Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Why I quit the Book of Faces

I finally did it. I put up a notice as my Facebook update telling people I'll be deleting my account in a few weeks, and to message me for "real" contact information if they wish to keep in touch with me. A surprising number of them asked why I was leaving, and said they'd miss following my shenanigans. I didn't just wake up one day and say "screw Facebook", and some part of me likes knowing what my far flung acquaintances are up to. I mean, Facebook has even helped me out a few times when I was stranded in airports and such. But when I thought about it, I concluded that on balance, Facebook makes my life worse, not better. So, in order, here are my reasons for deleting my Facebook account.

1. I am happier when I don't use Facebook. This is enough of a reason all on it's own. I don't need Facebook for my personal life, for work, or to keep in touch with my close friends. It is something I don't need that improves my life when it is absent.
2. I want to spend more time with the people that are actually in my life, including myself. One day I will die, and until then, I'd like to live, rather than post about living, take photos of living, and nose around at how other people that I haven't spoken to in 4 years are living.
 3. I want to have conversations, not participate in a flurry of monologues with comments. I enjoy conversations. I do not particularly enjoy monologues with comments, nor do I gain much insight from them.
4. I crave either solitude or human interaction. Facebook is a time-suck that doesn't offer either of them. There are enough distracting beautiful images, insights from friends and strangers, and bizarrely hilarious moments in my real life. Lolcats and reposted jokes simply don't measure up to the real deal.
 5. I don't feel the need to share my random useless thoughts or mundane daily activities with the world at large, and even if I love you, I don't want to hear most of yours unless you're a good friend. I do have close friends that I don't see very often, those friendships have made it through decades of mostly-living-in-different-countries because we've made the time to connect and really listen to each other when we do communicate.

In short, real life takes time. Facebook takes time. Real life brings me joy. Facebook brings me... not much, if I'm brutally honest with myself about it. Why would I invest time in something that gives me nearly nothing in return when investing time in real life gives me so much?

Monday, 14 May 2012

hot pink

...I'm going to be having a hot date with my baby sister on Valentine's day, so I made my sweetums a cake this weekend instead. We might have had cake for breakfast two days in a row.

I call it "hot pink", both because of the colour and the taste. I'll re-post this with exact amounts later, but it's a pretty robust recipe, so if you've ever made a raw cake before, you can probably just take the VERY rough amounts I'm giving here and go for it.

bottom layer of dense chocolatey goodness:

4 dates
4 dried figs
1 cup cocoa nibs
1/2 cup wet almond pulp (from making almond milk)
1/2 cup dried flaked coconut
a truly ungodly amount of vanilla powder (this is what balances the black pepper)
pinch salt
lots and lots of ground black pepper (remember the "hot"?)
cocoa powder

Blend the dates and figs. Add the cocoa nibs and almond pulp. Blend more. Put in a bowl. Add the coconut, vanilla powder and salt and pepper and mix around with your hands. Now, assess the level of gloopyness. Add cocoa powder until you have a dry-ish dough that still holds together well enough to press into your cake pan, but keep in mind you won't be dehydrating this, so you really don't want it to be any gloopyer than strictly necessary to maintain structural integrity. Press all this into a cake pan lined with wax paper.

The above probably works better in a food processor, but I don't have one, but I do have a Vitamix, which will blend this sort of thing with a little encouragement.

top layer of raspberry-ginger delight:

1 cup irish moss, soaked and ready to go
1/2 cup coconut butter (not coconut oil!)
3 cups raspberries
1/4 cup powdered raspberries (best. thing. ever.)
insane amounts of fresh ginger
pinch salt
splash rosewater
coconut sugar to taste
1/2 cup cocoa butter, melted.

blend everything except the cocoa butter until smooth and mousse-y. Add cocoa butter to blender and keep blending.