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Demented.

Apr. 27th, 2010 10:16 am
trespasserswill: (o hai)
This weekend, Margaret was trying to get Rob to do the "Dementor Dance" with her, which seemed to involve a lot of twirling around with silk playscarves. No, I don't know, either. She also wondered if Dementors kiss each other, which led me to this:

DAYBREAK. AN ALARM CLOCK IS BUZZING.

We see a bed with two forms under a large quilt; their heads in shadow. There is a long, drawn-out groan, a horrible sound that curls around the room. A skeletal hand reaches menacingly from beneath the quilt and fumbles about with bony fingers until it manages to turn off the alarm clock.

LOLA: You have to get up, Bob.

BOB: No I don't.

LOLA: Your shift starts in an hour. And you know you never can summon up the proper amount of menace if you don't have your coffee that cup of battery acid before work.

BOB gives a deep, whistling sigh, like the last echoes of tormented prisoners.

BOB: All right.

BOB rolls out of bed, his skeletal form sporting spotted boxer shorts. He drifts through the room and into a bathroom; the door closes behind him. Eventually, we hear a flush and then the hiss of a shower starting up.

BOB: off camera Lola, where's my ghastly raiment?

LOLA: mumbling from the bed If you'd put it in the hamper...

BOB: off camera, a bit louder Lola...

LOLA gets up. We see her skeletal form is draped in a floral nightie. She drifts over to open the bathroom door. A cloud of steam rolls out.

LOLA: Where did you put it last?

BOB: off camera I don't have time for games, Lola --

LOLA: Neither do I. If it isn't in the hamper, it doesn't get washed!

BOB: off camera But today is important -- the Minister of Magic is coming personally -- I have to look like a proper Dementor!

LOLA: Just wear the robe again, Bob. It's not like a little dirt and some smudging will ruin your look.

BOB: off camera I work at Azkaban. There are standards! Just because it's a soul-sucking job doesn't mean we shouldn't uphold the standards. When my ghastly raiment is dirty, it doesn't have the proper flow. And I don't feel as menacing. I just feel grubby. And it shows in my work!

LOLA makes a "sock-puppet" hand and mocks his speech. She's obviously heard it a million times before.

BOB: off camera ... besides, you're just wafting around Hogwarts right now anyway -- scaring those kids is a piece of cake. BOB peeks around the door. Say, I have an idea -- I can just borrow yours!

LOLA, shaking her head, gives up.

LOLA: Fine. Have my ghastly raiment. Just because you can't get your act together --

BOB: emerging from the bathroom, draped in LOLA's flowing black raiment. You could have washed it.

LOLA: You could have put it in the hamper!

BOB: sighing Look, Lola... I'm worried, all right? The Minister of Magic is coming, and last week Gerald said I wasn't as threatening as I could be. He hinted I might be losing my edge.

LOLA: recovering a little feeling for BOB I'm sure Gerald didn't mean...

BOB: He told me if I kept it up, he'd wouldn't let me guard the opening to a rat hole.

LOLA sits on the bed, stunned.

LOLA: But why? What would he have to complain about? You have an air of menace, you loom and hover threateningly, you pull the prisoners' worst memories to the surface...

BOB: miserable Last week I ... well, I was tormenting a prisoner and suddenly, I thought, "Puppies."

LOLA: horrified WHAT?

BOB: And then it was like that don't think of an elephant thing, you know, I kept thinking "don't think about puppies" but that meant it was all I could think about. And that meant that all the prisoner's memories of puppies came to the surface.

LOLA: Oh, Bob...

BOB: My only saving grace was that the prisoner was scared of dogs, had been her whole life. But I can't afford any slip-ups, Lola.

LOLA: I'm... I'm glad you're wearing my robe, Bob. You just go in there and be the most horrific, awful being you can be. Anyone can have an off day.

BOB: You think so?

