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.

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.)
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?
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?

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
Okay, LATE, but here is my first Future Tuesday post.



I want to finally find the place where I belong and am welcomed, instead of being the odd person out, or not understood, or straight-up unwanted, which has been the case alll too many times. I'm pretty damn sure that would make me happy!

If you haven't yet, come on over to [livejournal.com profile] amilliondays, where we post about things that make us happy, present, past, and future.
My favorite musician hasn't posted on Twitter for weeks, and damn, I really miss him. I've never figured out how to use Twitter properly myself--the best I've ever figured out to do with it is (respond to some of the guys we love and) make the occasional pithy comment/joke, but somehow in just a few tweets this musician has managed to say things--deep, important things--that stay with me indefinitely. Gerard, I miss you. Come back.

Meanwhile, I'm trying to like Fallout Boy. (Why yes, I do like emo music, not that you could tell from my fic.) Great music, if a bit heavily produced, very impressive lead singer. Guys, I'm trying to like you, so why ya gotta have so many douchey lyrics?? "You are the drought and I am the holy water you have been without"? REALLY? "I wish I'd known how much you loved me. I wish I'd cared enough to know." Very nice, a true gentleman. And yet it's still so much more tolerable than Panic! At the Disco's out-and-out misogyny. SIGH ....

Summergen is the coolest thing. I'm beginning to realize other fandoms' fanfic pretty much exists, so far as I can tell, only for the sake of slash, but SPN has such a healthy flourishing gen aspect, too, and summergen brings it to us EVERY SINGLE DAY FOR THE ENTIRETY OF HELLATUS. GO SPN FANDOM!
I'ma leave all y'all's lovely comments on my post announcing my friend's death just as they are. I feel like responding to those particular comments would cheapen them, but I very much want you to know how much I appreciate your beautiful words.

There is a notification in my e-mail from that friend from not long before her death, which makes it feel like she's still around. I doubt I'll be filing that e-mail any time soon.

I'm so into the show Alone, on the History channel (wilderness survival was one of my favorite obsessions in my youth), even though I get constant errors as it creaks through the commercials, making watching the thing take about half again as long as it should. It's worth it! But now they're to the part where it gets really grim and everybody's having an awful time and it's no fun for them and no fun for you but by then you have to see who manages to stick it out the longest. One of the final four in this, its second season, who has been one of the most successful participants generally, is a woman! (The first season was only men.) She is pure awesome, but Mike had my heart from day one. They never let us get to know Mike well enough, or showed us enough of him. And he's from my very own state. Mike, you rock!!

I would like to take this space to wish the happiest of happy birthdays to [livejournal.com profile] quickreaver, who does such incredibly great work making so many of our favorite challenges and exchanges 'round here run smoothly, and is generally an awesome, smart, fun, kind lady. Glad you're here, and that we met! <3 <3 <3
Thank you to all who commented on my last post for your kind words. I'll respond to your comments when I feel up for it. My friend died last night. Rest in peace, SpringLea, you were amazing.
Hello, all. I'm glad to have you here!
Cut for sad. )
I'm grateful for you all and for this goodness. May you all have a beautiful day, and write all the words you ever wanted to.
I finally ended up seeing the final four eps of S11 of SPN all in one night, and I quite liked them all! Except the crappy-as-usual Buckner/Ross-Leming ep. Like, REALLY liked. I very seldom cry at SPN eps, especially on the first viewing, but 11.20 got me deep.

I'm pretty nervous for S12, now that worst-writer-ever Singer, who never really seemed to understand or respect Show, is one of the showrunners. :-[] The fact that Dabb wrote such an excellent season finale bodes well, though, and I like where it all seems to be going ... which I seem pretty much alone in? I'd love to hear y'all's thoughts on this.

I just loved the way S12 finally followed up on and tied up a bunch of outstanding issues, questions, gaps, etc., both in terms of plot and character, that have been left hanging since S5 or before (such as the amulet--not that I'm one of those who needed to see it again on an emotional level, but purely in terms of plot and story, I strongly felt, especially if they were going to bring God back, like they had to address it). I was nervous about them bringing God back and I didn't much want them to, but only because I was afraid it would be so hard to do it right, and then Robbie came through! And Rob and Curtis, awesome actors that they are. Because that was another plot issue I felt was left open that needed attention.

