And I successfully used up some leftovers in the fridge to make a decent fettuccine dish for supper. These are both successes. And I realized that something I thought I had to get done in three days was actually something I don't have to get done for 9 days. That's lagniappe.
I also listened to a lot of Joe Hisaishi music. And now I'm going to bed, knowing I don't have to get up early in the morning. That's the best part.
No, perhaps tomorrow will be the best part.
I'm heading to bed, because I think I'm getting a head cold. I'll try to catch up with everyone tomorrow.
The car's working again, after almost $300 worth of work. (It wasn't the radiator.)
I made a mashed cauliflower casserole for supper. Yes, I know it sounds horrible; it wasn't. It was reasonably good. Unfortunately, cooking the cauliflower in water in order to make it soft enough to mash brought out all the odors that roasting cauliflower doesn't. Urgh. Maybe I should be glad my nose is starting to plug up.
This lovely vid made me much more cheerful than I'd been before I watched it.
And today is Friday; I have dined on turkey croquettes and maple-glazed fried parsnips (courtesy of BB) for supper. Our kitty, Alex, is feeling better after a trip to the vet, and I had a very productive Thursday and Friday. So I am pleased. And tomorrow BB, FB, and our friend Neil go to Hausermann's for their annual February orchid show.
I am a happy camper.
I have just roasted cauliflower florets after tossing them with coarsely chopped garlic, red pepper flakes, salt and olive oil. It is really, really good. I don't know why I didn't think about roasting cauliflower before the age of 61. (Me, not the cauliflower.) I have a new side-dish for Thanksgiving!
I was playing around with the idea of having a capon rather than a turkey for thanksgiving dinner. After some thought and reading, I've decided not to do so. I'll just go with a smaller turkey and slow/moist roast it.
Can you tell I'm going into Thanksgiving dinner mode? Doing so makes me happy. We're having FB and Em, our friend JT, Drs. Gonzo and Bob (not my BB, a different Bob), and maybe a couple of others. BB has asked that we don't talk about politics. Knowing our friends, that may be impossible, but we'll try to minimize the talk. As he says, he'll even be willing to watch football if it stops the political talk. "I want to be thankful," he says, and I understand.
Early deadlines, early deadlines, early deadlines. Lord, what a pain. And I signed myself up for a Saturday evening assignment, which is also a bit of a pain, although it'll be an automatic 6 hours of pay.
And now, to sit with my beloved and watch anime!
Actually, I don't have a recipe for making the coming week better, so that's a rather misleading headline. But I want to make the week better. So, lack of recipe notwithstanding, how do I do it?
( Saving bandwidth since 2006.... )
Over the past week, I've noted that Chicago weather has been tremendously unsettled; the old joke that's usually ascribed to whatever location the teller is in - as mentioned above - was bewilderingly accurate. For the last six days, we've had 15 minutes of sun, followed by 15 minutes of extreme thunderstorm, followed by more sun, followed by high winds and scudding clouds, followed by sun, followed by dark grey overcast, followed by, yes, more sun. And it's left me unsettled; I like having weather that's easy to predict. That's just how I roll.
And today was weird enough to get noticed by more than me, at least judging by Twitter; blowing snow, followed by sun, followed by a full-fledged 15-minute snowstorm, followed by blue, blue skies and sun, followed by yet another snowstorm, followed by wind and scudding cloud, followed by sun ... lather, rinse, repeat.
So, rather than focus rather unhealthily on the weather (really, kaffyr , it's weather), I decided to salvage whatever salvageable tomatoes from amongst the many unsalvageable ones slowly decaying in the vegetable crisper (and was there ever a more misleading name?) bin in the bottom of my refrigerator.
The end result was pretty decent, although I had to augment my tiny bit of sauce with a can of diced tomatoes, so it's not completely from scratch. I was surprised and disappointed that I didn't find a single recipe for making tomato sauce from fresh tomatoes in any of my recipe books. Not even Joy of Cooking, for heaven's sake! All the recipes made use of canned tomatoes. That ought to tell you something about the evolution of Western cooking ... So I just winged it. It's been years since I actually made a basic tomato sauce, as opposed to many of the other sauce-y things I make, but I'm pleased. Dehydrated onions, ground celery (as opposed to celery salt), salt, garlic, pepper, Italian seasoning and fresh-ground fennel, they all go together so well.