LOLA: I do. Gerald ought to know your record -- why, you've brought prisoners to their knees when other Dementors couldn't even make them whimper. You just go in there and give 'em hell.

BOB: I ... okay. Okay. I will. Firmly. I can do this. Thanks, Lola.

LOLA: leaning in for a kiss Any time, dear.

BOB and LOLA kiss. There is a great, terrible WHOOOOOOSHING sound. When they part...

LOLA's body, BOB's voice: Ha, ha, very funny. Kiss me again.

BOB's body, LOLA's voice: No can do. You go to Hogwarts and scare the kiddies. I'm going to torment some prisoners. Someone's got to save your job. Puppies, of all things! She shakes her (his?) head, disgustedly. See you at seven!

LOLA, in BOB's skeletal body, leaves the room. BOB looks after her, mortified.

LOLA's body, BOB's voice: I... I guess I'd better get dressed, then...

SCENE.
trespasserswill: (rickroll)
My old Subaru Forester, a faithful and trusty vehicle that carried us for 11 years, was getting a little elderly and needing more frequent attention from the mechanic. We realized it was time to either commit to an ongoing intermittent schedule of Replacing Stuff That Breaks or to bite the financial bullet and buy a new car. Since our OTHER car is 13 years old, we decided to go new.

So we did some research homework, figured out which cars were in our size/price range/style intersection, and went shopping today. Result:

IT'S A NOOOOOO CAAAAARRRR! )

A 2010 Hyundai Elantra Touring, in black with a black interior (this must be my Inner Goth coming out). Meg has already named it Lucky Sparkles, because there are little sparkles in the black. I like its zippy handling, its roomy interior space, and (sad to say) the XM Radio, which is only free for three months so I'd better enjoy it while I have it. But I love the most that we now have a new, dependable car for the long term.

Yay car!
trespasserswill: (Default)
I was pretty balanced about the gift knitting this year ... I chose a few projects, started early, and made good progress ... until the end. There I was, basking in the glow of projects completed in a timely fashion, and what did I do? Cast on for another gift project. On December 18th.

Was I crazy? Possibly... but the project is now blocking on my bed, and will be delivered tomorrow (right before the recipient, one [livejournal.com profile] columella, leaves for a holiday in colder climes). (Yes, she already knows about it; I 'fessed up last night.)

I'm not insane. I RULE. See? )

bleh

Dec. 16th, 2009 01:13 pm
trespasserswill: (Default)
On the first day of my cold, the virus gave to me
A nose infinitely runny

On the second day of my cold, the virus gave to me
Two clicking ears,
And a nose infinitely runny.

On the third day of my cold, the virus gave to me
Three degrees above normal,
Two clicking ears,
And a nose infinitely runny...

I'll let you know how the song goes. I'm hoping that all the hot tea and soup are going to kick this thing before too long, though. The worst part is that Rob's got it too, poor kid.

Time to take the (generic) Advil and Sudafed, oh yes.

in concert

Dec. 14th, 2009 11:44 am
trespasserswill: (Button up)
Yesterday was a whiplash day, in that I went from stage-managing St. Lucia Day (at 6:15 a.m., OUCH) to coping with a whiny toddler to ... a punk cabaret concert. (And back again. I did not run away to join the cabaret, though I was much tempted.)

The show was Amanda Palmer, a microphone, a Roland keyboard, and an occasional ukelele. That was it.

That was everything we needed.

Yeah, Neil Gaiman did come out on stage to read a short story from their book (Who Killed Amanda Palmer), but by that point I was all Amanda's and my response was kind of "yes, your story is very nice, MORE MUSIC PLZ."

The venue (The Social, in Orlando) was perfect -- it was a long, narrow space, with the bar along one long side and the stage along the other, so no one is very far from the performance. (Or the alcohol.) There was a dance pit in front of the stage, and a nice sort of railing around the pit, so we leaned against the railing and had a perfect view. (There are a couple of pictures at the bottom of this page.)

