Purslane

Jul. 7th, 2017 03:53 am
Not a banner day at the CSA, as it included TWO kinds of kale, and, well, weeds--the kind of weed I always hated seeing in the garden the most, in fact: purslane. It doesn't taste too bad, actually. But still ... almost everything was a leaf, only one root (not one kind of root but one root, a kohlrabi bulb--which is great, I just wish there was more of it). I'm missing the beets and turnips. Today included even my least favorite kind of lettuce (romaine), which was uncommonly dirty.

Ah, well; this is the first disappointing week yet, and I expect things are about to really start picking up, with soon tomatoes and corn and peppers, oh my! And the fruit share is finally starting up. This week it was apricots! Yeee! Plus peas!!

While working on my pinch hit for Summergen, I was reminded of a fic I wrote about a year ago that I guess I forgot to put on AO3. So I uploaded it, and got two comments on it (!! Uncommon for me to get comments on AO3), both of which really seemed to connect to my fic. Feeling like anyone connects to me at all in this world, or to anything I say or do, is incredibly rare for me. I starve for it pretty much all day every day. So thanks to these comments, I'm actually feeling good about life at the moment.

And Summergen is here! And gishwhes on its way! YASS.

Cherries

Jul. 5th, 2017 10:00 pm
We bought a cherry pitter and had a blast yesterday pitting cherries so I could dry them and utilize the bags of cherries I'd already bought from the grocery store that I no longer wanted to eat, because .... We finally got some fruit from our CSA--cherries--and holy shit. Is it just me, or has fruit degraded in quality since we were kids (for me the '70s)? I haven't tasted cherries this good since I was little, but they DID used to taste that good. I guess it's all the importing/exporting of produce, which I read they do because stores get produce cheaper that way, which ... ??? ???? How can EVERYONE be getting it cheaper?? The numbers, they do not add up. Regardless, I'm perfectly happy to pay a little more for produce that ACTUALLY TASTES GOOD that was grown nearby. Like, way more than happy.

Anyway ... not sure how long these delicious cherries will hold up, but the pitter is there if/when there comes a day when I need to dry/freeze them, too!

Meanwhile, I've also been drying the greens we don't like (there haven't been a lot we don't like, but mustard greens are nasty, and fuck kale), crushing up the dried leaves, and then putting some in whatever--smoothies, or today, meatballs. You can't taste them at all (EVEN THE KALE), but they add some nutrition and get used, huzzah!

Please, please, if you have any better ideas for mustard greens, let me know!
We got a mushroom share with our CSA, and received a very cool e-mail from them with some information on their small company and some of their plans for the rest of the summer ... which included letting us know they'll be going to the Burning Man "arts festival" and thus we won't be getting mushrooms that particular week.

Now, I've known a lot of people who've gone to Burning Man, and "arts festival" is not the descriptor that first comes to mind. I guess they figure anyone who's hip to what it really is is cool with it, and everyone else can enjoy some mental images of paintings and fine pottery professionally displayed in a lush and natural setting, with well-to-do art aficionadoes looking them over and nodding appreciatively.

THAT'S OKAY DUDES, YOU CAN GO GET NAKED AND HIGH IN THE DESERT FOR A WEEK. THE MUSHROOMS WILL WAIT.

Does kinda give you an inkling, perhaps, into what may have first inspired their interest in growing their own mushrooms ....
Thank you ladies for helping me figure out pesto, especially since I practically lived on the stuff earlier this week. PESTO. I've so far made it with pecans (DELICIOUS), although today I used mostly almonds, because I have a buttload of whole almonds in my freezer that have been there quite a while and probably the only way I would end up using them is in a blender, since they're a pain to chop, and not a lot of recipes call for whole almonds. I did add some pecans later on, though, because I find they're more flavorful than the almonds.

This is spinach, rapini, and garlic scape pesto:


(I added a little extra salt, pepper, and lemon juice to it; that's what's on the top there ....)

It gets thicker every time I make it. (And this was the first time the blender worked the way I anticipated it would! With the almonds and garlic scapes knocking together to help get each other blended; last time, it was really hard to get the garlic scapes to blend. GARLIC SCAPES.)

And then this is what the below-mentioned fruit did to my plate! SUFFICE TO SAY THEY WERE VERY JUICY.