What's that you say? That I was supposed to be writing today?
Well, actually, I did do some editing of existing words and paragraphs. Does that count? And I think I managed to move our heroes further along their way.
Yeah, I got nuthin. Maybe better tomorrow?
Well, I was feeling rather glum a little earlier today - quite momentarily, I assure you, but glum nonetheless. I started a post that was gazing drearily on humanity's apparently matchless ability to bring an end to the Anthropocene ... and then I remembered that I meant to make an Apple Harvest Cake today. It's a recipe of my mother's and grandmother's that involves apples and cinnamon and far too many eggs and a great deal of sugar and oil (it's a Second World War-era recipe, for all that it was profligate with the eggs, so oil it was, rather than the fats that were necessary for the war effort, or the dairy goods that were needed for Our Boys at the Front) ...
The result is that, while it baked, filling the house with a perfectly wonderful aroma, I exercised, and then we had an excellent supper of leftovers, and the cake came out just as we finished supper. We will have cake and ice cream after the first hour of anime watching.
And the idea of monologueing about the end of the Anthropocene just flew out the window. At least for now.
mack_the_spoon tagged me with this meme, and though I'm not normally very good at memes, or indeed all that interested in them, this one attracted me because it's simple - I am a simple creature - and it was a very positive sort of thing. I do love many things, so let's see if I can tell you about five things that make me happy.
And let's see, I should tag people, although it's definitely a voluntary thing, especially if you've done this before. So ... a_phoenixdragon , penlessej , elisi , jjpor , and ljgeoff - tag, you're it!
Honorable mentions: Doctor Who, especially Nine, Eleven, and River; Japanese curry and croquettes; Chicago; anime.
... but, based on previous bread making attempts, I know it will be good-tasting brick bread. Given that I've not made a loaf in months, I'm quite satisfied that a) it's my own fault, not the fault of materials or tools and b) that people will enjoy it (and also c) that once I get back in the swing of bread-making, this problem will disappear.)
In the meantime, while the bread is
Oh, and later, we'll enjoy more of a very nice chicken and biscuit stew I made yesterday, before enjoying (for very skewed values of "enjoying," I'm willing to acknowledge) the final few episodes of Attack on Titan, and perhaps something else.
I'm enjoying AoT far more than I expected to; then again, I enjoyed Kill la Kill more than I expected to. I think it presses a couple of specific buttons I have. One is the button of "living in the shadow of imminent war," specifically "living in the shadow of imminent war in which I, as an active combatant, stand a better than 50 percent chance of dying." I often have dreams about such scenarios. I have no idea why, but I've had them for years. They are not positive dreams, and it's not a positive button, at least not positive in the commonly-held way. But it's a very intense thing, a very alive thing.
The other button is Zombies! Mindless Zombies! Mindelss Zombies With Beatific Smiles! Fourteen-meter Tall Mindless Zombies With Beatific Smiles .. Who Eat People Because They Like To, Not Because They Need To! Did I Mention Mindless? Zombies With No Brains? Yesssssss!
It's a button that's key to a roiling stew of complicated fear and attraction to scenario that takes my Zombie Button reactions, force feeds them steroids and yeast, then puts them in an oven to watch them grow like the unholy beasts they are.
Put the two buttons together - and then introduce Intelligent Fourteen Meter Tall Zombies Who Might Be The Cure For The Other Ones ... yeah, I'm hooked.
So there's that.
Now I need to get back to the peanut butter cookies, and back to getting the pans ready for the not really buoyant bread-to-be.
All in all, not a bad way to head into the working week.
Did you know that you can make one hell of a pancake in a rice cooker? Yes, we tried it (apparently it's A Thing), and it works. Bob learns so many interesting things by reading Rocket News .... (Note: I just linked to the Rocket New feed that's tagged for food. There's loads more if you just go to Rocket News in general.)
Brought to you by Bored kaffyr is Bored.
Yesterday I kept meaning to sit down and post, because I had exciting news to tell you (well, for various pedestrian powers of exciting.) Remember my tale of pedal woe regarding winter boots, and the supposed loss of the one that didn't need to be fixed, just after I got the other boot fixed? Well, I found the other boot, hiding in a dusty corner of our rear stairwell. You have no idea the amount of rejoicing this engendered. Or perhaps you do, if you know my ability to be chuffed with the slightest positive happening.