Amanda started the show standing on the bar, unmiked, playing a song on the ukelele, then walked through the crowd to the stage and played a few songs on the piano. Then she explained this wasn't really a tour with a setlist; it was a one-off date, so she thought she'd just take requests. The venue was small enough that this was entirely possible (and even manageable). She turned down a few requests because they were "shit without the drums" but played a nice range of requested songs from her album and from the prior Dresden Dolls albums, as well as some covers.

This woman pours herself out completely. The music is intense, but she also really connects with the audience -- she answered questions submitted earlier, did quite a bit of give and take with the room, made eye contact everywhere. For me, that would be exhausting, but it seems to energize her -- and the audience.

Case in point: the cover requests was "Imagine" (yes, the Lennon one) and she said she'd do the song if someone could find the lyrics for her. Within minutes someone with an iPhone had passed it forward, lyrics at the ready. She ended up handing the phone to another audience member who had pen and paper (!) so they could copy them out while she was performing the next song. And then she noodled around a bit to find the right key, got help from the audience, and finally played the song, beautifully:



After an hour and a half of awesome music, she talked about how the book came about, and introduced Neil Gaiman to read a story from it. His hair was wild; the reading was a short one, featuring diamonds, snakes, drugs, and prostitutes. And lo! Someone filmed it!



After his reading, Amanda played "I Google You," which Neil originally wrote and she then put music to it. If you haven't heard it, by the way, you must. (That link is to a live performance of the song, but not from this concert, so I didn't embed.)

(Obviously I need a better phone before I go to the next one.) (Perhaps one that, you know, takes movies and stuff.) (Because none of this content is mine; bless everyone who shared.)

She ended the show with a rousing number from the most recent album ("Leeds United") and then did "Creep" on ukelele from the bar as an encore. Walter and I were thrilled; "Creep" is the first song we ever danced to, so it's oddly "our" song. And it turned into a massive sing-a-long which was great fun.

Then she said she and Neil would stay and sign for everyone, for as long as it took.

* * *

At this point, my latent grown-up gene kicked in. I have books signed by Neil. I actually have a CD signed by Amanda (it came that way, which I found funny since I was kind of buying it to take it and get it signed). There were a lot of people, and most of them were staying, and I'd heard someone in line say "oh yes, they stayed for two hours signing at the last show I went to..."

Well. I suddenly knew that standing around for two hours to get my ticket stub signed (unless I forked over $35 for the book... my work-from-home-suburban-mom budget wasn't really ready to go there) was not going to get me anything except a few seconds of face time and an opportunity to say I loved her show/his books. Plus we were thinking about my parents, who were very kindly watching the kids while we ran away to AdultLand. They'd have to drive back to their house, a little more than an hour's drive, once we got home. So we just... left. I figure Amanda, Neil, & co. got to leave and have dinner that much earlier. Happy holidays, y'all. ;)

But that means, I am sad to say, no scrawled-upon ticket stubs or tales of interaction. (Then again, this is me: my interaction typically is to get very tongue-tied.)

* * *

In short: AWESOME CONCERT. I'm so glad I went. Even Walter, who had reservations, was mightily impressed and enjoyed it -- he was shouting along with "Creep," too. :)
trespasserswill: (o hai)
It's the most wonderful busiest time of the year!

We spent a good chunk of the weekend organizing and cleaning (and we aren't done yet, but at least the house looks presentable). Next up: school "winter festival" tonight. Tomorrow: acquisition of tree, and decoration on Friday night, probably. And Sunday is St. Lucia day, when the oldest daughter wears a white nightgown with a red sash and serves breakfast to her parents. She is also supposed to wear a crown of lights on her head. We bought one last year. It fell apart after one wearing. So much for that. I'll just wind some Christmas lights around her head and tell her not to walk too far from the outlet.

(I'm kidding. We might make one out of construction paper. No, we won't set it on fire.)