Now, they're both delving more into Men of Letters stuff--which, if they're going to introduce the MoL and have Sam and Dean live in the heart of the organization all this time, only makes sense--and bringing back Mary, which is the only way, as Amara said, to potentially heal some of Dean's crushing brokenness, and I am so eager for that. Plus, the criticism that Mary (and Jess) were only there to spur on the journeys of the (male) main characters and didn't have a real character of her own is a criticism I've heard many times. She's such a big spectre hanging over the whole show; I love the idea of them finally delving into that, their past, and that character, and seeing how that retroactively changes Sam and Dean's perspectives. I love it all. Go, Show!! Still doin' it right after all these years. <3 <3
*THIS POST CONTAINS SPOILERS FOR THE HOUSE OF THIRTY CATS, (C) 1965*

Sorry, House of Thirty Cats, in the end I wasn't inspired to write any fic for you. After finishing it tonight, I've thought a lot about what so enchanted me as a kid, since it rambles a lot (mostly about cats and their particular behaviors), introduces a mystery it barely solves, and promotes highly questionable values in some ways.

Yes, I had a fascination for cats at that age, wanting them to be as adorable and noble and glorious as they are presented to be in the book (yet, especially during the very charming cat-POV section, it actually portrays them quite realistically). (Having a rather bratty, violent cat killed that hope presently, alas.)

So yeah, any kid will probably enjoy the animal stuff. But really, I think it's how admirably accurately the author describes the world and human interaction. I read voraciously at that age, willing and eager to read just about anything, but there are lines kids' books just don't cross, so I was floored when a cat actually died--quite realistically. It's not the last cat to die in the book, either. I probably also greatly related to how things never quite went right (though still more often in the book than in reality); I couldn't connect to this magical fantasy world I read about and saw on t.v. where everyone always got along and everything always worked out right.

The author also touches on kinds of success at fixing what's wrong with the world that was extremely appealing to me at that age, as I was ever trying to do just that, and of course failing utterly. Aaaand ... yeah, the way it works out in the book isn't realistic, but given how realistic the rest of it is, I imagine I thought maybe I could make it work myself if I could just figure out the trick. So anyway, bottom line: cute, wobbly children's book that's barely for children

Thanks, author, for writing that book that meant so much to child!me.

Cat fic

Apr. 26th, 2016 07:03 pm
SUMMERGEN IS BACK. YAAAY!!!

My favorite book for a time as a kid was The House of Thirty Cats. Well, [livejournal.com profile] septembers_coda found it for us at the library and we're reading it aloud right now. It's really quite good, and almost distressingly me. Like, was I already like that and that's why I was so attracted to that book? Or did it significantly form me? It's a bit disturbing.

Anyway, typical of me, it's extremely obscure. I somehow managed to convince my teacher to read it aloud to the class, and everyone was so bored and not into it that she stopped after only a few pages, no matter how much I lobbied the whole class to keep it going and insisted it got much better after the first chapter (which it does, adult-me can confirm!). Those plebeians in my elementary-school class didn't know great literature when they heard it! But s_c is lovin' it. :-) I'm always delighted when I find something I loved in my youth holds up later on, because Bill and Ted ... not so much.

Today I thought, maybe I will be the person who writes the first House of Thirty Cats fanfic and puts it on the internet. And then maybe someone who likes my other fic will see it and give it a try and it'll bring a little more attention to this strange, brutal, vivid, wonderful novel.

... And then I see that my favorite musician is tweeting about the notorious "milk fic" and encouraging his fans to write the most horrifying fic about him they want, that he dgaf.

I got my second (hopefully last) root canal this morning, and learned that these abcesses have been weighing on my immune system a very long time. When you walk out of the endodontist's office feeling better--like, all over--and then you run an errand you meant to run eight months ago and you get to drive around in a different car from usual hearing new music and it's all rainy and your favorite musician is tweeting about obscene fanfic featuring himself ... it's a good day.
I had a really good b-day. I and another friend whose birthday is close to mine decided to combine our birthdays. The plan was dinner and room-rental karaoke, but it snowed a lot (for the second year in a row on my b-day!) and we had to cancel. BUT, s_c and I live all of five minutes away from both places (they're in the same parking lot), and I was so in the mood to spend the evening doing exactly those things, so s_c and I went and did it ourselves! And it was SO fun!! We found a bunch of great new songs to sing, YAY.

On the way out, I saw that the blossom-bedecked trees were heavy with snow and breaking, and I just couldn't let such beautiful trees die on my birthday, so we got out and shook the snow off the trees.

When I got home, I discovered I had a little souvenir!

Cut for photo )

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