(Hahaa, you should have seen how big those pictures were before I resized them! But actually, not having built-in photo-uploading on this site is proving to be a lot less trouble than I expected, FORTUNATELY. :-D)

All human

Jun. 19th, 2017 11:07 am
I had a rough night a couple of nights ago; it was really hard to get to sleep. For hours after we were done going through the box, I took comfort in the things I usually take comfort in, when I need it: fandom, pictures and articles about my favorite artists, etc., which led me to this excellent essay written by the lead singer of Fall Out Boy, and serves as a fantastic reminder of why success as an artist/writer/musician would SUUUUUUCK, so it's just fine that nobody reads my books. Well, I wish a few people, who would really enjoy and/or benefit from reading them would and would talk about it (that essay points that out, too, how easy it is to get hate when you share your work, and how hard it is to get any damn appreciation, even if you supposedly have lots of 'fans'--what is that?!), but fame? Fuuuuuck that.

As I read the essay and looked at other, related articles and interviews and pictures, I was reminded anew that we are all human. The people I most admire in the world get fat, have health problems, get hate, have low self-esteem, suffer from depression. It's okay. We're all the same. So thanks, all you famous people who shared your failures and downfalls and hardships as well as your successes. Thanks for not hiding your humanity, however hard that may have been. It makes it easier for the rest of us to be human, too.
Happiest of happy birthdays, [personal profile] majestic_duxk!! Fellow fan, stalwart gishwhes teammate, I am happy to be able to call you friend! <3 <3

Pesto

Jun. 7th, 2017 05:56 pm
I have never liked pesto. I have never understood pesto. Like, what do you do with a sauce that's really just ... leaves suspended in olive oil?

However, I got a CSA this year (for the first time ever--it's something I've wanted to do for so long! You can't imagine how freakin' excited I was to get our first pickup last week--and it was so much food!), and in it came all sorts of leafy greens I didn't know much about and never (thought I) liked, including arugula. I was looking for something to do with all the arugula (A FULL POUND. THAT'S A LOT OF ARUGULA), came across mention of arugula pesto, made some today, and ... wow, that's some really good shit! Like, really good! I still can't quite believe it.

So, wise readers, any suggestions on how to eat pesto, other than on pasta? I'm just trying it on a bagel and that's great, but any ideas about it would be most welcome ....

(And if you've ever had a CSA, I'd love to hear about your experiences.)
I guess I'm finally feeling like it's the right time and place to 'come out' as an author of original fiction! I've done a lot less writing of fic the last few years. It's because I was writing my original fiction instead! If you would like to check it out, I publish under the name December Nolan on Amazon.

The stories range from political (a whole series I published, called Less) to fantasy (A Course in Magic is about a total loser who finds a magic book and finds himself) to angsty, sexual stuff you miiiiight recognize from my fic. ;-> Restraint is a nice, angsty story about a teen male prostitute, and as for The Book of Jonah, somehow angsty sex got all mixed up with religion and spirituality. That one pushes a lot of buttons, so if religious stuff might bother you, it's not for you, but of course, SPN pushes a lot of buttons about religion, and SPN fic mixes that up with angsty sex, so it probably wouldn't offend any of you wonderful ladies. But I thought I should include that warning, just in case. And Flight is more of a combination of fantasy and spiritual explorations.

All my e-books are 99 cents, because I'm more eager for people to read them than to make money (not like it's really possible to make money as an author, unless you're really good at self-promotion, which, uhmmm, you might have gathered I'm not :-]). I've lately formatted them for print, too! And those I priced at the nearest dollar above the amount it costs to print it. I'd love it if y'all felt like checking them out and talking to me about them, here, there, anywhere. NO pressure at all to leave a review, but I'd be grateful if you did.

So there you have it, I'm an author! :-)
Last night, I dreamt I was watching a so-latter-day-SPN-it-hasn't-aired-yet ep while [personal profile] caranfindel was in the room doing her own thing. The ep was this meditation on addiction that seemed clearly a straight-up exploration of what the writer was thinking about that had nothing to do with SPN itself. I muttered some comment about how the writer couldn't be arsed to come up with anything that actually had anything to do with the show, and caranfindel piped up with a wholehearted agreement, which led to a rousing discussion between us on all things show-related, and which had other folks coming into the room to join into the chat. So basically, a physical representation of online SPN fandom!