( snow and more snow )
( kitchen stuff )
In more fannish news, we watched more Korra last night.
We're in the middle of the third season; both BB and I are wondering at the lack of closure from the end of Season 2 ... strike that. Argh: just discovered that we didn't watch the last episode of Season 2 because we somehow didn't acquire it. That explains a lot. How embarrassing.
We're also well into Durarara, and I can say with certitude that I have never disliked a character more, never solemnly yet feverishly wish for a character's downfall, more than I do Izaya. (I do occasionally remain amazed at my ability to become emotionally connected to 2D characters, but only occasionally. It's me, and that's that.)
And now it's back to the kitchen, although I'm going to move my laptop to the dining room so that I can post throughout the day. And I hope to trawl through my friends' list to find out what y'all have been doing.
Not compared to the mugging Mother Nature performed on the East Coast just a few days ago, but Chicago and the rest of Illinois are making a valiant come-from-behind effort. We've got
I'm enjoying the second true day of vacation (my first days of vacation, Friday and Saturday morning, were spent trying to get one last story into my boss on the new NewsGate editorial platform we're using. I shouldn't do that, but I have a new editor - again - and I felt bad not getting as much in to him as possible for while I was gone. So, yeah, real vacation didn't start until Saturday afternoon, although I did escape from the house on Friday.)
( Ruminations on cooking )
( 2D fun )
BB and I have just come back, happily stuffed, from our new favorite Japanese restaurant in Evanston. The place is called Kuni's, and it's a little bit more expensive than our previous go-to place, the sadly departed Tokyo Marina on the north side of Chicago, so we probably won't go there often, but it's really a great place for when you want really good sushi or chirashi or a nice dinner box of teriyaki and maki and whatever they call the fried rice balls, and the sweet omelet. MMmm. Also, red bean ice cream. But best of all, oddly, was what I've been faunching for for a few days - miso soup.
It was no big thing, but at the end of a week filled with (thankfully low level) stress, I'd told BB I wanted to go out for supper. After a very busy Friday afternoon, however, I changed my mind because I was beat, To my delighted surprise BB said "I'd like to go out tomorrow night for sushi," and it dovetailed so perfectly with what I'd wanted that I hoped all day today that both of us would have enough energy to do it.
It turned out we did, and the weather was much warmer, and I got a chance to try a new appetizer (fish jaw, which sounds gross, but isn't, especially after the waitress told us you just ate it with your hands), and we just talked about nothing at all stressful, and laughed, and enjoyed each other. And it cost less than stingy me had thought it would, which is kind of petty, but that's the way I think.
No big deal, and that's a very big deal for me. Next, I'm going to sweet-talk BB into watching three or maybe four Korra episodes. He's not yet as into it as I immediately got, but I suspect he will be.
And then there's this. Which I am very happy about. Our local has been able to organize two new units within the year, including this one, and believe me, there was a time I would have thought that no reporter on the Reader staff would ever deign to consider becoming a union member. My former bosses treated them with so little respect that, when they saw our unit members actually gain back some lost pay in our hard-won contract, when they got nothing so much as a sou, well, they came to us. Never forget, children, that management is often the best organizer a good union can have.
So, yes, a post full of quiet and seemingly inconsequential, but actually very lovely, good things. I am a happy camper.
Have you ever had a situation in which you've been gearing up, nerving up, for some task that, for whatever reason, intimidated you? And you finally get up the nerve to do it - and then you find out that the task can't be done; not because you were incapable of doing it, but because something else interferes?
I've had one of those days.
( Boring yammer about email )
So there I was, all geared up to do something I was a little nervous about doing - and unable to do anything. Frustration? You damn betcha.
The entire day felt a little like that to me: two steps forward, one step back, or attempting to take a few steps, only to discover I was blocked.
( Bitching about medical plans )
Still, there were some unambiguously good things that happened today. We checked our snail mail, and discovered, via a final paper check, that the ST did indeed pay me all the vacation accrual I was due, plus enough more that it was clear they'd finally switched us to a calendar year ... I will not bore you with the minutia, but this means that we need to let the HR people at the Trib know that they can switch us over to a calendar year, because they think we're still on an anniversary year. (All of which probably reads like Cyrillic to you; just ignore. Heh.) This was good. It also means I have enough money to take vacation this year.
