as soon as i peeled the fermented dough out of the pyrex bowl i knew monday's bread would end in failure. the dough was just too wet, didn't have any shape. i managed to fold it but it quickly started slipping between my fingers. maybe when i scooped out the cups of flour last night i failed to sift properly and had unforeseen empty pockets which meant i ended up using less flour and more water. after 2 hours of the second rise, the dough did get a little bit bigger, but it was still too gooey. i poured it into the cast iron and baked it in the oven. i brushed some egg white on the surface during the last 15 minutes of uncovered baking to get a glaze. the final bread lacked any good fissuring and was flat and stiff. it was still edible, but having tasted good bread, all i wanted to do was start over. next time, if the dough looks too wet, i should go ahead and add more flour, irregardless of portions.
i motorcycled to belmont. judging from the lack of cars in the driveway, i deduced that only my mother was home. apparently my parents had a big fight with my sister earlier, and my sister stormed out of the house with her laptop and dog. it was eerily quiet without them around. my father was at the bank (and later the cafe). my mother was knitting a shawl for my godmother, having a hard time seeing the black yarn. she'd been waiting for me to bring over the bread all day, but unfortunately i only had my inferior loaf.
today was a very good day weather-wise, warm but very low humidity and a cool gentle breeze. just have the windows open was like having a natural air conditioner.
i went to home depot to return the motion sensor lights and best buy to pick up a copy of bioshock 2. i had a hard time finding parking at the watertown mall. i'm pretty sure the lot was full because most of the people there were going to the registry of motor vehicles. bioshock 2 came out a year and a half ago but i'm only buying it now because the price has dropped to $5. when i got back and tried installing it on the windows portion of my macbook pro, i realized the dvd-drive was broken, unable to read the disc. this after i bought a replacement drive off of ebay back in april! not a big deal, i still have an external drive back at home, and i'll probably kind of hack so i can play the game without needing the disc in the drive.
we weren't surprised when my sister came home around 6:00. she might be able to dinner for herself but hailey needed to be fed. there was still a lot of tension and while i ate with my parents my sister continued sulking in her bedroom with the dog. she came back out eventually, after everyone had finished. my mother made her favorite food after all, chopped liver.
for some reason there was the strong stench of marijuana smoke blowing into the living room from outside. that seemed to have broken my sister's silent treatment as we both looked out the window into the darkness searching for potheads. it was powerful enough that it must've been one of our backyard neighbors. my father went out to look but he said maybe somebody was burning leaves. i've smelled burning leaves before and they don't smell like that!
riding back home it was actually cold. autumn can't be far off now. as soon as i got back, i went to the kitchen and mixed myself a new batch of no-knead bread dough, this time paying careful attention to the flour sifting, making certain i scooped out 3 cups. i also added a teaspoon of tumeric (some call it the poor man's saffron), no reason other than i had a lot of it and wanted something different (yellow bread). mixing all the ingredients together, there was definitely a noticeable difference from last night. the dough was dry enough that i considered maybe adding some more water, but a dryish dough is exactly what i want for a good bread.
i successfully installed bioshock 2 on my laptop using an external firewire dvd drive. it uses windows games live for online registration as well as product authentication. i didn't realize that and skipped that step, until i tried saving and it wouldn't let me (until i registered/authenticated). when i tried registering, i had to go through the tedious task of installing more software, signing up for a games live account, and logging in a few times before it'd work (in all just registering took about half an hour). i'm not even sure if i can play the game without internet access, even if i'm just playing as a single player. i did hack it a bit though, mounting a small faux disc image of the game disc so i don't need to have it in my drive (which doesn't work anyway). i figured i'd need the disc at least for the cut scene movies, but apparently all that was part of the default installation (game takes up approximately 9GB of space).
bioshock 2 apparently needs more processing power than bioshock 1 because my machine can barely handle the graphic load. i may need to turn off some of the effects in the preferences. light beams through smoke effect bugs out the most, slicing through walls like an x-ray and revealing what's behind them. must i upgrade my computer just to play this game? although it would be a lot nicer with a real monitor (not a laptop LCD) and a real mouse (not a touch pad).