I think I was actually thinking about Carver. Lately I've been realizing I think what I had the hardest time with about Carver's Supernatural is that he seemed to be trying to make it "more realistic," to bring reality into this ... story about two brothers who hunt monsters, which is ludicrous. For me, from the very beginning, at its best, the show rode this gloriously delicate line, which was a grittily realistic portrayal of an entirely metaphorical series of events designed to explore the deeper realities of human relationships and the human experience, like nesting dolls, multiple levels and dimensions utilized to get at something that is inherently complex and multi-dimensional. That's why I loved Show so much, because it was so layered. To treat it as reality all the way on down took away all the dimensions and made it flat ... and silly. Sooo silly, Carver. I'm lookin' at you. Yeah, that's right, I said it. ;-)

I'm liking Dabb's SPN far better than Carver's already, though Show is far from being what it was pre-Carver. I found the general stories of S12 fairly cohesive, I liked the characters they kept returning to, like Max and Alicia, Mary, and Claire (BOY was I tired of Crowley and Rowena drama, although Crowley in that last ep made me realize I'll miss him, at least a bit), I thought the themes were good. I'd love to see Max come back as one of S13's big bads (as some people have suggested might happen); I LOVE that actor, and his story is great, with much potential. Before this last season, it seemed like every storyline was a reprise of something SPN had already done, but the nephilim is also a good new idea ... well, at least, of ideas SPN has fully explored, since the antichrist was a similar idea with much potential that was introduced and abandoned. There's so much potential! Especially if he's a good guy at heart, or at least conflicted.

Otherwise, I'm incredibly excited about Summergen, as ever, although I haven't actually started on the fic yet because ... well, the whole theme I'm going to delve into with it kind of scares me; I've got to prepare and gird my loins before I dive in. What's going on with you all? How are your Summergen fics coming?
Title: Principle
Author: [personal profile] brightly_lit
Rating: PG
Word Count: 1,700
Characters: Dean, OMC
Genre: gen, outsider pov, Winchesters versus law enforcement
Summary: It's never what a cop expects when they encounter a Winchester. Dead body, check. Highly competent criminality, check. Lecture on right and wrong? Uhhh ....


Read more... )
I just saw that some of you lovely people left me sweet birthday wishes on lj! The new lj TOS was it for me, I'm afraid, so I've moved entirely to DW (although I haven't posted, because I have like two friends here :-P), but that's where I'll be if you want to find me. I'd love to friend anyone here that I was friends with on lj, if you like. <3

I've gotta say, I love DW. It's just like lj was in the old days, when I first came to love it. I'mma try to cross-post this to lj, but I don't know if it'll go through since I didn't accept the TOS--we'll see!

In any case, sw0rdy, majestic_duxk, and jj1564--THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR MY AWESOME BIRTHDAY POSTS!! I LOVED THEM. (jj, now I want chocolate!) There's no way to know about pm's I was sent because I seldom get e-mail notifications for them, but I got a couple of notifications, and so thank you to you lovely ladies, too!

An Easter birthday hasn't happened for me since young childhood, such that I started to believe I must have imagined it could have ever happened, but here we are again! It was a good one. I miss you folks. Any of you want to find me here and friend me, I'd be delighted--exact same username here as lj.

Love you guys!! You brought a big smile to my face with your birthday wishes. <3 <3 <3
I just finished all the episodes that have been released so far of what has become one of my favorite animes of all time, Natsume's Book of Friends.

It's about a teenage boy who's been able to see spirits all his life called youkai, which is a Japanese kind of unseen monster, like a nature demon. They don't interact with humans all that much, who can't see them, but Natsume can. Some are friendly, some are terrible, nearly all are extremely selfish (very like the demons on SPN).

When he was younger, he didn't understand what they were or what was going on (in this way, it's got some things in common with the movie The Sixth Sense). He was always strongly reacting to things that terrified him, but since no one else could see them, he was accused of lying and trying to be strange and scare people. Orphaned at a young age, he was passed around from relative to relative, none of whom wanted him or could handle him, some of whom treated him badly.

However, when the show starts, he's living with some distant relatives who did want him and are kind, in a peaceful rural town. He's still flinchy and formal with these folks, after having been cast out so many times. He still has encounters with youkai, some of which are damaging and dangerous, and he might come home covered with leaves or dirt or scrapes, or be out all night or what-have-you, but they're patient and understanding, although they don't know about his special ability to see things.

He's also managed to make some friends at his high school. He's gotten much better at hiding it when he gets freaked out, but sometimes he still inevitably acts weird, and his friends are also nice and tolerant and understanding. Some of them even learn his secret.

The show has a marvellously consistent aesthetic and atmosphere: gentle, melancholy, beautiful, poignant. Rare is the episode that doesn't bring a tear or two to your eye by the end. The theme is generally about finding love and acceptance after being without it all one's life, how precious he finds his family and friends--both human and youkai, for he puts a lot of effort into helping youkai, who then in some cases feel compelled to return the favor, and love him in their strange way.

