December 31, 2010

Another Year

Okay, so 2011 marks the third year Rachel Wrong has existed as a blog. Kind of. I actually started the blog in September of 2009 at Wordpress, (here is the first post I ever did) so this whole three-years thing is kind of a technicality. Nonetheless, 2011!

So, to mark this auspicious occasion I want to know what you would like to see in the new year. Not in general, but from this blog. My goal is to entertain you, readers. All five of you. What would make this more entertaining for you? More ranting, less raving? More photos? More music reviews?* More stories that feature yourselves and your amazing accomplishments? More hard news and facts?**

There are a few things this blog shouldn't be. I know that we don't want this to be some sort of stream-of-consciousness thing that reveals the inner recesses of my mind (Oh jeez, she's analyzing the symbolism of the samovar in Dostoevsky again and now she's thinking about her muscles), and we don't want this to be a diary (Sample: Dear Diary, I love my boyfriend sooooo much. He is the best. OMG.), and we don't want this to take a political slant (It's all horrible and I'm disappointed and relatively uninformed). So, what do we want it to be? More of the same things that really don't matter? I'm fine with that but I am also open to change. Small changes.

Please comment because this is going to be the lamest post that I've ever done if you don't and I will just have to move on like I never wrote this long appeal filled with weak attempts at humor and question marks. In fact, if there aren't any comments I will probably just quit.

* I use the term "review" loosely.
**  Hopefully not.

December 28, 2010

Christmas Vacation

I'm taking a holiday blogging break. But you should know it's been non-stop Christmas tunes, ice skating at the Lloyd Center, fudge for breakfast, piles of snow, new Christmas snowboards, present duplicates, fine scotch, feasts and gambling. Pretty much the best Christmas ever. I'll be back once the new year thing happens.

December 22, 2010

Happy Holidays

Last night I prepared for a small holiday gathering at our house tomorrow, you know, just some drinks and snacks with an emphasis on guests bringing something so there isn't any kitchen slaving or that sort of thing. But I'm feeling pretty festive this year and got home with this whole baking mission in mind. Fancy butter cookies with roasted cacao nibs, stuffed mushrooms, and fudge. These are simple things but I probably wouldn't be telling this story if things went according to plan.

It started out innocently enough. Got home. Turned the christmas lights on. Ran to Whole Foods to get cacao nibs. This was the first hiccup. They are expensive. Apparently it is cheaper to make actual chocolate than to put some raw nibs in a bag and send them up here. And I asked the dapper checkout guy if they had any roasted ones because that's what the recipe called for. He has to call the grocery section. No. We don't. Cause they would like, melt. In the roasting process. I feel brief shame for not only being ignorant of the cacao nib roasting process, but also because I'm buying cacao nibs in the first place. I purchase them and run home.

I prepare the cacao nib cookie dough with minimum fuss. I am gaining confidence. And then, the mushrooms. The stuffing mixture looks delicious and I'm thinking about how everyone will be impressed with these amazing mushrooms. The recipe calls for baking the mushrooms before putting the mixture in. Like, first with the round side down for twenty minutes and then you turn them. I do this while preparing all the elements for fudge which cleans out all the white sugar in the house and involves that marshmallow goo. That is some gross stuff. All the while Christmas music is playing on the soft rock AM station and I'm thinking about what a competent adult I am, just sitting at home by myself, baking in a meditative manner, listening to Christmas music, multi-tasking with ease.

Then I start boiling the fudge elements. Making fudge is like jumping in a car with no brakes and driving down a mountain. You can't stop, it's just hardcore boiling and stirring and waving that candy thermometer around hoping it hits the right temperature. If it doesn't you're left with a strangely grainy chocolate mass that no one wants to eat. It's alchemy. There's flour and goo everywhere. I'm chopping hazelnuts for the fudge, the sugar/butter mixture is boiling and then the timer goes off for the mushrooms and I obviously can't ignore them but I have to abandon the fudge mixture and I open the oven and they are the size of buttons. I have never seen mushrooms get this small and dessicated. I pull them out and one falls in the fudge and I'm trying to get the hazelnuts into the fudge and instead they all pour down into the stove element in a rattling finale. And still the Christmas music goes on.

So, I have to pour the fudge into the pan and hope for the best.  All the remnants are sitting there in the sauce pan and I have to eat it to prevent waste. I'm twitching from all the sugar in this fudge-eating daze and then this song comes on and it's that Can You Hear What I Hear song but it's sung by tiny children. With an echo effect. You know how children sing all close to the microphone and flat? It's not cute, it's just horrible. I suddenly feel like weeping and I'm just standing there with this fudge covered spoon in my mouth wondering what happened. There's no other way to describe it. Shit got real.