Anyway, the lighted headdress is the least of our problems. We have looked all over, searched high and low, but no one (except, like, one Etsy vendor) is selling plain white nightgowns of the gently old-fashioned sort (i.e., not an oversize t-shirt). And there must, MUST be a white nightgown and a red sash for the oldest daughter or else the Swedish ancestors will rise up and haunt us, or something. So I spent this morning in JoAnn's with Rob -- who refuses riding in carts these days, so much fun with shopping, I tell you -- buying white cotton fabric to make Meg a St. Lucia chemise. I'm kickin' it old school, and by old I mean Renaissance, because that's what I know how to make (thanks, SCA!) and because if I make a drawstring neckline and a deep hem, it can grow with her for several years.

In addition to these fine projects, St. Lucia day being Sunday means Swedish coffee bread production on Saturday. (We tried the traditional lussekatter last year, but the family preferred the coffee bread. Saffron haters!) That's a delicious big baking project that leaves the entire house smelling of cardamom. Mmmmmm.

So, in short: this week = busy. I am trying to keep myself calm and balanced so I don't end up hissing "We are supposed to be enjoying this!" to my kids and husband as I strangle them with tangled Christmas lights. I'm not too worried, though, as I have a nice cathartic Amanda Palmer concert on Sunday (after the St. Lucia-ing).

At least I've done well with my knitted gift projects. They are all finished except for one, and it's mostly done. Go me! I've only started in July, too! ::plotz::

And now, laundry calls. Again.
trespasserswill: (me 2008)
So I was watching a live Amanda Palmer webcast while doing formatting work (it doesn't take concentration like the copyediting does) and they had this contest. Win a t-shirt from Solid State Circus by posting a picture of yourself with a DIY jellyfish hat.

I looked around my desk and came up with this:



I know. So attractive! So dainty! It's Grandma's Jellyfish Hat!

And it WON.

Yay, t-shirt for me!
trespasserswill: (o hai)
Because [livejournal.com profile] skogkatt did it and I could only guess one of hers, and I was listening to music while working and decided to be a copycat.

All of these songs are currently on my mp3 player. All were noted down as they came up (except I only allowed one entry per performer*). Good luck, we're all counting on you!

1. I’m the bad thoughts inside your head, and you won’t catch me

2. And I’ll send you letters and come to your house for tea

3. At the first light, snow will fall down; I will awake to the sound of your calling

4. Where’s my faith, is it lost? I can’t see it ‘til I cast it off "Sinner" by Neil Finn, guessed by [livejournal.com profile] tinne

5. We call to stillness as we kiss the water king’s hand

6. Please don’t pull me out, this is how I would want to go

7. All hipbones and clavicle, you’re recluse and you’re radical**

8. I feed the pigeons, I sometimes feed the sparrows, too; it gives me a sense of enormous well-being. "Parklife" by Blur, guessed by [livejournal.com profile] avocadovpx

9. There’s a place in the stars for when you get old

10. I have my little pleasures, this war being one of these

11. How can you say I go about things the wrong way? "How Soon is Now" by The Smiths, guessed by [livejournal.com profile] skogkatt

12. And places you used to go when you were young look different in the dark*** "Like an Angel" by Duran Duran, guessed by [livejournal.com profile] eccequambonum (who says she is not hardcore but knows the lyrics to a rare b-side)

13. Easily and elegantly tear my world apart "Surrender" by Depeche Mode, guessed by [livejournal.com profile] eccequambonum

14. The sky is always falling down on me, so officer, forgive me, please

15. She walks in fresh fields, her tracks are on the land

16. Isabelle a attendu, attendu, mais Patrick ne jamais reparu (loose translation: Isabelle has waited and waited, but Patrick never reappeared)

17. Two worlds and in between "Lucretia, My Reflection" by The Sisters of Mercy, guessed by [livejournal.com profile] ysobelle

