how to roll a kayak
47. Go backpacking for the first time
48. Enter a photo contest [Completed 3.5.10]
49. Learn how to spike in volleyball :)
50. Ech. Go to the dentist [Completed 5.13.10]
51. Go camping with good friends
52. Learn how to play "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" on the ukelele like IZ (haha)
53. Go to a state I've never been to
54. Read a Jodi Picoult Book [Completed 3.8.10]
55. Get my spine straightened.
56. Actually stop on the way to school to take pictures
57. Convert my old tapes to my computer
58. Do a pet-shoot :-P [Completed 2.20.10]
59. Learn a new hemp-braiding knot
60. Have devotions while watching a sunrise

I guess we'll see how I do, haha, I'll see ya on the other side :) Happy New Year all!

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