March 10, 2011
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March 4, 2011
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>My head is full of mush this morning – a combination of too much tax dithering and a computer screen, which wasn’t aided by my joining Twitter yesterday (@erinstocks). If I knew it was that much fun, I would have joined long ago.
But on to more important things, like reaching 80 on my shadow priest. Now Cataclysm quests! And better gear. And soon I will be as good as everyone else.
Gingery noodles with tofu last night – a lovely vegan dish:
One of the best meals I may have ever had. And yes, from Appetite for Reduction. I did cheat with the tofu, since I bought it pre-marinated in a light peanut sesame sauce. The noodles were supposed to be soba, but I only had udon and lo mein, so I opted for the former, mixed with sauteed bok choy, red onion, garlic, fresh ginger, some sesame oil for fun (sesame seeds would be fun, too, although neither the oil nor the seeds are in the actual recipe) and…that’s all I remember, but there could have been one to two more ingredients. And a ton of sriracha. Broiled the tofu 4 minutes or so on each side, so it has a lovely coating while soft in the middle. Astoundingly good, environmentally friendly, and no painful deaths involved. Wins all around.
I seriously need to do some writing today. And then think about meals for this weekend, because Molly sent me cookbooks!
February 28, 2011
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>A short yet hearty review of “The Light Stones,” which was exciting for me. I never found the story creepy much (whereas others of mine have had that effect on me), but I can see how worms invoke that sensation in others.
And, mushroom cannelinis and caulipots.
While I thoroughly enjoyed my leftovers today for lunch, I wasn’t as thrilled with the initial meal on Saturday. I believe the caulipots (cauliflower, tiny golden potatoes, veggie broth) just needed more salt, and the mushroom cannelinis perhaps fresh dill on top, and lots of it, rather than the dried dill that I used. Just more flavor, and that leafy green-ness that gives things a fresh, crisp taste.
Reading lately: Over the weekend, I made it about twenty-five pages through Amanda Downum’s The Bone Palace before I put it down, although I’m willing to say it’s me, not the book. As much as I love the idea of a third gender and necromancy and royal suspicions, I wasn’t interested enough, nor driven crazy by hooks like I hope for every time I pick up a new book. Maybe it’s too traditional for my current tastes? But today I did buy Kameron Hurley’s God’s War, which I’ve been looking forward to for awhile now. And I was still hooked five pages later. The writing lacks a certain lyrical eloquence, but more than makes up for it in color and grit and blood, and I’m perfectly willing to make that trade. Also, Holly Black’s White Cat, which is finally in paperback. I managed to resist Jo Walton’s Among Others, because it’s hardcover – we’ll see how long I can hold off on that one.
There’s more I want to dither on about, including the AMAZING Caitlyn R. Kiernan reprint I read yesterday, which John Joseph Adams may publish in Lightspeed. I really hope he does – the writing is simply stunning. Someday I will write like that, no matter how much blood and sweat it takes. Anyway, we’ve been seeing a lot of really good slush submissions lately, too, several of which he’s accepted, and I’m very eager to see published. Most of them have phenomenal worldbuilding, an exciting plot, and well-rounded characters that usually have some serious flaws, e.g., very human, and with the occasional AI thrown in. Keep ‘em coming!
February 25, 2011
>I went, like usual, to the coffee shop over lunch to read, where to my great relief I finally finished Eating Animals (and started something which proves to be dramatically different – Amanda Downum’s The Bone Palace), as there’s not much more I can handle of reading about the sheer for-profitness of factory farms. It’s pretty obvious there’s a problem when the animals available to us for consumption are so genetically altered that they can’t reproduce – and this is the case with a lot of organic and “no drugs-added” meat, too, whatever “happier” means. Still altered, still neutered (and not just in a castrated way, but in a pumped full of shit way; if not that animal, then its parents) in a very wrong way. The book is a must read, at least for education purposes. The author makes an argument that we’re not ignorant, we’re choosing this – the facts are right in front of us. But I don’t think that’s completely true; I’ve never read a lot of this before, even though factory farms aren’t anything new; they go back a lot further than ten years, and they just keep getting worse.
