Short Attention Span Theater

In the early '90's, there was an hilarious show on Comedy Central called Short Attention Span Theater. I remember it as being hosted by comedian (now political pundit) Marc Maron. I read online that Jon Stewart hosted it for a while as well. Funny that they both ended up doing political commentary. But I digress...

I love the title "Short Attention Span Theater". It invokes all that we are here at Mighty Distractible - and specifically, what I intend to deliver to you today.

Act 1 - Books

I'm currently reading two books at once. You're probably thinking, "Well, of course you are! That's what people with ADD do!" But, in my case, I usually can't focus on more than one book at a time. However, while I was waiting for my book-club book to download to the Kindle, I started reading another book that had been sitting there for a while taunting me. Turns out that both books are AWESOME and I don't want to delay reading either. The only reason that this unfocused reading is sort-of working for me is that both books are so VERY different.

The Hunger GamesThe book that keeps tearing me from my book-club read is Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. I bought it because everyone I knew was reading it and loving it but, until I opened the book up the other day, I knew absolutely nothing about the plot. It's a real page-turner with an enthralling story and compelling characters. I had heard rumors that the movie version is already in production which, to my mind, says a lot about the popular appeal of a novel.

Packing for Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the VoidMy book-club book is Packing For Mars: The Curious Science of Life In The Void by Mary Roach. I think that this book could be the best-written non-fiction book I've ever read. It's funny and compelling and makes you want to be an astronaut - or not. I'm amazed at the author's ability to bring the technology and science of the world's space programs to us in such an accessible way. Mary Roach is a marvel of a writer and I can't wait to read more of her work - specifically, Stiff - The Curious Life of Human Cadavers!

Act 2 - Cooking

Recently, I figured out how to use my ice cream maker and I discovered that sorbet consists of three basic ingredients: sugar, water, and flavor (usually fruit). As a result, I've been on a sorbet making binge. This is a binge so bad that I think I may actually have broken my ice cream maker yesterday.

I've made two batches of blackberry sorbet (from the berries in my yard), two batches of pear/white wine sorbet, one batch of melon sorbet (which, if I make again, will become melon/cucumber sorbet), and one batch of "mojito" sorbet (which is really just fresh-squeezed lime and processed mint from my yard).

My experiments have had varying degrees of success. With batch #1 of blackberry sorbet, I learned the value of straining the pureed blackberries to remove the seeds. With batch #1 of pear/white wine, I learned that it's best to add the wine at the end or you lose all the flavor. The nice thing is that even the "mistakes" are pretty awesome to eat.

Cuisinart ICE-21 Frozen Yogurt-Ice Cream & Sorbet MakerSo, here are my easy-to-follow instructions for making sorbet in a Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker:

Make some simple syrup by melting a measure of sugar in twice as much water (2 cups water + 1 cup sugar, for example)
Cool the simple syrup to at least room temperature (better if you refrigerate it over night)
Puree some fruit (use a little simple syrup or other liquid to help with the puree-ing) until you have 1.5 cups of liquid
Mix 1.5 cups of simple syrup with 1.5 cups of fruit puree and add it to the ice cream maker following the manufacturer's instructions
Let it run for about 20 minutes. The "final" product should be the consistency of slushie. Spoon the slushie into a container and put in the freezer for about 2 hours. Voila! You have sorbet!

If you want to add other bits - some wine or bits of fruit - add these for the last 5-10 minutes of processing in the ice cream maker.

Act 3 - Crocheting

I know... Like I don't have enough hobbies already... I'm trying to take up crochet.

Last week I went to the library and took out a BUNCH of books on beginning crochet. I'm fascinated by the ability to work yarn in a circle. And I want to do amigurumi which is nearly always done with crochet.

 So far, I've done two chains and played around with a couple of stitch styles. I feel like I did when I first learned to knit - completely uncoordinated and spazzy. My stitches are wildly uneven and my tension is awful. But, I'm going to stick with it because I'm determined to make round washcloths. And funny little stuffed toys.

Perhaps on Friday I'll regale you with my crocheting prowess as a full blog post.

Epilogue - Blame It On Summer

I have a hard time focusing in the summer. I can't sit still for any length of time - especially if it's sunny and decent weather. So, I find myself bouncing from one project to the next, never quite completing anything. At least with the book-club book, I have a deadline.

Stay busy!

- Alex


  1. Yay crochet!! You can totally do it. Once it *clicked* for me, it clicked big time!

  2. I really want to read that Packing for Mars book, it sounds awesome :) Love the sound of your sorbet combinations, if only I had an ice cream maker! Good luck with mastering crochet (I want to learn for precisely the same reason!)

  3. @mutantsupermodel - I'm so glad to hear that about crochet. I really want to learn it - it seems so easy - but right now I feel completely uncoordinated! LOL

    @pinkundine - You MUST read the book. It's so fascinating I just can't tell you. My Cuisinart Ice Cream maker was just under $50. Not cheap but certainly worth it.