18. Always someone marches brave here beneath my skin

19. It’s a far cry from the shackles of cognitive thought "Rags and Bones" by Thea Gilmore, guessed by [livejournal.com profile] skogkatt

20. I have acres of land, I have men I command

21. You must be using potions; how else could you tie my head to the sky?

22. Past Geronimo’s Disco, Sitting Bull Steak House, white men dream "San Jacinto" by Peter Gabriel, guessed by [livejournal.com profile] tinne

23. When the world was the street where she lived "Veronica" by Elvis Costello, guessed by [livejournal.com profile] laughingimp

24. If I were a carpenter, I’d hammer on my piglet

25. Said that you were leaving, like you do, you do "Be Near Me" by ABC, guessed by [livejournal.com profile] eccequambonum

=-=-=-=-=-=-=

*For official definitions of performer. Yes, there's one fudge on this one.

**For some reason, mostly having to do with this particular line, I think of this as a song for Chaz (and, to some extent, Daphne) in Shadow Unit. Not that that has anything to do with the answer.

***If you get this one you’re a HARDCORE fan of the performer[s]. Think carefully about whether you want to admit that. ;)

hrrm.

Oct. 16th, 2009 04:39 pm
trespasserswill: (pesto)
I've been going over my short story in progress, and because it is a mere 1,500 words from the end (still; sleepless boy = no writing time), I am of course considering dismantling the entire thing and starting over.

Mainly I'm considering doing this to focus the story more tightly, to make things tougher on the protag, and to give her a twinned goal of "save world from seed pods of doom" and "realize you are a sovereign person who is responsible for her choices and destiny."

(Hand in hand with this, I'm redesigning the seed pods. Like you do.)

Of course, the whiny brat part of me is saying "but you already have all those words!" and "it'll be fine, really!" But I know it won't. Why? Because somewhere about 2500 words, I had my (female) protagonist go and get (male) help, which kind of excludes her doing anything (and even might keep her from the necessary inner growth that's really what this tale revolves around, I'm beginning to see). She's heading right into a situation that I (as a person and a reader) don't like, which is that she still doesn't know who she is and what she's capable of, but it won't matter because there's a hott! man who will do the action for her. (Yes, I fell into a trope, but by heaven I will pull myself right back out of it. Dammit.)

In short, the protagonist needs to have a tougher time of it and she needs to put on her big-girl pantalettes (Victorian period) and handle the external problem herself. In corrollary, I need to put on my big-writer pants (the ones that stick your butt to the chair) and get on with the rewrite.

Writing: there are lessons for all.
trespasserswill: (Default)
Saturday night, I came home from Viable Paradise. I didn't really want to leave; the days were densely packed with critiquing, writing, and infomation downloads, not to mention Mandatory Fun. We engaged with our own work and the work of others on a deep and honest level; we discussed writing in a thousand ways, and we were given information that we'll be digesting months hence, no doubt.

In addition, we created the outline for a squidly blockbuster. We walked out in the evening to watch bioluminescent jellyfish before the moon rose. We had a bawdy and fun group reading of Shakespeare (in which I got to play Petruchio).

I had one-on-one feedback sessions with Elizabeth Bear ([livejournal.com profile] matociquala) and John Scalzi, both of whom were intensely helpful from different directions. I also had a fantastic group critique, with lots of helpful advice. I came home with a stack of marked-up copies of my submission manuscript to pore over and consider.

For our assignment, I wrote 3/5 of a story about Victorian seed pods OF DOOOOOOOOM (yes, Uncle Jim, I am finishing it and revising it and I will submit it!).

VP is probably one of the best things I could have done for myself as a writer. It gave me a week in which I not only focused intently on my own writing, but on the writing of others, and on the art and business and the very act of writing itself (which we of course parsed endlessly). And the faculty were not only available for the teaching moments but also at dinner and just hanging around. They put a lot of themselves into this workshop, which made it all the more valuable. Also, Zeus made an appearance or two. Because he is Zeus! Zeus needs no excuses!