Anyway. Although it wasn’t my intention, I’m well on my way to being vegan, too. I’m just not interested in participating in the madness. Shocking stuff.
Plus, I had almond milk for the first time this morning, with some gluten-free cocoa plus goodies granola, and it was ASTOUNDINGLY good. So now I just need to figure out a way around ice-cream (since I’m not quite up for indulging in soy non-stop.) Maybe sorbet.
There was an elderly woman with her daughter (who was maybe 45-50 years old) at the coffee shop over lunch today. The elderly woman was maybe 75 or so, with lots of white hair permed high on her head, and very pale skin, and unfashionable glasses. Not really one of the adorable grandmother types, but then she brought herself over a large mocha with frothy whip cream (that looked and smelled so good over my drip coffee), and I got up so she and her daughter could sit together, to which they were really, really grateful. I made some sort of pleasant-sounding excuse, and then quickly left because of the sudden wrenching grief that I would never go to a stupid coffee shop with Mom again. And how I should have 25 more years of her in my life. But instead, I got thirty-one, which isn’t even close to enough, not when twenty-four or so of those were spent with me trying to figure out both myself and life, and not really understanding anything about it, or about her, or about the precious precocity of a mother-daughter relationship, especially a mother-middle-daughter relationship.
Earlier today I got an email from Dad about how the grief occasionally lessens, but never really goes away. I understand that completely – I can’t compare my experience to his of losing the woman you’ve been married to for 40 years and 2.5 months, although mine feels similar, in a different way. Mom should have seen John and I get married, for so many reasons, and maybe because I was the last unmarried kid I feel really strongly about that. And she should have gotten to hold her grandbabies (if any of the four of us ever end up having kids…doesn’t seem to be happening any time soon, so even Dad dotes everything on his dog because of that), and see where we live, and read my writing. She never got to read my published writing. She doesn’t know about Lightspeed, which happened after she died. She doesn’t know Becky and Neal have beautiful baby Karsten (Becky and Neal were the only married friends of mine whose names she could remember, because of Alaska), or about our little Nellie, or that I got a promotion at work a few months ago. And occasionally, the flash of grief is so strong that I’m breathless, like I was just kicked in the gut really, really hard.
Some terrific food in the last two days. Unfortunately, the pictures aren’t very appealing, but I’m posting them anyway.
And the above was the OMG onion rings – which were !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! UNREAL. Yes, they were. I will never have any other onion rings again. I made the hottie black-eyed greens with kale, but they weren’t quite as good as the first round, which I had made with collards. I adore kale, but the flavors didn’t sit as well this time, which I thought at lunch again when I had the leftovers. So collards in the future, with this recipe. (And veggie hot dogs in the background – which taste JUST like real hot dogs! Especially when grilled. And you actually know what they’re made of.)
Off to bill more tax returns! Less than two months of this left. I’m so relieved it’s Friday.
February 22, 2011
>No time for my rambling today, as I have eighteen million things to accomplish in the next hour, but two very important things to say first:
1. Go read the James Patrick Kelly reprint up at Lightspeed today, “Breakaway, Backdown.” I really appreciated it for the main character’s perspective of space without trying too hard to be too dramatic. Plus, it’s refreshing without throwing in too many cliche space details like mining, random ships, colonies, etc., and has a lot of real heart, probably from everything said between the lines.
(Oh, and yay, two Lightspeed stories were nominated for Nebulas!)
2. And this:
The picture is a little blurry, but you get the idea. Again, from the Appetite for Reduction book I dithered on about yesterday, two recipes respectively called Hottie Black-Eyed Greens and Mashed Ginger Apple Potatoes, or something like that. I could eat the greens forever, too. FOREVER. With more hot sauce. I am truly flabbergasted (yes, really) by what I’ve made so far – I can’t wait for dinner tonight.