December 21, 2010

I got the test results back and I definitely have breast cancer!

You probably haven't seen The Room. But you should. You should see it twice in theaters, and then you should buy the DVD so you can watch it many more times*. It is insane. It is the worst movie I have ever seen, by far, which paradoxically may make it the best. The Room topped off a Romantic Night of epic proportions.

I can't even describe the plot. Or the characters. The acting is equivocal to the "acting" that occurs in pornographic films before they start doing it. Clunky dialogue, complete disregard for place, the passage of time, and foreshadowing make this movie an exciting adventure in bad film from start to finish. We were quoting choice bits of dialogue all night. One of them being the title of this post.

Here is a tiny taste. It was one of my favorite scenes. Thanks to Charissa for finding it.

*This is a quote from the director Tommy Wiseau.

December 20, 2010

Photo Surprise!

My strategy for posting recaps on significant events is quite similar to my strategy for birthdays or other holidays involving gifts. Incorporate the element of surprise. If you delay the gift long enough, your giftee has given up hope, decided you were a horrible friend, and probably already defriended you on Facebook. This is when you strike. The gift is infinitely more awesome because it is completely unexpected. I gave my friend Molly her Christmas canteen in July. Had it been received amongst all the other thoughtful gifts she undoubtedly received on December 25, she may have been underwhelmed. As it was, she really couldn't have been more pleased.

Below is a photo from the basketball session of our Hooters/Hoops/Dirty extravaganza. That's right. When I play basketball, a mystical smoke rises to strike fear in the hearts of my adversaries. The very court trembles and the hoop bows to my basketball prowess. We played a game of PIG that came down to Charissa and I* battling it out for the glory and I emerged victorious. I made a three-pointer, Laurence (my brother) made a three-pointer, and Sam? Well, Sam tried in vain. This was the night that I coined the Wright family motto:  

The Wright Family: Our bones don't break and we make three-pointers.

 * The ladies. This was a source of pride. We were wearing our cheetah-print leggings and ruling Irving Park court. Sometimes we just lurk at the park and join pick-up games with the neighborhood thugs**.

** Not really. I can't dribble.

December 17, 2010

Hasbeen Holiday

This is happening on Saturday and I urge you all to attend. I am going to have a deck up, so really, it's your only chance to see my artwork hanging in a space like it's the real deal. Plus, this great building is going to be torn down in the name of progress and you will not have many chances left to attend a party in this fun little gallery/t-shirt shop/screen-print studio. But let's be honest, you will probably have a few more chances, as I'm sure the Hasbeen boys are not going to let the destruction of this gem go without a fight.*

*And by fight, I mean loud party.

December 15, 2010

The Angel of Death watches me crash

So, I don't really hate biking in the rain. I have all the requisite stay-dry gear and while I hate showing up places  and immediately taking off my rain pants (awkward) and revealing unfortunate half-wet helmet hair that never dries right, I have this kind of martyr mentality about the whole thing that makes it enjoyable. You really feel Alive, or something like that. Plus the Northwest Curse has descended upon me, and every time I ride my bike to Sam's it starts pouring only to let up the moment I arrive at his apartment. If I didn't ride in the rain I would never see him again. Basically, I'm resigned to enjoying it. Last night however, I really feel like the rain got the best of me.

I was biking home from work and was planning on turning left from 28th onto this quiet side street. The sidewalk is designed to allow you to do this with ease. It looks kind of like this:

Yesterday it looked like this due to some heavy rains that occurred earlier.

I didn't want to get my shoes soaking wet so I developed a plan. I pointed my bike in the right direction (was going relatively fast from the slight downhill across the 28th bridge) and lifted both my feet off the pedals so they would clear the lake. I then hit, not the gently sloping part of the sidewalk that is supposed to accommodate bikes, but the curb. I ran my bike right into the curb. The pillars that mark the entrance were apparently not enough of an indicator for me. The force shot me crotch-first onto the frame of my bike and my left foot into the deepest part of the puddle. If I was a man I probably would have to give up any dreams of siring a child. As it was, I started howling and cursing, and trying to get away from the humiliating scene as quickly as possible. While making my getaway I saw something white out of the corner of my eye. I  looked up to see what I thought was the angel of death, only to realize it was a women in a bathrobe watching her dog poop and my failure. Yes, there was a witness to the stupidity.

December 14, 2010

Romantic Night Returns

Tony Vu is back in town and with him, Romantic Night. You may remember Tony from the sweater dress fashion tips or the Romantic Night that occurred last year. He invited 834 over for seared tuna steaks purchased from a real-live fish monger, wine, a fireplace, a mystery shot, and strawberries and icecream. It was special.

