Secrets and Experiments

I had a very emotionally taxing day at the hospital — my eyes are still red and smarting and I used up an entire box of the doctor’s nose-napkins I’m a little ashamed to admit — which I have mixed feelings about but I’m once again extending trust that this doctor can take me to a better place. I hope that I’m not betrayed again… I’ve committed to spending the Christmas holidays in the hospital, which will be good if it is helpful, but sucks because I wanted to take a “just us” trip with Caitlin which will have to wait until March Break now.

Anyway, I was watching an old David Blaine special and in it he was doing a card trick in which the shot briefly is a little low and you can see the bottom of the card. Unfortunately the card is blurred, I think intentionally rather than from motion so you can’t see the card name. However, I noticed that for a single frame in the middle of the shot they’ve edited “NICE TRY” onto the card in red block letters which I thought was quite funny.

Nefarious and Caitlin and I watched one of his old specials, Street Magic I think, and he was doing a lot of mind reading tricks, which are very easy to write off as being done with plants when you see them on TV, or as shots that fail 95% of the time and he only guesses right through perseverance. However, the first time he flipped through and said “say out loud the card you’re thinking of”, I did just that, and BOOM! he says the same card as I just did. Next time Nefarious said her own card guess, and again BOOM! it was correct. I’m sure it’s something like when he’s flipping through only one of the cards is the right way around, or there’s a tiny flipping delay around that card or something, because he definitely does seem to be “forcing” the thought in some way.

Speaking of secrets, I’ve been making loads of these secret compartment books:

This one is made out of an old book of Nefarious’s (as it was made for her and no old book of mine sits convincingly on her shelf), on which in addition to cutting out the storage area, I’ve lined it with green velvet (sorry, I know the picture doesn’t show that) and framed it in foil. It really turned out nicely. I’ve made a few others as well, including some non-square ones to fit specific items.

After the break are more pictures and some food experiments too.

More of this hidden compartment book:

I may have mentioned that a while back I got a vacuum bagger. I got it for packing purposes, but I’ve found it much more useful for food prep, specifically fish. Here it is getting ready tp cook some trout, which I’ve packed up with carrot slivers, green onion, and some sweet balsamic fig marinade if I remember right (it’s totally buried, but there really is a load of fish in there):

I let the fish marinate alongside fresh spices and vegetables, and then boil it inside this plastic, which means that it stews inside its own juices. I only like fish that’s cooked quite rare, but cooking this way you can cook the fish as long as you want (within reason) and it’s still incredibly soft and tender, and has more flavor than anything fried. To say nothing of the fact that fried fish needs a lot of butter to be ideal, and this requires literally none, so the calories are much lower I expect.

As you can see that one was served alongside udon noodles and veggies which were pan friend, mostly because I really like taking these soft noodles and making them a little crispy and darkened in places. Oh, so sweet and delicious! Nefarious goes totally nuts for them too, and has been digging our cooking lately which is great.

However, I have something to share in the truly disgusting category. I cooked egg in the eyeball soap mold. I thought it would look cool to have the yellow yolk as the eye, and then the whites of two eggs as the remainder, but unfortunately I forgot to lube the mold so it broke a bit on the way out and looked even grosser than it’s “supposed to”.

Eggs totally disgust me already so I don’t know what I was thinking!

I feel particularly exhausted so I’ll probably not post again until the weekend.

Usual disclaimer: this is un-proof-read.

Anyway, hopefully I will be asleep soon because tomorrow morning I have yet another stressful doctor’s appointment right after I drop Nefarious off at school. I’m crazy tired in the mornings, but I still much prefer morning appointments because they’re convenient, and more importantly the doctors have more energy to dedicate to you. The latter point can make a massive difference in the treatment you receive in my experience.

Oh and before I go, one very mildly amusing thing about this morning, the patient in line before me (not sure what the cause of her chronic pain was) was also named “Shannon”, so I was a little confused at first when the doctor came in and yelled out our name and a moment later she got up, not me. Other than that I have nothing but ranting about what bad drivers everyone else in Toronto is, especially since I had to drive through Chinatown on the way to the hospital. Sad but true that sometimes the stereotypes ring true.


  1. Simon wrote:

    Your food related posts always make me want to cook more!

    Monday, November 8, 2010 at 11:41 pm | Permalink
  2. Yeh, Im hungry now!!

    Tuesday, November 9, 2010 at 10:19 am | Permalink
  3. starbadger wrote:

    my thoughts are with you shannon

    Tuesday, November 9, 2010 at 11:31 am | Permalink
  4. veg wrote:

    Out of curiosity, is your vacuum bagger noisy (I have ear sensitivity issues)? Could you post a link to such a machine, as of I’ve seen requires a big external vacuum pump. I know this is not the vacuum bagger blog or anything, but hey, I thought I’d ask still ;)

    Best of luck for the medical struggle though – I know what it’s like to bear un unknown crippling condition :|

    Tuesday, November 9, 2010 at 6:16 pm | Permalink
  5. Shannon wrote:

    It’s noisy, yes, but not as loud as, say, a vacuum cleaner. And it only takes a few seconds… I would think that even with sensitivity it would be no big deal. It’s small and about the size of a laminator.

    Tuesday, November 9, 2010 at 7:26 pm | Permalink
  6. Caitlin wrote:

    I thought for a second that the carrots were cigarette butts. Ew.

    Wednesday, November 10, 2010 at 10:24 am | Permalink
  7. nikk wrote:

    Shannon I like to make hollow books as well. do you glue your pages or do you leave them free?
    little hard to tell in the photo

    Thursday, November 11, 2010 at 3:11 am | Permalink
  8. Shannon wrote:

    I glue the pages, plus I like putting in a liner because it looks nicer, and you don’t have to be as obsessive with getting the edge perfect (when I am not going to do a liner I just sand the inside, usually with the dremel but a sanding sponge works well also).

    Thursday, November 11, 2010 at 5:21 am | Permalink
  9. QueenDread wrote:

    Your creativity inspires me to m a k e, move, or shake.

    Sorry you are in pain… best of luck with resolving your pain issues.

    -first time reader-

    Friday, November 12, 2010 at 12:23 am | Permalink
  10. nikk wrote:

    I like the liners, I’m going to borrow that.

    Friday, November 12, 2010 at 1:57 am | Permalink
Wow Shannon, that's really annoying! What is it, 1997 on Geocities? Retroweb is NOT cool!

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