(In addition, I learned a couple of card tricks, several additional verses of Cohen's "Hallelujah," and how to play "Horse with No Name" on the guitar.)

And now, I have to get some writing done while Rob naps and before it's time to retrieve Meg from school.
trespasserswill: (Default)
On Saturday, I fly to Boston and from thence to Martha's Vineyard for Viable Paradise. I have a roommate and I'm making a packing list and I'm struggling mightily to get all the laundry done and also get some work-work done before I go...

...but I did manage to get my lace wrap done.

See, I promised myself that if I was accepted to Viable Paradise, I would make myself a wrap. And I found a good lace pattern -- not too difficult, but challenging for a lace knitter neophyte -- and a nice laceweight yarn in merino/tussah silk, and I knitted.

You know you want to see the pictures. )
trespasserswill: (candles and daisies)
Grandma's sour cream pound cake is the perfect cake. It's moist and dense, sweet with a hint of tangy flavor from the sour cream, and it can be enjoyed all by itself (though strawberries and whipped cream are welcome additions). When Grandma made it, it always turned out perfectly. At some point, early in my marriage, I got the recipe (from my mother; Grandma had given up cooking by that point).

=-=-=-=-=-=

2 sticks butter
3 cups sugar
6 eggs
1/4 t baking soda
3 cups flour
8 oz. sour cream

Bake at 300 for 1 1/2 hours.

=-=-=-=-=-=-=

Like most of my grandmother's recipes, this one leaves a lot out. The first time I made it, I asked my grandmother for more details, and she said she didn't remember. My mother, who had watched the cakes being baked, was able to fill in a few details. So the recipe now reads:

2 sticks butter
3 cups sugar
---------- cream together

6 eggs
---------- beat in separate bowl before adding

1/4 t baking soda
3 cups flour
8 oz. sour cream

Bake at 300 for 1 1/2 hours (start in cold oven?)

=-=-=-=-=-=-=

I read other pound cake recipes for clues. Some insist on sifting the flour and baking soda together; some say you should beat in the eggs one at a time. The temperature of the butter before creaming is contested. The cold oven/preheated oven jury is out. Mom says that Grandma always creamed the butter and sugar by hand, but I admit that I'm a wuss and use a mixer.

What I do know, though, is that the resulting cake is rich and moist and sweet, with a slight tangy note from the sour cream. And it's still not like Grandma's was. The crust of my cake tends to rise too high, then crack in on itself. I don't have a tube pan, I make it in a bundt pan instead. And so on.

Even so, when my grandmother died this weekend, I made the cake to take to her funeral. Even though there wasn't a need for it (my parents arranged for a local restaurant to set up a buffet for us), it was the finest tribute to her I could think of. Because when my grandmother was herself, before she stopped cooking, before she confined herself first to her house and then to her bed, she was a natural cook, a cook whose recipes were part of her. (Her recipe for dumplings ran as follows: "you take a little flour, and a little Crisco, and a little milk, and you mix them together until they feel like biscuit dough." Since I hadn't made biscuit dough at that point either, I was nearly as clueless as when I started.)

In a way, particularly in the last two years, I had more of her through that pound cake recipe than from the person lying in the bed. Like the recipe, I knew the major details of her life but not many of the fine points; she claimed she didn't remember, and she had trouble speaking. Sometimes, though, she would tell a story about her childhood or her early years, and then I'd fill in that missing part of the recipe. More often, she didn't want to talk.

Now I won't be able to fill in any more missing parts.

I miss the grandmother I had, but I've missed her for years. I'm actually happy that she is no longer in pain, no longer trapped in her dwindling body. I'm happy that she went peacefully and without fear. Hopefully, she's with my grandfather and all her sisters now.

