all_strange_wonders: The phrase "Either way, it is bad for Zathras" are superimposed over a picture of the character Zathras from Babylon 5. (bad for zathras)
Let me preface this (and explain the title somewhat), by explaining that I used to consider myself a misanthrope. Then I realized I actually do like (or can at least tolerate) most people, even if they do make me tired. I also used to think that people irritated me because they could not keep up and had a distressing tendency to not know the words I was using (why hello arrogant genius time tag, haven't seen you in a while…). That actually is true, but time and practice have made me, if not actually more patient, more tolerant of the fact that most people aren't going to operate on the same level I do in some respects*. So these days I mostly get on with people, and I find I generally like the people I come into contact with in my dealings with the world at large. Recently I have encountered a rare exception to that rather pleasant trend.

And then this entry got a lot longer than I expected. )
all_strange_wonders: An illustration of Nita from the Young Wizards story "Uptown Local". (terrible danger)
There are plenty of things to be peeved about in the world of fanfiction--misspellings, bad or no punctuation, a total lack of paragraphs, badly handled dialogue, straight up bad writing, and pretty much all crossovers ever, just to name a few (and oh, does the list go on*). Here are two examples of what I call "summary peeves"--things people will say in their story summaries that will put me off a story before I've even read it.

Pet Peeve #11479a:
People who say "First fic, don't be mean" or some variation thereof in their summaries. This is actually code for "This is so bad it may actually be unreadable. I didn't use spellcheck and I don't believe in paragraphs or punctuation. If you offer constructive criticism, I will fly off the handle and threaten to kill myself because I am a sensitive artist and you are *SOB* SO MEAN!!1!!1!".
If there is a disclaimer of this type in an author's note within the story but NOT in the summary and it is clear that the author has made an effort to work with the English language instead of against it, this peeve may not apply. That first post is nerve-wracking, after all.

Pet Peeve #11479b:
People who say "Review for updates" (or, more commonly, review4updates, thus vaulting it into a whole new level of peevery**) in their summaries. This is convenient shorthand for "I am an attention whore. This story will be of indifferent quality at best, and you will not review it, hoping thereby to kill it stone dead."
As a general rule, I can pass by these without even a glance, safe in the assurance that there is nothing there worth reading and that any review I might post would merely be frothing at the mouth about the murder of the English language.

*Baby Peeve of the Day: Using "said" instead of "the" when referring to a recently mentioned person or object. Example: "Said girl picked up said sunglasses and put them on." I have written no less than 5 reviews today trying to politely point out that this is irritating, confusing, and jarring for the reader, and deleted them all after concluding that there is no polite way to tell people they need to Just Write Better.

**See: Spaces Are Good and Use Real Words
all_strange_wonders: An illustration of Nita from the Young Wizards story "Uptown Local". (death by cats)
Another baking rant:
People who do not have muffin tins/cupcake pans, and thus make their cupcakes by sitting liners down on a plain baking sheet. All I will say on this subject is that if you have cupcake liners, you should have a muffin tin. A nice plain 12 cup muffin tin is one of those things your kitchen should just have if you do any baking at all, and basic ones are not expensive. And muffins are an excellent form of breakfast food, not to mention a good way to use up bits and bobs you have lying about and easy to make. If you're really lazy, you can even buy mix.
So really, buy a muffin tin. You will use it. You will have properly shaped cupcakes and excellently portable breakfast foods.

Also, holiday decisions:
I am ignoring Valentine's Day. It's got nothing to do with me.
I am making Hot Cross Buns for Easter this year.
I want to go somewhere for my birthday, which falls on a weekend. The beach, maybe.
all_strange_wonders: An illustration of Nita from the Young Wizards story "Uptown Local". (peace love bake)
If you make your fudge with marshmallows or powdered sugar, it's not really fudge. I just feel like everyone should know that. I also feel like they should know that making real fudge, the good stuff, is not really very hard. All you really need is a good thermometer to clip to the side of the pot. You can even control the texture--if you like it a little hard and crumbly (like I do… the very first fudge I had was some my mother had boiled too long, and the idea that fudge should be hard stuck for a long time) you cook it up to the top end of the soft ball range, and if you like it softer (like most commercial fudge) you cook it up to the middle or lower end of the range.

It is good. No, it's delicious. And it has no damn marshmallows in it, because real fudge doesn't.

Sorry. I know I sound like a complete lunatic, and I kind of am, but it drives me crazy that people think marshmallows are a necessary ingredient in fudge. Confectionary is just not as incredibly hard as people think it is. Yes, there is boiling hot sugar syrup, and yes, it will hurt like a sonofabitch if some splashes on you. On the other hand, as long as you're not an idiot, it won't splash on you. All you have to do is adjust the temperature to keep it from boiling too enthusiastically. Yes, hot sugar can be temperamental, and when it starts to set up things move pretty fast. On the other hand, if you're stirring the fudge as it cools like you're supposed to, the change in texture is pretty easy to notice, and the only trick is to start pouring it a little bit before you think it's ready. All it requires is a little attention. I recognize that I'm a little crazy, since I want to make hard candy but cannot for the lack of some specialized equipment. (Someday when I'm filthy rich, I will have the stand mixer for homemade marshmallows, and the marble slab and the hook and the special gloves for pulling hot sugar.) But really, fudge is pretty accessible. I've been making it since I was a teenager, and it has never been as difficult as, say, meringues. Meringues are delicious, but egg whites are capricious.

Anyway, try making the real stuff some time.


all_strange_wonders: An illustration of Nita from the Young Wizards story "Uptown Local". (Default)
all strange wonders

September 2017

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