And the curry was even better on the second day, so I decided to provide a link to both the recipes I used, so anyone who wants to can try them. Here's the curry roux recipe, And here's the beef curry recipe. I'd love to hear from any of you who decide to try one or both of them, to hear what you think, good or bad. I put much more cayenne in the recipe than she calls for, by the way.
We watched two more Korra episodes, and I hope to devour a few more tonight. I'm also thinking I should hunt down some episodes of The Librarians, since a lot of people seem to like it, and I think it would be up my alley.
Ah, I see I'm beginning to ramble, so I'll cut this one off.
Which I made myself, with home-made Japanese curry roux that took about 25 minutes to properly make (butter and flour cooked very slowly, constantly stirring, over low heat for about 22 minutes, and then curry, garam masala and cayenne pepper dumped in and mixed in. I can see why Japanese cooks make extensive use of ready-made curry roux (and I've used it myself), because making it from scratch is time consuming. But I've done it, and I know how to do it now, and that makes me very happy.
( Sort of food porn )
Hmmm. Also, in non anime news, BB and I have started watching Legend of Korra. We are greatly impressed, and FB tells me it just keeps getting better. Woo-hoo!
Also, we finally took down the tree and got it to the park district for mulching. Less about what I truly think was about a quarter-pound of needles. That was a very, very, very dry tree by the time we took it out of the house. A vacuum full of needles. I even had to get needles out of the toaster. (Don't ask.)
Off to have a BAM and watch more anime. Because that's how I roll. (Did I mention that I made the curry while dancing around to Brazilian bossanova? I didn't? Well, that's what I did.)
Yesterday was not good, for a variety of reasons. Not horrid, but unpleasant.
( pain med and prescription crap )
( bread )
( the Doctor )
On the other hand, today it is not sucking.
We went out and did a successful slipper swap at Costco (we got a new pair for me, and they were too large); FB came over briefly and played me recordings of songs he's doing with a new band he's jamming with, which was pleasant, especially since he also indicated that he and Emily are working out ways to deal with having to pay for his car repairs.Hurrah for maturity! And I got the chance to listen to Brazilian bossanova, do a couple more sentences on Chap. 24, get some prompts to do darkfic (as an exercise in doing things I'm not comfortable with) from the aforementioned and wonderful a_phoenixdragon , figured out what to do with the bread bricks, and let BB gently nurse me out of my foul mood.
So all in all? A decent recovery of the weekend. And tonight, more Avatar, I hope.
There was sunshine, and a little grocery shopping at our local fruit market, then some very nice peanut-butter marinated chicken (don't gag, it's actually a lovely way to marinate chicken thighs, with soy sauce and garlic and brown sugar, and this time I had some miso ginger broth, so I substituted that for the water I was supposed to use, and it was lovely) to go over rice. And there were brussel sprouts sauteed in too much yummy butter and olive and sesame oil, and balsamic vinegar and green onions. And there were double-fudge brownies with ice cream for dessert.
There was time with my Best Beloved, napping with my head on his chest in the afternoon. And that would have made it better than anything, even if I'd had to eat stale cheese sandwiches instead of everything I talked about, and even if I hadn't watched some Doctor Who, too.
But it was good that I did watch the Doctor as he journeyed Into The Dalek. BB isn't fond of that type of episode (although he did consider it well done of its type), but I am, and I thought it was top-notch. It was unsparing and it made me uncomfortable, and it made me not like the Doctor, and I think that's not only what it set out to do, but what it should have set out to do. And I think it did it very, very well. It strengthened Clara, it introduced Danny Pink, who I think will be a very interesting character, and it solidified some of my own Theories Which Are My Own about who Missy is. For reasons.
I liked Deep Breath, and didn't see many of the supposed shortcomings others saw in it. It did have its faults, but it was a solid beginning to Capaldi's run, but I think I loved into The Dalek.
I want to explore both the episodes more; I hope I can summon the spoons to do so tomorrow.
( Acquired family stuff )
( Musings about meat )
Much of the necessary head work for Chapter 23 is now done.
I haven't been fired. I saw two more robins today. I have cats to pat. My husband loves me, and I love him. And it's spring, now and finally.
Hmm. This was a rather scattered post, wasn't it?