Tomorrow we are hosting this magical night. This gets a bit problematic. As I have not seen either of my roommates for more than five minutes at a time since December hit, there is no grand romantic plan. We have not orchestrated some sort of red rose-festooned table top, we don't have a Christmas tree (though we do have giant colored lights on our porch), and we don't know what we're making. The point of Romantic Night is dinner after all, and Tony is supplying the dessert and hopefully (in a wonderful twist that no one saw coming) the dinner as well. Preferably lobster, crab, or some other shellfish dish (he's at the beach right now). One can only hope.

December 13, 2010

The Perils of Engagement

Okay, so this is not really a consequence of becoming engaged. This was a direct result of alcohol and karaoke and the urine-slick tile floor in the men's bathroom at Chopsticks on 28th and Burnside. Who is that man holding Kyle's hand? Nobody knows but it was established that he is not an EMT or a trained nurse or even a good friend of Kyle's. Notice the unnatural angle of Kyle's right foot. The positioning you see there is due to the fact that his bones are fractured in three places and his foot is not actually skeletally attached to his leg anymore. Emily remained calm and collected while encouraging photos and cracking jokes, and an ambulance soon arrived to cart Kyle off to the hospital on a backboard. This is why Emily has requested that Kyle's bachelor party take place at least two months before the wedding. Considering this was just the engagement party, I think that's a pretty good idea.

December 10, 2010

In Celebration

So, it is Liz's birthday today. We have been friends for a number of years now (since 2003?) and I count her among my dearest friends. The first time I technically met Liz, I slept on her couch in Eugene and her mom made us pancakes in the morning. However, the first time I really met Liz was later that fall term at a Summer in Winter party in some scummy house near campus.

As implied by the premise of the party, the heat was on high and there were random tropical decorations everywhere. I remember that someone had beaded curtains over their door (classy) and we were all piled on some bed talking about music. Perhaps the beer ran out, but I had decided that I wanted to head over to 80s Night at John Henry's. I'm not sure how it is now, but 80s Night was an institution back then. Insanely fun nights, dancing on speakers, the floor so crowded you ended up with other people's sweat all over your bare arms. Somehow Liz and I got on the topic of 80s Night and she was totally into it. So she and I, two girls who had never actually hung out before, ran off into the night. On our way we stopped by her house so she could change into something more 80s. She came out of her room in a full spandex outfit and red converse. Impressive.

We got to John Henry's and while I had a fake I.D. at the time (probably the one in which I was Hispanic and named Vianey Diaz), I'm pretty sure that Liz did not. I can't recall what we did, but it involved some theatrics and perhaps the good ol' I've already been stamped swagger through the door. It was an incredibly busy night, as usual, and we couldn't even fit on the dance floor. This didn't matter. It turns out that Liz loves dancing and the necessity of space in which to dance as much as I do. We danced in the hallway right in front of the entry and probably accidentally punched people multiple times. The standout moment occurred when Under Pressure came on. We both began to sing as dramatically as possible, notice I say sing and not lip sync, and alienate everyone attempting to pass by us on their way to the bar/dance floor.

 It was in this glorious moment that I realized there was no way that Liz and I could not be friends.

December 9, 2010


It's Liz's birthday on Friday which coincides perfectly with the Big Freedia show at Holocene. Big Freedia is the queen of New Orleans Bounce. I don't know. I have never really kept up on all the different regional hip-hop stuff (not exactly a purveyor of hip-hop culture) and find it embarrassing to make people explain hyphy to me and whatnot. It's not like I'm at expert on Bounce or anything, I just happened to be perusing the Holocene website and thought it sounded fun. The music is fast and dirty with an emphasis on  shaking your lower region as quickly as possible. There are various videos of live shows that I could post in illustration but I'm pretty sure this one is my favorite.You really have to love video that involves a boombox.

December 8, 2010

Totally Awesome and Not Inexpensive

Look at these! As I've said before, Etsy is a perilous place. You start out looking at hand-knitted socks for your loved ones and suddenly find yourself in a dark forest filled with dangerous rough-cut gems and silver rings of power. And guess where they're from? The Midwest. Who knew it could be such a magical place?

December 7, 2010

Inexpensive and Totally Awesome

Welcome to my gift-giving guide.

We all know that Christmas is a time when resources are tight. I am working on keeping my credit card bills down, and while I love to pride myself on how financially organized I am, my mother totally sent me the hey-have-you-paid-your-car-insurance email which I responded to with bewilderment and then called my agent only to find my mother had paid it. Yesterday. Total embarrassment.

Anyway, I have some tips on keeping your budget down and the excitement and gratitude levels high this year. Feel free to share your own in the comments.

