Posts Tagged ‘Kit personal’

Still Irrationally Mad at SETI

Story time, squiders. Hooray!

Recently I was on YouTube, catching up on my subscriptions (I’m doing better about not just sitting in front of YT and letting it suck away all my time, but I do sometimes purposefully build in time for it) and watched a video from Buzzfeed Unsolved about aliens.

One of the stops they made was to SETI, and I was reminded that I am mad at them.

Childhood is a funny thing, squiders. Sometimes the things you went through and the emotions you felt linger, into adulthood and more than they probably should, and my anger at SETI is one of those.

(Of course, til said video, the last time I even thought about SETI was…oh, who even knows.)

As a kid, I want to say middle school, but it may have been early high school or late elementary school–I really do not remember–we had to write a 10-15 page research paper. Now, 10-15 pages these days is nothing, but as a kid, that is the Longest Thing Ever, and I wanted to make sure that I picked an interesting topic that I could stick with and find enough information on.

Being a giant nerd, I decided my subject would be whether life was possible on other planets. However, one of the requirements of the assignment was that at least two of your resources had to be interviews that you, yourself, did with appropriate subject matter experts.

Extremely-introverted child!Kit did not like that. Oh no.

Luckily, email-based interviews counted, so I did my research and sent out emails to people who seemed like they would be good fits. And one of those emails went to SETI. I don’t remember who, exactly, but it was a person, and not just the organization.

And whoever-SETI-person-was sent back an extremely nasty email, saying that they didn’t have time to talk to me and to not bother them.

Imagine being somewhere in the 12-15-year-old age range and getting a mean email from an adult in response to a simple request for a school report. To this day, it’s still one of the meanest emails I’ve ever gotten.

And the kicker? I also sent emails off to a university professor and a NASA scientist, both of who were more than happy to help me and were very nice people. I remember thinking it was so weird at the time, that the SETI person–objectively the least prestigious of the bunch–was the one who couldn’t be bothered.

And it did leave a lingering bad opinion of SETI in my mind. Like, as an adult, I can realize that one bad apple does not a bad organization make, and that maybe that person was just having a bad day or whatever, but the logic doesn’t override the emotion of being a child and having an adult tell you that you’re not worth their time or respect.

And I also realize that it was a single email, not lingering abuse or any other number of worse things that a child can experience, but childhood emotion doesn’t care about that logic either.

So here we are. Years and years later.

I guess, like Mr. Darcy, my good opinion once lost is lost forever.

But, seriously, if you’re going to send a mean email to a child, maybe just don’t reply at all.

Sinuses and Landsquid

Hey, squiders, hope you’re having a good February!

I had to have sinus surgery yesterday, but all things considered, it went well and I’m recuperating fine. However, I am a bit woozy and tired, so, while I hoped I would have the energy to blog today, I just…don’t.

But I did draw you a landsquid.

(He’s getting more done in the hospital than I did.)

Anyway, we should be back to normal on Thursday. Til then, I hope your week treats you well!

Sad Cake

We recently received a free trial of Netflix. I’m not a big television watcher, but in an effort to justify Netflix’s existence on our Roku, I’ve started watching The Great British Baking Show, which I’ve heard good things about.

Full disclosure: I am a horrible baker.

(Well, I bake a mean pie. My apple pie is apparently divine. I don’t actually know, because I don’t like pie and only bake them for other people.)

The other day, I was watching the GBBS with the small, mobile ones, who were actually way more into it than I thought they would be. I mean, it’s essentially a load of people with funny accents (but then, the younger one is rather into Peppa Pig, so perhaps the accents aren’t that weird to them) talking incomprehensibly about pastries and gluten and proofing and a ton of things I don’t understand, but hey. I was tired and they were staying put.

Then the bigger one proposed that we make a cake of our own.

My first instinct was to squash that idea like a bug, but parenting, much like improv, often involves saying “yes” to things you don’t want to, so I fished out a cookbook that seemed likely to have cake recipes (Better Homes and Gardens, 12th edition) and decided on chocolate sponge cake, since the people on GBBS are always making sponge cake.

It took us about two and a half hours, all told. And we ran completely out of sugar. But we baked that cake, and we let it cool, and we finally pried it out of the bundt pan, and…

sad cake

(We’ve eaten part of it. For solidarity.)

I’ve yet to figure out how to get a cake out of a bundt pan successfully. As you can see, the top stayed with the pan. And we definitely overcooked it. And the bigger mobile one apparently had grand plans to copy the show participants and create an elaborate scene on top with frosting and candy and what have you.

(This was circumvented by pointing out that we had no sugar and therefore could not make frosting, though it didn’t stop him from sticking several lollipops into it.)

It doesn’t taste terrible. But as far as cakes go, it’s pretty sad.

Are you a decent baker, squider? What’s your favorite recipe? The small, mobile ones have expressed interest in trying again once we’ve bought more sugar.

(Tips on getting cakes out of bundt pans? It doesn’t matter what kind of cake I’m making, it’s invariably mangled in the extraction process.)