And I'll keep my recipe and memories and try to pass them on to my children, too.
trespasserswill: (o hai)
When it is good, it is very, very good fine to use, but when it is bad it is GODAWFUL CRAP.

Over the past few weeks, my laptop started hanging every so often; it would just freeze and I couldn't even shut it down properly. This morning, it hit the point where it won't even boot. Not even in safe mode. I'm going to have to wrassle with the Vista disk and try and see if I can restore it, but I have a sinking feeling that this is headed straight toward "complete reinstall."

Again.

I haven't even owned the computer for a year.

At this point, I may switch over to Ubuntu. The only problem is that I need to use Word 2007 with specific macros, and I can't use those macros in Ubuntu.

ARGH ARGH ARGH.

I can't go on like this. I wonder if I can get the old laptop up and humming... it was slow, slow like molasses in the Antarctic, slow like a snail, but it at least ran.

Fortunately, we have a desktop I can use... but I can't haul it to Martha's Vineyard, now, can I?
trespasserswill: (o hai)
[Poll #1457033]

Martha's Vineyard looks absolutely lovely, though. I can't believe Jaws was made in 1974; I remembered it as being at least '78. Maybe that's because I read the book then...
trespasserswill: (pesto)
I was going grocery shopping today and planning menus, and I thought, "I could get some seafood for tonight." Because I like to cook the seafood the same day I get it.

I mentioned this to [livejournal.com profile] moorewr and he added, "Scallops! Get scallops! In a nice cream and wine sauce nom nom nom..."

I looked up Coquille St. Jacques, but decided it would be too labor-intensive. But I remembered that archangels on horseback (scallops wrapped in bacon and broiled) was easy.

And while I was looking up the recipe for the archangels, I found a recipe for Welsh Rarebit. I've always wanted to make Welsh Rarebit.

"Hmmm." I said to myself. "The kids might like rarebit* but they won't eat archangels on horseback. They do like boiled shrimp, though..."

And then I thought that there ought to be a salad to balance all this out.

So tonight's dinner ended up being:

Spring Greens with Pear and Walnuts, dressed with raspberry vinaigrette
Boiled Shrimp (for the kiddies)
Archangels on Horseback
Welsh Rarebit

The Welsh Rarebit turned out nicely, although the recipe was clearly deluded as twice the amount of cheese stated was required to make the cheese sauce the right consistency. Fortunately, I had bought two blocks of cheese, because I wasn't sure if I'd need more. (Imported. Cheddar. Because it can't be the normal kind. You have to spend a nice amount of cash for this supposedly "economical" dish. *rolls eyes*) Next time, I will melt the cheese with a dab of butter and a little splash of ale and add butter and ale as needed until the consistency is right, instead of starting with the liquids. Using two blocks of cheese meant that this was the most expensive grilled cheese I have ever eaten.

The archangels were also lovely, but they were overkill -- especially as I had forgotten that they are rich as all get-out and after one or two archangels, you really don't want any more. Next time I make this dish, I need to keep this in mind and make two scallops per adult. And not serve it with a creamy cheesy dish, but with a nice big salad.

Because the salad was perfect. And easy. Mmmmm, pears.

I did have one shrimp, and they were nice. Meg ate a good amount (for her), but the rest are in our fridge, waiting to decorate a salad tomorrow. And there are a few archangels in there, too.

Of course, I don't think I will want to eat again for several days. BLUH.

=-=-=-=-=-=-=

*Neither child liked the rarebit; Rob loved the cheese and ate a ton of it while I was cooking... which meant he didn't eat any dinner.
trespasserswill: (vegetables)
Yesterday, the cold that had been in my nose settled in that space between your nose and the back of the throat, where nothing you do will dislodge it.

Except soup.