The "Book of Friends" is a book left him by his grandmother who could also see youkai, who challenged them to a fight or a game and, if they lost, took their name and wrote it in the book, which made them have to serve her, if called, so youkai are constantly coming to Natsume to demand their names back, and he does his best to give as many as he can.

He also has a youkai helper and protector who usually takes the form of a doll-like cat, whom they kind of jokingly call Nyanko-sensei (which translates basically as "Master Kitty-Cat"). He claims he's only there to protect him until he eats him (youkai like to threaten to eat humans, as well as smaller youkai) and takes the book for himself, making all the youkai in it his servants, but Nyanko-sensei also loves him after his fashion, despite his hard-partying ways. (... Yeah.)

We just finished watching the fifth season, and it's already been greenlighted for a sixth. It's kind of a slow-burning show to have become so popular, but it is kind of popular now--yay! I really can't recommend it enough if any of this sounds like your cup of tea.

I admit to being disappointed in the fifth season, though. The OVA was so boring it was hard to get through. Meanwhile, though throughout the series most of the episodes focus on Natsume and his friends and his adventures with youkai, every season there's been an episode or two that's money, a feels bonanza, doing a flashback to Natsume's difficult youth, or someone new learning his secret, or an outside POV, or learning more about his relationship with his new parent figures.

I expected the episode named after these parent figures to be such an episode (the penultimate episode of the fifth season), as it was to be all about how they decided to take him in. Instead, they filled the time allotted for the episode with the mother figure fretting about shopping and cooking, never revealing anything particular that wasn't already known, and not developing the parent characters at all; it was a big disappointment.

Then the final episode of the season was about the "mid-level youkai," as if we were all just dying to learn more about them, and how they found some flowers they thought Natsume would like. (!) As much as I love this show, I had to turn to my friends and say, "I think they've run out of ideas," and they had to reluctantly agree, so keep that in mind as you embark on the series, if you decide to.

To me, the series always seemed to be headed in the direction of fulfilling all this potential: for everyone to finally learn his secret, including his parent figures; for his past to be fully revealed; for him to grow and change, to become more confident and to feel more at home in his home and with everyone he knows; basically, for him to grow and change, and for his relationships to grow and change. I was greatly looking forward to it! Alas, it's beginning to look like this was not their intention with the series.

Still, what's already been made of the show is fantastic (except for, as mentioned, a rather weak fifth season), and I highly recommend it.
So ... how are people feeling about this whole lj-servers-moving-to-Russia thing? I saw on the home page a lot of people were afraid lj would abruptly shut down without warning. Just in case that does happen, I made a dreamwidth account--brightly_lit, same as here--where I'd love to hook up again with you ladies if you make the switch, as well.

I started with lj (under a different name) way back in its heyday in the early part of the millenium. I remember reading in the TOS that your posts and comments would be saved on lj's servers "forever," and I thought, "How cool, to have this thing for posterity when that's so rare. I wonder how they can promise that? But oh well, I guess they wouldn't say it if it wasn't true." Then they sold the company, again and again, and of course it ended up being just words, another tome created and ultimately perhaps lost to time, but if this is the end, it sure was great while it lasted. And I think dreamwidth has a lot of potential (even if for some reason it seems to lack much interaction between users).

I guess personally I think it seems unlikely they'll shut us down without warning, but it seems likely that lj might change a lot, maybe not for the better. Better to be safe than sorry in terms of coming up with a backup plan, in any case, is my opinion. Also, apparently it's quite easy to transfer your whole lj to dreamwidth if you're so inclined. I'd love to hear everyone's thoughts on the whole business. I saw it discussed at length on the home page, but I don't think a single person on my friends page mentioned it, so it sounds like none of my friends here, at least are worried, so that's good.
Lookity lookit! RWBY is one of the shows I'm currently watching at movie night! (That's what Zachary's, er ... onesie says, and Rooster Teeth is the production company.) I highly recommend the show--the music is fantastic and it's populated almost entirely by badass female characters. Interesting animation style, as well. Awesome that Jared did this! ... but why isn't Jared wearing a onesie, too?

Originally posted by [livejournal.com profile] kate_mct at Jared and Zachary Levi

I've had the good fortune and pleasure of getting to listen to Queen (and singing along with gusto, naturally) while driving lately, as it finally occurred to us to order their best-of 3-CD collection. A friend gave me a tape of the original best-of collection in high school, and we listened to that thing every damn day on the way to and from school. It made everyone in the car happy ... then and now. The 25th anniversary of Freddie Mercury's death just passed. Freddie, thanks for everything you were and everything you gave to us.