I didn't manage big numbers today, but I got another 300 or so words completed, and noted in doing so that one of my characters has undergone yet another physical blow. This means I need to work fast to get that character some help. All in all, I think we're still on track. Go, us! Er .. me. I meant me. I certainly wouldn't be speaking on behalf of imaginary characters.
( Food and beards and glasses, oh my! )
So here it is, Sunday, and I spent too much of it actually working on a story for work, which I probably won't put on my time card because, hey, target on my back already thenkewverymuch, but, BUT, it ended up quite nicely, for reasons I shall elucidate at the end of this long and tortured sentence, and I have found my way back to Dreamwidth and/or LJ.(Why did it end up nicely? Because BB and I went here, and picked up a number of lovely marmalades and some toffee and liquorice, and had a nice cuppa, and he had a scone with clotted cream and I had a lovely slice of sponge cake, and since they were closing up, they gave us a couple of the last of that day's scones and the last slice of sponge cake to take home. Yes, all in all a quite nice way to get the taste of working out of one's mouth.)
And I have found my way back - yes, I remembered what I was writing about, despite the quite lovely digression into scones and sponge cake - with questions on my mind. And I turn to you, oh Internet friends and acquaintances, because you are all, every last one of you, intelligent and creative and possessed of great ideas and perhaps loads of secret knowledge.
( First things first )
( Then this, which explains the poll )
So: A Poll!
A plush toy
Silurian (surely there's a Silurian)
Something quite daft
As always, give reasons for your answers, and suggestions beyond the buttons.
And thanks for putting up with me tonight. I feel rather as daft as the poll.
Things that I have done over the last day or so:
- Had a very good, sometimes intensely nerve-wracking and ultimately completely worthwhile home visit with my Mum. We picked her up at the hospital Tuesday, pried her from their clutches by 2 p.m., went out for grapenut ice cream cones (our favorites), had supper at home, which I cooked for her and Step-dad Rob, got through some sundown syndrome, got her all her meds, and got through the night. Then we went out for brunch, took another drive through the countryside so that she could drink in the blue sky and summer clouds above the multiple greens of the Valley, and took her back to hospital. I'd give the visit an 8 of 10, despite not having expected to keep having to re-tape her incision dressing four times. (Gah. I am not healer material.)
- Spent enough time on a bad futon bed, under enough stress, that I developed a full-on back spasm episode. I'm about half way through it, I estimate, which means lots of drugs tonight. More than I'm currently operating under, I mean. I really, really, really hate back spasms.
- Had some quiet time with my little brother, and will have more of that tomorrow when I spend my final night here down at his place. I'll get to have time with his current rather dynamic flame, and I'm looking forward to that.
- Other things: here in Nova Scotia, where so many fishermen fish for so much fish, I had what may have been the worst fish and chips of my entire life, when I took my brother out for supper. I was both relieved and disappointed when he didn't notice the horrible nature of my offering, and indeed thought it was OK. Heh.
It rained a great deal today, which didn't make the day's big chore - going out to my soon-to-be-shut-forever suburban office and packing up everything I want to be sure doesn't get thrown out, and that I might need in my home office - easier, but I don't mind. Andy's about an hour out of Chicago right now, on a Greyhound bus, coming to visit us for five days during spring break.
He called us last night to tell us, and I couldn't' believe how excited I was about it. We "see" him several times a week, thanks to Google hangout chats - I do love living in the future (remember all the talk about video phones? Well, that's what Tom Corbett, Space Cadet, was talking about) - but somehow knowing he's going to be back here, and that I can give him a big hug, is so much more important.
He's been down in southern Indiana for almost three months. That is the longest he has ever been away from our sides.
And he'll get to help BB and I fix the bathroom plumbing and replace our kitchen garbage disposal - yay!
He's coming home to dozens of pumpkin cookies and pumpkin bread, and lasagne. I went rather kitchen crazy this weekend.
And the weekend itself was very good, rain and less than stellar weather notwithstanding. Last night my beloved made Manhattans (last weekend it was martinis ... never before have I enjoyed martinis) and we listened to loads of jazz, and laughed a lot, and I completely forgot to worry or be depressed. It was all rather wonderful.
And in about an hour, we'll go down to the Greyhound Station and pick up Andy. A great way to end Sunday.