3T butter
1 1/2 onions, chopped
1 radish, finely chopped
About 1 cup of chopped carrots
1 zucchini, quartered and chopped
2 medium red potatoes, scrubbed and diced (leave the skin on, it's healthy!)
1/2 cup red lentils
4 cups water*
2 or 3 spoonfuls of beef broth granules*
garlic powder

* You could just use broth, homemade or canned; you can use bouillon cubes instead of the granules. You could do it with chicken or vegetable broth instead. (I was working with available items.) It's all good.

Melt the butter in your soup pot. Once it's foamy, add the chopped onion, radish, and carrots and drop the temperature to medium. Once the onion is translucent, add the zucchini and potatoes, and stir them around a bit; then add the lentils, the water, the broth granules, and the garlic powder. Bump the heat up a little, cover it, and let it simmer until it's all rich and the vegetables are done. Serve it forth.

I feel much better now.
trespasserswill: (rickroll)
So I went to Starbucks* today and did some copyediting, but I did more writing. And this was a very good thing, because... well, because of a lot of reasons:

1. Viable Paradise is only five weeks away

2. And I haven't made the progress on my novel that I wanted to make

3. Because there's been work, and getting through the last bit of summer/first week of school, and so on

4. (But these, while good reasons, are still just excuses for not getting on with it)

5. And of course I started to think maybe I wasn't dedicated enough to this writing thing

6. And who was I fooling, anyway?

7. (So I knitted some more and cogitated)

8. (And as per usual, I forgot what 8 is)

9. Then I realized the only way to get past this was to stop worrying about it and sit down and write, preferably with some caffeine to get the engine running

10. So I did.

2,172 words today. And even better than that, I introduced a whole mess of problems to complicate the life of my protagonist (though she is blissfully unaware of that as yet).

And, just like that ::snaps fingers:: my whole outlook on life improved. Came home and improvised a fabulous dinner out of asparagus and bacon and two types of pasta.** Danced around to "Dance Commander"*** with my husband and my kids (Rob, in particular, is comedy gold when he dances -- and he loves to dance). Kept thinking of new and wonderful ways in which those 2,172 words are going to cause anguish to my protag.

It's a wonderful night. Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to make a few notes before I go and give some attention to the copyediting I didn't do this afternoon...

=-=-=-=-=-=-=

* Yeah, I write in coffeeshops. I'm a cliche, but I'm a productive cliche.

** Rotini and farfalle, because I had about 1/4 box of each.

*** Here, have a dance:



Only I swear we dance better than that. Even Rob. Also, our knick-knacks survived. And no, we haven't shown the video to the kids.
trespasserswill: (Default)
The repeated viewings of kiddie shows are starting to get to me. I've decided we need to shake things up:

The Wonder Pets Save Toot & Puddle: In this Very Special Episode, the Wonder Pets are called to save Toot & Puddle when the porcine travelers are denied re-entry into the U.S. due to fears over Swine Flu. Can you eat celebratory celery while wearing a face mask?

Pinky Dinky Diego: When his rescue pack malfunctions, animal rescuer Diego teams up with storyteller Pinky Dinky Doo to learn new vocabulary and save animals by using big ideas. Trouble brews when Baby Jaguar gets hungry for Mr. Guinea Pig, prompting Pinky and Diego to play an interactive game: Eat It, or Rescue It?

So You Think You Can Dancey-Dance?: All the former dancey-dance stars on Yo Gabba Gabba return for a contest. Each is paired with a Gabbaland denizen; the dancey-dancer who wins the contest escapes Gabbaland. Mark Mothersbaugh and DJ Lance judge.

Ni Hao, Dora the Explorer: When Dora's Papi loses his job, she sets out to find it. The Map sends Dora across the ocean, over the Yangtze River, and on the Great Wall to find it in China, where she makes a new friend, Kai-lan. But when Dora learns that Kai-lan is the one who took her father's job, she is angry. Can Kai-lan help her deal with her feelings?

Charlie and Lola and Max and Ruby: Where are the parents, anyway?
trespasserswill: (Default)
Spotted on the roads of our fair county...



And then we had to explain Nargles to Meg.

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