What are y'all's Thanksgiving plans?
Title: Revelation
Author: [livejournal.com profile] brightly_lit
Rating: PG
Word Count: 4,200
Characters: Sam, Dean, Mary, Lucifer, original hunter characters
Genre: gen, hurt/comfort, intense angst, some humor, heroism, badassery, family feels, the consequences of growing up without a mother, hunter gathering
Summary: It's a good thing Mary hasn't asked her sons much about what they've been up to while she was dead, because they'd just as soon she didn't know about most of it, especially Sam. Maybe she wouldn't want anything to do with him anymore, if she knew. Unfortunately, it's no longer his choice.

"Sam really didn't want their mom to know Sam had been some kind of freak who had visions and was the devil's chosen vessel, that they'd both spent a great deal of time in hell .... Looking back, there was very little to go on the list of 'things you want to tell your long-lost mother about.'"

Spoilers through 12.6.


I LOVE S12. I've often felt inspired to write fic, watching this season, but never so much as watching 12.6, which included or hinted at things I've always wanted to see in canon: mainly, for Sam and Dean to finally get some of their due from other hunters for all their amazing accomplishments, and for Mary to get to know about them too, so this fic is putting all of that that I wanted to see into a story, plus more. I hope you like!

Read more... )
My review of 12.5: the first miss of S12. )

But as for good SPN-related shows, have y'all seen the first two episodes of Kings of Con yet?? HILARIOUS. I'd love to hear what you thought of them, if you've seen them.
Ahh, yes. The perfect time has arrived to use my "relax it's only a movie" tag. I'll use it for all reality-based posts for a while, I imagine.

High school for me was very stressful. Very, incredibly, health-damagingly stressful. Not just high school, but home, activities, friends; every single aspect of my life--stressful and, frankly, terrifying.

Like many other high-schoolers, I collected buttons for a while, mostly to display on my purse. Some of them were for bands I loved and such, but as soon as I found the "relax, it's only a movie" button, I knew I had to buy it. It reminded me that life is an illusion ... or at least that it'll be over someday, and that helped get me through the toughest times.

So remember ....

Magic Farm

Nov. 13th, 2016 08:17 pm
I am super crazy good at a video game no one's ever heard of, that isn't even available anymore (at least, the version I play). In the credits, the game's makers thank their beta testers, including one "who won the game in an amazing 75 (game-play) days!" I've gotten to the point where it's an off day if I do it in over 74 days (fewer days is better), and I've done it in as few as 72.

It's called Magic Farm. You grow and harvest flowers and make bouquets to make money and travel in an effort to find your lost parents. You get shipwrecked and have dealings with a pirate, in addition to many other more benevolent characters. It was free when I got it. It was never popular; now my version has disappeared from the internet (along with a disappointing number of other awesome games, including Tip Top and Cosmic Switch).

I have games I paid a pretty penny for, but damn if Magic Farm isn't the one I'll always come back to. MAGIC FARM. But as with everything else I bothered to get really good at, MY SKILL MEANS NOTHING, NOTHING! There's no glory in this world for magic farmers! Alas. But LET IT BE KNOWN I WON THE GAME IN 72 DAYS!!!! (Hears voice echoing back, then crickets.)

If you're a gamer, what's your favorite unpopular game?
Here is a video of Misha explaining why he was going to be late to Burcon. (He had to park his car and walk because he knew he wasn't going to be able to get there any other way!) This is a very cool video for many reasons--for me it's amazing to see 1) the number of protesters, and 2) all these people run up, give Misha a hug and a kind word and then run off again, and see how he responds.

s_c took a turn through our complex the other day and was called over to chat by a black guy ("People call me Q," he told her) and a white guy working on a car together. Q asked how she was doing; she said she was doing the best she could in light of the election. Both of the guys agreed it was terrible. Q asked her if she'd been downtown to see the protests. She said she hadn't. "I'm a person of color," Q told her, "but there are more people of your color there protesting!"

So maybe at least all this has accomplished that much: I've seen many people of color saying how deeply they're touched by how many white people are standing up for them. As a woman, too, to see how many people denounce the orange Voldemort (as a friend has dubbed him) based on his misogyny and racism ... our country really WAS divided, and is still, in one way, but in another, it's bringing people together. And I'm seeing way more people on opposite sides actually talking to each other--talking and listening. Maybe good can come of all this. Let's hope! Love to you all. <3

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