Give the gift of experience: While this can be classy and pricey (spa-trip for two in romantic Tucson! scuba diving lesson! pole dancing classes!), it can also be an affordable solution. Buy a nice card, write out the details of a special day that you will theoretically make happen for the recipient, voucher for back rubs, future drinks purchased, etc. and then give. It's especially good to give when it's something that you will enjoy as well. There is a possibility that they will lose this card in the holiday gift-giving fray but this only works to your advantage. This puts the gift-receiving in their court and they have to acknowledge that the thought was there.

Socks!: While no one actually likes to receive socks, everyone needs them. Unless the socks are woefully too small, the recipient will end up wearing them at some point, and at that point they will think of you. Success! I like to put the socks in a really, really large box so it looks like you are giving something very exciting like a microwave.

DIY: Do-it-yourself is back with a vengeance and the possibilities are endless. Crochet a scarf, pickle something, brew your own Kahlua, paint a plate, infuse your own vodka, olive oil, or something else that can be infused. It helps to be somewhat good at what you're doing, but the thought counts thing applies here. I once received a hat with my initials and some weird buttons sewn on it. It was an oddly depressing hat but that doesn't mean I didn't appreciate it. That being said, I don't recommend distributing button-covered stocking caps this year.

Presentation Counts: If you are like me, no one really expects anything of you. In high school you were too self-centered for gift giving, in college you were too poor. Now that you maybe have a little disposable income it's not mandatory that you suddenly come through with lavish treats for everyone you know. In fact, it would probably seem out of character. Something thoughtful, personalized and well-wrapped is the way to go. As long as it's exciting to open, it's appreciated. In other words, don't give your best friend a candle swaddled in a plastic bag from Fred Meyer.

December 6, 2010

Film Noir Fairy Tales

The next three weeks are going to be wonderful for several reasons. Snowboarding is getting good, I love crappy Christmas music, and there are birthdays and parties and all sorts of festive things to do. Yet another good thing? Gabe finally got the Red Riding Trilogy from the Portland library and we have three weeks to watch it. The trilogy was originally broadcast on U.K. television, and as I understand it, is an examination of the corruption of social foundations in Yorkshire. Each film has a different director and the trilogy spans from 1974 to 1980 to 1983. Moral corruption! Film noir! Yorkshire!

Here's a synopsis of the first one from Slant Magazine:

Julian Jarrold's Red Riding: 1974 kickstarts the proceedings by focusing on Eddie Dunford (Andrew Garfield), a rookie journalist who, like the protagonists of the subsequent 1980 and 1983, is returning to Yorkshire after time away. Back on native soil mere days after the death of his father, Eddie sees careerist opportunity in the abduction case of 10-year-old Clare Kemplay, a figurative Red Riding Hood (replete with crimson hoodie) whose disappearance he soon surmises may be linked to two similar missing kids in the region. Driven by a strain of young-turk ambition that, as suggested by the environment's cigarette smoke-decorated nastiness, can only lead to ruin, Eddie makes the cardinal sin of all noir chumps, believing himself to be more (or at least different) than he truly is. It's a mistake that plays out not only through his investigation into Clare, whose body is suspiciously discovered in a construction site owned by local development magnate John Dawson (Sean Bean) with swan wings stitched to her back, but his eventual amorous relationship with Paula Garland (Rebecca Hall), the mother of one of the other missing girls. 

Here's the trailer:

We're watching 1974 tonight!

December 2, 2010

I'm so sorry

I have been extremely, horribly busy with work. Things were rough. I couldn't even look at a computer screen after work. So that's why nothing was happening here for awhile. But it's over. There are a lot of pressing issues I could discuss, but here are some things that have been torturing me lately. Think of these as my atonement for not entertaining you every day.

Long socks/skinny jeans: It's so hard. You pull up your socks. You pull down your pants. And then you end up with the socks rolled, halfway down your shin, protruding from your jeans like a weird tumor. I really liked that look in third grade for some reason, but it wasn't good then and it definitely is not a good thing now. Putting on socks should not be on the same difficulty scale as algebra.

Marriage talks at Thanksgiving: Last year I was told by my aunt that I should find a nice man to support me so I could stay home and presumably raise our brood. Then my uncle told me, shouted down the table really, that the Bachelor was too young for me and that I needed to find a man my own age and settle down. Awkward. This year was an improvement, as I was only asked by one cousin, in a relatively casual way, if I was married yet. I think having my boyfriend at dinner helped to stave off the raving accusations.

Random skin disorders: I am horribly allergic to poison oak. Like, welts and blisters and full-body hives allergic. I picked up a tiny patch of poison ivy out in Indiana back in October and my skin hasn't been the same since. The other day one of my eyes was half swelled shut and I was just sitting there, hunched over the computer, groaning and rubbing my Quasimodo face. I'm going to the dermatologist today. Pretty excited about it. I hope she gives me a shot and just like, cures me.